Why You Have to Up Your Networking Game.

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I meet a lot of people each and every day.

Recently, I’ve met with some great connectors that I’ve known but not at a networking event. One on one. In their offices for a glass of wine, a coffee or over lunch.

They said they were tired of the old networking game.

The large group networking game was very popular during the Great Recession and its sputter of today. The shotgun approach. In the depths of the Recession any activity was progress. The fire of the recession is not out. The embers are still red hot for the folks who are looking into the fire of losing their jobs. It happens every day, even in these days of low unemployment.

The people I met with are great networkers. Many are much better than I in their ways so I listen to their comments. Maybe I can incorporate what works for them into my ways.

They often tell me that they are networking less and in different ways. Continue reading

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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

Benefits of Networking

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I’m going to be talking about a few benefits from networking.

There are a number of them.

Financial currency. Networking makes you smarter. Networking saves you time and makes you more productive. Networking provides you with social currency and networking is career insurance.

Financial currency.

Why network?

Networking leads to a revenue stream. Call it financial currency. Most people understand that.

Your network equates to your net worth. I know that because as a consultant I create a job for myself each and every day through my network and by expanding it constantly.

The opposite of networking is not working.

Most people know the expression of it’s not what you know it’s who you know.

I don’t like it very much because it often smacks of nepotism but it has some truth.

However effective networking is a game of singles and not grand slams and most people are too impatient. They want the quick fix. People are two impatient and it doesn’t work that way.

You have to plant the seeds and the bounty will follow.

It takes time to build an effective network and earn the trust of your contacts.

The best approach to effective networking is a philosophy of following the premise that you get more from your network by asking for less and doing more for others.

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