News From the New Normal: #2


In case you missed it the New Normal was created by a unique convergence. Like many changes do. The first iPhone was launched on June 29th, 2007, Lehman Brothers collapsed on September 15th, 2008 as social media platforms became mainstream. The big bang happened and the world changed forever.

I got a LinkedIn invite from somebody I didn’t know the other day. I get a fair number of those and like connecting. She had worked for a large company in OC. You have all heard of them. Publically traded. She had a great title and experience so I readily accepted.

I followed up with a note saying how did we connect? Was it a blog or did I reach out? I try to follow up on LinkedIn invites.  What do you do?

She said that she was part of a large lay-off at her company. Continue reading


You’ve Made Networking a Challenging Accomplishment


One of my great friends John Vrba commented on one of my LinkedIn postings.

John Vrba.  Four letters. Two Syllables.

John Vrba

John makes a lot out of a little.

John is 95 or maybe 94.

He wrote “You’ve made networking a challenging accomplishment!” Continue reading

Why College Students Need to Get Into Linkedin.


I live surrounded by young people.  I have hired paid interns for ten years and often speak on campus colleges on networking and why young people shouldn’t try to get a job.

That’s how I got this nice poster designed by Kyle Ready when I spoke at CBU in Riverside.


I am amazed by how many college students in their senior year that are looking to enter the workforce aren’t on LinkedIn.  Young people are natives in the world of technology.  I was an immigrant to their world of technology.

I embraced LinkedIn as an early adopter.  My largest client last year found me on LinkedIn.

College students who aren’t using LinkedIn lose their native status and become LinkedIn immigrants. They look like they aren’t ready for business. They don’t speak my language. And guess what?  I don’t want to hire them because I don’t want to train them on LinkedIn.  I want to teach them other things.

As a solopreneur I want an intern to help me from the get go.  That’s my world today.  And the world that today’s college students will live in when they are 50.  There are numerous articles documenting that in the near future a large proportion of the workforce will be consultants, freelancers, or temp workers.

When I speak to students I advise them to go where you want to be.  If you want to be in business then use the social media channel that businesses use, and that is LinkedIn. The best way to get a job in the field you aspire to is to engage with the people living in that world. LinkedIn provides you with that opportunity.  If you want to work in the future communicate with people that may hire you in the future while you are in the past.  You should start your job-hunting a year before you graduate or sooner.

I recently met a young man with 500 LinkedIn connections.  He was twenty years old and was soon to graduate from UCI.  I wasn’t surprised. Did the 500 plus connections help him graduate early?  Probably not.  I am sure that his attitude of preparing for the future did.

I have always said some of the worst career advice for students comes from people in the Old Normal.  They focus on resume building.  That’s all good, but resumes don’t appear on the Internet, your LinkedIn profile does.

Today resumes should be info graphics or simple websites.

Young people today will have many jobs in the New Normal or create many companies.

The foundation of their success will be their network.  LinkedIn is a simple platform to build it and amplify your voice.

In the Old Normal there used to be simple insights shared that ran like this.  If you saved a dollar a day starting at 21 you would be a multi-millionaire by the age of 65 based on the principle of compounded interest.

In the New Normal if you connect with one person a day starting in college you can be sure of having lots of social currency and an improved chance of financial currency as well.

LinkedIn can help you get there.

You can connect with Hank on LinkedIn:

Follow his updates on twitter: @hankblank

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You might enjoy these articles.

Don’t Let Your Business Cards Weaken Your Personal Brand

The Slash Generation.

Watch this Video on Why Young People Shouldn’t try to Get a Job.

Are you a Netweaver?


I wrote a blog recently called One Dimensional Networking that generated a number of comments.  One reader, Jo Lynn Deal, posted an interesting observation and brought up a descriptor that I hadn’t heard applied to networking.  It was the concept of a “netweaver” who is a person who looks for opportunities to build community and help others.

Now I have always believed in connecting the dots networking. It was the title of my first CD. My concept is pretty simple. It is all about connecting two people who don’t know each other but you sense possible connection points that could be of interest to them and then simply connect them together.  They could be vastly different in age and background but you see some similarities.  They went to the same school, are from the same country, have similar passions etc.  It generally leads to meaningful relationships.  Some, but not all of these relationships may result in the benefit of financial currency.  All pay generously in social currency in my experience.

I have also written in the past about the concept of connectors in the ABC’s of Networking.  We have all met connectors.  They are the people that you meet and they immediately have suggestions of where you should go and people you should meet.  “Have you ever met (          ) they ask?”  “Have you ever gone to (         )?   Yes connectors see paths for you when you see nothing.  They see doors where you see walls.  They are your networking angels. They can be a powerful force in developing new opportunities for you, if you listen to them.  Many of us don’t sadly.  I don’t think that connectors come over the internet and that you only run into connectors in person.  Maybe that kind of communication that connectors read can’t come through a cable.  You will never meet connectors if you don’t network in person.

The concept of netweaver does bring up some interesting ideas and imagery.  I do believe that your network is not just a static data base of names and e mails.  It is your village of people and it must be cultivated, nurtured and woven together. It is like tilling the garden.  It creates better growth.  The same thing applies to your network.

If you weave people together you will turn your networking village into a community because you are constantly nurturing it. So are you a netweaver?  Are you cultivating your networking village?  If not maybe it is time to start a little weaving. This can be done in the safety of your own home.

You can connect with Hank on Linkedin

Follow his updates on twitter @hankblank


Listen to Hank and a special guest offer Networking Tips for Those Who Hate to Network.

Is Networking A First Thought or an Afterthought?


I had a light bulb moment one time.  The switch was turned on by a great guide that helps from time to time. Like all self employed people during the Great Recession I was chasing the Yankee Dollar.  I was going through the desert looking for the oasis of money.

My guide asked me how my personal marketing was going?  I basically said that I was too busy chasing money to market myself.  As the words came out of my mouth the light bulb came on and my brain said you are stupid pretty much at the same time as my friend did.

You see marketing yourself is a core element of your business success.  My number one marketing tactic has always been my networking.  No total strangers have come out of the blue and said I want to work with you. My network created my river of opportunities.

I often get emails from people saying things like please accept my apology for the delayed response in accepting your connection request.  I have been pretty busy lately and I am behind on my LinkedIn requests.  Today I think you have to drive down both sides of the road to succeed.

Networking needs to be a parallel path to your work activities and should not only occur only after you have finished your busy work.

So what path is your networking on?  Is it a first thought or an afterthought?

Connect with Hank on LinkedIn, Twitter, & Facebook:


Watch my video on “How to Rise Above the Crowd.”

What Kind of Job Are You Looking For?


What Kind of Job are you Looking For?

I had coffee the other day in Laguna Beach with a very smart person.  I am grateful that I live close to Laguna.

When I was going to college in Canada I sat on a beach in Laguna and said I want to live here. I wanted a piece of paradise.  It was pretty much out of reach. I had every obstacle in the world to make that happen including my brain and life’s reality.  I have had three meetings at the Starbucks in Laguna this week looking at the beach networking with people. My experience is testimony that dreams are achievable.

My new friend used to work in publishing which is an industry that has changed drastically in the New Normal.  I attended a Business Wire breakfast recently that featured a panel of local press reporters.  They work at places where half the seats are empty. I am sure that the cubes are dusty and the company meetings less exciting.

This has happened to many industries.  I am an Ad Guy.  My former job in the corporate world doesn’t exist anymore so I had to create one for the New Normal. That wasn’t exactly easy.  Lots of businesses have changed. When is the last time you booked a trip through a travel agent or taken a roll of film to be developed?  When is the last time your kids read a newspaper?  Do your kids own a watch?  When is the last time you weren’t multi tasking and just thinking about nothing for an hour?  They are planting farms in intercity Detroit. The world is changing.  The secret is to change before it changes you. To go to the places you want to go before anybody else gets there. That always isn’t easy.

I asked my new friend what kind of job they were looking for and they looked at me and said “I don’t know.” That stopped me for a moment. It sounded like I am looking for a job that doesn’t exist. I have heard that before. There are many people looking for the path of clarity.  I know my new friend will figure it out because of their skills and experience but I thought of the many people that aren’t as gifted as them.

The key to survival in the New Normal is a very broad horizontal and not vertical network.  Like a traffic circle this will give you more opportunities for an exit to a new future.

The train of change will continue to come down the track very quickly in the New Normal.  You just have to make sure you are in the Locomotive instead of the Caboose.

Connect with Hank on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook:


Watch: How to Rise Above the Crowd.

Lessons from the Great Recession.


I learned a lot from the Great Recession. A lot. It was a very difficult time for many people and continues to be for many that haven’t emerged.

I have spoken to many transition groups multiple times and have met with countless people during those years. It is not difficult to feel and see despair and frustration.  In those days nobody would even dare ask at the beginning or end of the meetings if there were any good news stories about people landing because there weren’t any. Everybody was running for cover when the world was melting and we were losing 500,000 jobs a month.  Today some people are able to raise their hands and say they have landed or secured a consulting gig.  There is more hope in the air.  Guarded hope.

You don’t find out about the economy in the paper; you learn the true economic reports on the streets and during the great recession many people including me felt at times that we were licking the sidewalks of life.

I learned many things being one of the founders of Laguna Niguel Connectors a group that grew from 4 people to over 3200 currently on Linkedin.  I learned about the power of people, the blessings of serendipity and the engine called Linkedin. When you had over 100 people meeting for endless months on the third Friday of the month in Laguna Niguel who were in transition it wasn’t too difficult to see that the recession had touched every community and every street. The miracle of Laguna Niguel connectors was the quality of the people that attend and the pay it forward helpful attitude of the vast majority of its attendees.

I learned that there are Angels of the recession. People like Cindy Pickens who founded Café Net and has helped thousands of people in transition without ever asking for a dime.  Many people who volunteered their time to speak on Linkedin at various venues to help those in transition master its power in the job search. People like Sven Johnston, Ted Robison and Tim Tyrell-Smith. And there are many more.

Although the recession was very painful for many I think it provided great lessons for today’s youth.  Prior to the great recession many were the enabled generation with high levels of expectations of entitlement.  Today I believe that the Millenials are a very responsible and industrious group who has learned through the pain of many of their parents that many institutions can’t be trusted any longer and that hype is just that.  Hype. They also understand that the employer-employee relationship is much different these days and for the future.

I have learned that business had changed forever.  That you need many more irons in the fire than before if you are hunting for a job or a project.  Decision making and approvals can take much longer. Budgets are tighter and every dollar must have a return.

I have also learned that the benefit of social currency that you get from networking can be even more powerful than that of financial currency because your network of people is what truly enriches you life.

So what have you learned?

You can connect with Hank on Linkedin

Follow his updates on twitter @hankblank


Watch his video on YouTube on How to Rise Above the Crowd.