What’s Your Obligation If Somebody Helps You Find a Job?

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I had a Starbucks with a stranger the other day.

I asked him how he got connected to me.

He said I helped one of his friends get a job at a great company.

I didn’t readily recall her name but her photo on LinkedIn returned her to my memory.

I never got any business leads from her after she got the job but I got a lot of nice projects from her company. Any connection?  Who knows?

I helped her during the Great Recession. Remember the Great Recession? It started a year after the first iPhone was introduced almost to the day. Continue reading

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Working in the New Normal.

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I got some emails from people in the Old Normal this week.  I don’t live there anymore. I left it long ago.  I didn’t see much of a future there for me.

The incoming emails came like rockets almost one after another. I wanted to duck for cover.

They were from different folks but they all shared the same story from diverse places.

“The company has gone through three rounds of layoffs in the last 18 months. It has been a challenging time.”  I bet it has been more than that.  I bet it has been worrisome, stressful, political, and dismal. I bet you your family meals are less happy even with a Happy Meal and the nights aren’t always restful even if you have a Sealy Posturepedic. Continue reading

Networking And Career Tips For The New Normal

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The New Normal was created in the fall of 2008 when the global financial crisis took place. I was in Argentina which had its melt down a few years earlier. All of a sudden my American Express card didn’t work. When the clerk gave me the card in confusion I saw that it said I had been a valued customer for a long time.

All of us have felt its repercussions especially if you were put into transition, had a line of credit, had to work more with fewer resources and do more work. Received 2% annual raises or none at all. I could go on.

Those who felt the impact of the New Normal the least were the financial institutions that created it and the elected officials who were in charge of preventing it. Everybody knows the song says but the song also says it’s all forgotten.

Networking accelerated dramatically in the New Normal because people needed some place to go when they got up on Monday and their routines were out of whack. I know because in August 2008 Laguna Niguel Connectors was created and over 100 people showed up within a few months. But then again 700,000 a month were losing their jobs as the world melted and we watched and worried.

I have been networking actively since at least the .com bust if not before.  I know a lot of people, I see a lot of people, I get e mails from a lot of people and I have spoken on networking to a lot of people.

So here are some networking and career tips for the New Normal.

Build your own network instead of using other people’s networks. It will pay off.  There will be many New Normals. Build up the networking resources to emerge and grow from them. Remember today is the first day of your networking life. Where do you want to be in five years?

Be patient when looking for a deal to close or to be hired. Time in the New Normal doesn’t follow your clock. I know. I got here before you. Sorry but those decisions don’t move as fast as you text. The clock of the New Normal runs in slow motion for these decisions and hyper motion for technology and change.

Companies will become commodities if you are a coveted and needed resource.  What’s the best bet for advancement?  Having a communications degree or being a Java Developer?  If you aren’t specialized, digital, or reinvented you will be entering the work world through the eye of the needle.

Be realistic. Targeting is the basis of marketing success. No company is going to hire somebody with 10 years’ experience for an entry-level job.  Trust me. Applying for any job is not getting your name out there.  It is just a waste of your time and time is too valuable to waste.

Networkers aren’t Rasputin or Svengalis. They can’t solve your problems or your wishful thinking.

If you want to make a career change start your own company. Companies don’t take too many hiring risks in the New Normal.

Don’t give away other people. If people come to you to help them don’t just give them the names of other people to help them. Invest your own time with the people who reach out to you. Walking in their shoes will be good for your soul.

Expand your personal brand constantly. The more Google loves you the more marketable you will be.

Lose the paper. Don’t come to meetings with your CV, your resume, your list of target companies. What do you think happens to that paper? If you are looking for a job you need to have your own website.

I still can’t believe how many people in transition still have lousy business cards. Weak business cards are akin to food stains on your tie. Want to save money? Cut your cable bill not your financial investment in yourself.  Personal marketing 101.

Network with Strays. They will help you in unique ways.

The world is not fixed.  A lot of people still need help. Help one person once a week.

You harvest what your so in networking. That has never changed and won’t.  Sowing requires personal sacrifice and patience. No farmer has ever harvested in the same month what he has planted.

If you stop networking in the New Normal you will be a ghost.

Don’t give your children career advice but teach your children to Network well.

Connect with Hank on LinkedIn, Twitter, & Facebook:

    

Read: How I Went From UWO to California

Watch: Power of Networking.

Why Young People Shouldn’t Try to Find A Job

The Best Graduation Gift You Can Give Your Children.

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I have spoken on many campuses on networking for over a decade now and I have written many posts hopefully helping today’s young people become better networkers.

One of my most popular blogs remains Networking Tips for Young People and College Students Who Hate to Network.

I have also written on Why Graduates are Looking for Jobs in All the Wrong Places and Teach your Children to Network Well.

I believe that the new glass ceiling is the one encountered by today’s youth.

Besides my own children there are always been many young people in my life constantly.  My blogs have connected me with young people across the world who have reached out to me because what I wrote touched something in them.  I have used college students to help me with my consulting business ever since I started it.

So Graduation Time is coming up soon.  The unemployment rate among college graduates has been slowly declining but remains high.  Many students question the value of their college loans when they compete for jobs with the previous year’s graduating class who are still looking for jobs.

The best graduation gift you can give your children is your network and teaching them on how to be great networkers. I can tell you from personal experience your kids will initially not embrace it but as they mature they will see the value of networking.

One thing that young people learn to appreciate is the efficiency of networking once they learn it.  Young people love efficiency.  That’s why they cryptically text versus e mail because it is quick and fast.  They know that a Google search connects them with a vast network.

When their network builds and they see how a few calls can provide them with solutions they buy into its power.  They learn how a well resourced network can make their life easier and they like easy because they have lots to do.  Not really but I don’t want to get any texts from my kids.

The first thing you should teach your children about networking is that networking isn’t about going anywhere.  Networking is about being connected with the people around you not going to places.  If you want to be really good at something you have to do it all the time not once a week.  You need to connect with people all the time. You need to live your life with an attitude of engagement not isolation.  Networking is really about just talking to people.  You start doing that and you will turn your city into a village.

The worst thing you can do is to do it for them. I often get e mails from parents asking me to help their kids try to get a job or connect with someone.  They attach their children’s resumes. That’s not the way to do it.  I would rather have your kids connect with me.  That is the way they get empowered.

Also don’t try to teach them how to get a job based on the way you got your job.  You worked in a world where how long you worked at a company was seen as a value and something to be respected.  In the new world we make movies called Up in the Air.

Your children must also learn to master Linkedin.  The New Normal resume.  Share some of your connections with them to get them started.  Ask your friends to Linkedin with them.  Want to do something for them.  Pay for a professional photograph of them.

In the Old Normal, the old model was that your kids might one day work for you.  In the New Normal, your exit plan may be working for your kids. I am looking forward to it. The stronger their children’s network is the greater the chance that scenario could become a possibility.  We have all witnessed what happens when the world melts and the world will always be prone to it happening again.

You can connect with Hank on Linkedin

http://www.linkedin.com/in/hankblankcom

Follow his updates on twitter @hankblank

Connect on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/hankblank

Watch his video on Why MBA Schools Need to Teach a Course on What to Do When You Get Fired.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDPHgD5bJVo

Networking Tips for People in Transition.

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I have spoken on networking and personal branding to numerous networking groups frequented by people in transition including ExecuNet, CafeNet, Women Sage, Ken Tudhope ‘s Networking Group for CFO’s, and the Challenger Networking Group.  I am also one of the Founders of Laguna Niguel Connectors which has over 2800 members.  I relate to people in transition because as a consultant I am always perpetually employed in many ways.

Because of my network, companies sometimes use me for recruiting so I have talked and met with numerous job seekers.  I see a lot of good things and some things that scare me and make me ask why would a person do that or not do that?

So here are some tips for job hunters for 2012.  Finally the hiring momentum is moving in the right direction.  Make sure that you are ready to capitalize.

  • First, sharpen your tools.  Many times I see resumes with no e mails, I see no salutations on people’s emails, I get calls on my cell phone from blocked numbers so I cannot call the people back when I am driving.  All of these things make it harder to get in touch with people.  In this day and age of numerous candidates for every position you have to make yourself as sticky as possible and extremely easy to connect with.
  • Invest in yourself. When I hear the news comments about the hundreds of thousands of people who have stopped working I can’t help to wonder if some of those people just aren’t keeping themselves marketable. Is your business card stock the weight of toilet paper?  If your Linkedin photo looks like it was shot by an amateur you aren’t investing in yourself.  Who’s to blame if you aren’t staying current on trends, technology, social media and other hiring practices?
  • Drop any negative baggage.  It’s a weight. Don’t listen to your mind. Feed your mind. The smarter you become, the easier you will be to hire and the better your attitude will be.
  • Quit wasting your time.  Asking second degree connections on Linkedin to introduce you to somebody that they are connected with on the second or third degree is not a warm introduction.  It is futility in job hunting.  Networking isn’t connecting strangers to strangers.
  • Remember that in hiring there are two clocks.  There is the company hiring clock that moves very very slowly.  And then there is the hiring clock for people in transition.  They do not run at the same speed.  Not even close.  Quit driving yourself crazy by trying to align them.  Things will happen when they are meant to. You have no control over the schedule.
  • Who were the two or three most influential people you met last year?  Spend more time with them in the coming year.  Obviously they had an impact on you.  Try to stoke those fires by spending more time with them. They are as valuable as Connectors.
  • Think of Linkedin as Twitter and update your profile with substance four times a day.  Remember that your target audience is not your friends but your potential hiring manager.  Post accordingly.
  • If you have stopped networking you have stopped looking for a job.  Over 70% of jobs are found through referrals or associates.  You only need to meet one person to change your life. There is a good chance they won’t come to your house. What if they were at that networking event or Starbucks you blew off derailing your potential journey?  People create opportunities not Tweets.

You can connect with Hank on Linkedin

http://www.linkedin.com/in/hankblankcom

Follow his updates on twitter @hankblank

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/hankblank

Watch some this video on How To Rise Above the Crowd.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bkO7efleWX4

Read this article on How To Create a Job.

https://hankblank.wordpress.com/2011/10/02/how-to-create-a-job-by-creating-a-consulting-career/