The First Thing That People in Transition Need to Do Is to Lose Their Minds

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Yes you need to change your wiring and learn a new way to land a job these days. It is the New Normal.

People in transition try to figure out their new life by what worked for them when they were successfully working and how they got a job in the past.

If they have been working for 10 years at their previous job they may have found it in a newspaper. Think that works today?

Job hunting is the farthest thing away from working unless you know how to turn your job skills into knowing how to market yourself.

I had a coffee the other day with a person newly arrived in the out of work game. I’ve been out of the game for a long time. It was at a Starbucks I really like. Right across from the Mission in San Juan Capistrano. People were at restaurants for a late lunch and the Swallows Inn had a number of folks at the bar. The Farmer’s Market was starting. Continue reading

She’s Not a Great Networker

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The other day, I received an e-mail from a friend of mine. I asked him if he knew somebody I wanted to get in touch with. His response was that, although they used to work together, she isn’t a great networker. She accepted his LinkedIn invite, but has been unable to meet for coffee or a catch-up session.

I reflected on this for a moment: she is happy, she feels safe, she has a job, and needs to do her work. All admirable qualities. She has no time for people outside of her current world, and doesn’t see any threats posed by impending change.

She is _____________.

His experience is quite common. I wonder who wins and loses in that type of interaction. I have been networking for a long time in the Old and New Normal, and speak on the topic often. Besides companies, my key constituencies have always been the transition community, today’s youth and often the networking lost.

Occasionally, I encounter people who say to me, “networking is just not my thing.” They tell me they hate the whole networking experience, and I completely understand that. They recount experiences of strangers coming up, trying to sell them something. Solutions looking for problems. Yes, that does happen; we can’t eliminate all the fools in life, just as they couldn’t in Shakespeare’s day – that’s why we have great plays.  However, we tolerate networking fools less and less, as we glacially emerge from the Great Recession. Unfortunately, glaciers in today’s world are melting faster than the economy is taking to recover; I am optimistic on both fronts.

Most of that old kind of networking isn’t tolerated anymore.  Real networkers get it: you don’t sell today, you help, or you will lose your relevance and your reputation, both of which will be hard to rebuild.

I find that many people that aren’t into networking are forced into it when they lose their jobs thanks to the New Normal (yes, people still lose their jobs). I heard from a person recently launched into the world of transition on the day before Thanksgiving. They worked for a company that says that customer care is their first priority. Um, right.

I also think that many people who aren’t great networkers go to the wrong places, simply because they don’t know the lay of the land. They have a superficial networking experience set, which can lead to bad experiences and journeys. Nobody gets trained on networking; unfortunately, college programs don’t teach networking. They should change that.

Human interaction has changed rapidly.  Over 70% of women take their smart phones to the bathroom with them. We tweet with strangers, yet we don’t bother to know our neighbors. I often speak with frustrated people who tell me they’ll try to contact people, or send new business proposals to them, but they’ll get no response in return. Even after repeated outreach, all they experience is silence on the other end.

Yes, we have lost some business etiquette in the New Normal. However, we are over-capacitated. That’s our world today, whether you like it or not. You just have to decide what type of person you want to be and what kind of reputation you want to foster. In the New Normal, nobody can hide. In the New Normal, your reputation will not fade away.

You can connect with Hank on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/hankblankcom

Follow his updates on twitter: @hankblank

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/hankblank

You can watch a video by Hank on Networking Tips for Young People.

You may also enjoy these articles:

Are Solopreneurs the Future in the New Normal?

How to Create a Job By Creating a Consulting Career.

Networking in My Hood.

Are you a Netweaver?

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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

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

Follow his updates on twitter @hankblank

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

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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7QgkLCRq4o&list=UUEigDTyDiFGXVfyg7sRErOg&index=9&feature=plcp

Why Reinvention is a Virtual Necessity.

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I recently wrote a blog called Out of the Game which outlined the importance of staying current and connected on your career path and personal development.

There used to be an expression I would hear quite often.  “They are a dinosaur.”  It was really a description of a person or a company who was not current on emerging trends.  For instance, agencies that were slow to adopt digital solutions versus traditional advertising.

The iPhone is about five years old and more than 75 million have been sold.  Kodak is going into bankruptcy protection.  The Olympics are coming up soon and not too many people will be capturing magic moments using Kodachrome.  A decade ago, Kodak may have been sponsoring the Olympics.

I know a friend who was recently in transition.  They shared with me that the last job they found was in the newspaper ten years ago.  If you told somebody today that you were job hunting in the newspaper they would think that you were pretty much out of touch.

I started blogging two years ago after I heard Tony Heish from Zappos speak at a combined Harvard/USC event in May.  During his presentation he said “Follow Your Dream and the Money Will Come.” That May wasn’t a particularly robust time and I thought to myself that is easy for you to say because you made $100 million on your first deal.

After two years of blogging I have had thousands of people read my blog.  In fact more people read my blog some days than visit my site in a month.

Things change and we need to reinvent and change.  Today your Linkedin profile is more important than your resume.  Your first impression is not created by your Elevator Speech but by your Google presence.

There are two catalysts for reinvention based on my personal experience.  Networking and Youth.

Today’s youth surrounds technology.  You want to be immersed in technology.  Surround yourself with youth.  Ten years ago I started using college students or recent graduates as paid interns to help me with tasks.  They can’t write a blog but they can certainly find places to repurpose it in discussion groups.

I love it when some approach me and ask,” Have you ever thought of doing it this way?”  We generally start doing it that way.

Currently the look of my Word Press blog is being updated by Dalip Jaggi who is 22 year old. He recently developed a couple of mobile apps.  My YouTube videos are shot by SparkHouse in Costa Mesa.  Their CEO, Torrey Tayenaka is 25.  I make a call on my iPhone with a local 949 number.  One of my creative partners Dante Fiorini answers it.  He is in Argentina.

How did I meet Dalip and Torrey?  By networking.  Your network is your engine of reinvention.  The more diverse it is, the more opportunities for growth it can provide.  A constant pattern of networking regenerates you and puts you on new roads of discovery.

The dinosaurs that emerged from the Ice Age weren’t the ones that were the biggest or the strongest.  They were the ones that were the quickest to adapt.  Nothing’s changed.

 

Connect with Hank on LinkedIn, Twitter, & Facebook:

    

Watch: How to Rise Above the Crowd.

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

The Opposite of Networking is Not Working.

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I network and speak on networking often.  I included a truism that somebody sent me years ago in a recent blog I wrote on The Currencies of Networking.  It was that “The Opposite of Networking is Not Working.”  My thanks to the person who sent me that a few years ago.

I think it created a light bulb moment for a few people who seemed to enjoy its simplicity and its truth.

Yes the Opposite of Networking is Not Working.  If you don’t network your career as well as your life is not aligned. Continue reading

The New Employer Employee Dance.

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While travelling recently I read a new survey in USA Today Snapshots on Loyalty Gap perceptions between Employers and Employees.  It shared that 59% of employers in 2011 felt that they were very loyal to their employees and that percentage had increased from 52% in 2010.

At the same time, only 32% of employees believed that their employer was very loyal to them and that percentage had declined from 40% in 2010.

Clearly employers and employees are not on the same page.

When I share these stats with some of my peers virtually no one feels that employers are loyal.  I don’t think that anyone who has been through the great recession wouldn’t be skeptical about those findings.  We live in times in the New Normal where companies are cash rich and employee lean.

In one generation of working we have moved from an employer-employee relationships where thirty years ago it was the norm for a person to be hired into an organization out of school and then remain for the next 20 or 25 years or longer with that company and then retire.  The term gold watch has disappeared from the work lexicon.

But now we are at a Mexican Standoff so to speak where employers need top talent and people want jobs but at the same time employees don’t trust their employer and would move to a better opportunity at the drop of the hat because they know that employer would fire them at the sign of any economic downturn.  They have shared many beers with friends and associates or spouses who texted them that they had just been let go a month after being told by their boss they were great.  I know of many Millennials who have had three jobs already.

I also recently read a very interesting blog by Sarah Miller Caldicott on the definition of progress for Gen Y’s. She outlines that Gen Y’s are looking for flexibility in their work environment including access to social networks.  She wrote that “Gen Y seeks participation in collaborative activity that involves sweeps of people including-but also lying beyond-those co-habiting their office space.”

I share the same belief and have posted some blogs recently on my belief that the most successful companies in the future will be the ones who train their employees to be the best networked.

Smart companies will foster smarter employees and make them more marketable.

Recently I heard about one Fortune 500 company who was actively training their employees to have optimized profiles on Linkedin and had implemented a four week training program with prizes such as iPads.  I have heard whispers of similar activities with other companies.

Here is the New Employer -Employee Win Win.  Smart companies will start by training all their employees to rock on Linkedin because of its business focus and allow them to access to social networks during working hours.  They will provide them with Linkedin recommendations for their employee profiles.

Employers will also work hard to make their employees more marketable while they are with them.  That will be today’s curriculum of professional development and a definition of a company that is best to work for.  They will also train them how to network.  Employees will appreciate that and as a result they will be better equipped to do their jobs and if things should change, more marketable, and it will be quicker to find a new job.

In return employees will recognize that to a degree their employer has their back to a degree and will channel their network to help them and their employer succeed.  A tenuous dance and new employer-employee contract perhaps but better than the Employer blah blah outlined in the USA Snapshot.

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 his video called How to Rise Above the Crowd.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bkO7efleWX4&list=UUEigDTyDiFGXVfyg7sRErOg&index=5&feature=plcp

Creating A Well Networked Company

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I recently posted a blog outlining that the Most Successful Companies Will be the Best Networked Companies and will train their Employees How to Network. The bottom line of that blog was that well networked companies will be better able to compete in the New Normal because they will be the best resourced.

I rarely hear about companies who train their employees to master LinkedIn or other social media platforms outside of the Marketing Departments. I believe that company wide networking training should be the norm today. I am always amazed how many sales people or New Business people who aren’t skilled with LinkedIn. Today you can’t afford not to.

Want more loyal customers? In today’s competitive environment it’s smart to surround your clients with multiple touch points. The more the better. Employees in every department should be LinkedIn with their counterparts at each of their clients instead of just 2-3 contact points in sales or other departments. In a slow growing economy all your clients are being targeted by your competitors so you have to be drilled down into every level of your client’s organization.

Want to recruit better people quicker? Train your employees to network and you will create a recruitment funnel.

Want your company to be more entrepreneurial? Train you employees to network and you will hear about opportunities before your competitors.

Want to solve problems quicker? Train your employees to network. Well networked people are solution centers. Networking makes your smarter and saves you time and money because well networked people are connecting to numerous people who have experience in a myriad of areas. I have always believed that it is better to go to your network to solve your problems before you go to Google.

I also believe that each organization should publish a monthly calendar of appropriate networking events that is shared with all their employees. Employees at all levels should be encouraged to attend these events on a regular basis. Your company’s employees should cover all the events. Networking is a very efficient way of keeping your company’s name out there constantly. Everybody needs to be a hunter today.

Today successful companies are networked companies.

Connect with Hank on LinkedIn, Twitter, & Facebook:

    

Watch: How to Rise Above the Crowd