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

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The Best Companies To Work For

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I am sure that wherever you live there are publications that yearly publish their list of Best Companies to Work For. Both OC Metro and the OC Register do in my hood. CNN and Fortune have their lists as well.

We have all read about the great perks like free food, on site gyms, day care centers, free massages, basketball courts, dry cleaners on premise, Foosball games in the office, free laundry, and the company day at Disney. Continue reading

Has Your Job Search Passed Its’ Expiry Date?

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Although the employment outlook is getting better, many great people remain on the sideline.  Some are getting increasingly frustrated as they see others get hired.

As a Co Founder of Laguna Niguel Connectors and a person that has spoken to numerous transition groups throughout Southern California I have heard many stories. I also see a lot of people making mistakes in their job search.

As a consultant who has to create a job for himself each and every day I can relate to the journey of the job hunt as I am perpetually unemployed.

So here are some thoughts.

First. Stop Making Sense.  This is the New Normal and many things don’t make sense.  Banks are more liquid than they have been in decades and yet don’t lend money to businesses.  Companies have more cash on hand then ever and don’t hire.  I ran into somebody last week who spent the majority of time during our interaction telling me why the company’s decision not to hire him was a mistake and didn’t make sense.  Waste of energy.

Don’t consume rejection. You have to be clinical not emotional about job search. Focusing on what you can’t control is counterproductive.  In the Old Normal, if you had four leads you usually could count on closing one deal.  In the New Normal, you need ten leads in your pipeline. It is the same with job hunting.  That is the reality.

If you have been in the job hunt for a long time it is time for a personal remodel.  You need to regain your edge. It is time for renewal.  Time to lose those ten pounds you have been talking about.  It’s time to get your haircut styled in a new way, start wearing hats, wear scarves, and try new colors. Do something different to change your appearance.  You need to look edgier and unique to create impressions. Time to go to Banana Republic and find somebody much younger than you and ask them to dress you. Do it.  If your kids think you are boring you are.

Reinvent yourself.  Eight of the ten things I do today I didn’t do ten years ago.  What new product offerings or skills do you have that you didn’t have five years ago? If the answer is none, you aren’t going to succeed in the New Normal.  The iPhone is five years ago.

Stop Wasting Your Time.  I see countless people in job hunting mode wasting their time.  Recently somebody connected with me because I was Linkedin with somebody at a company that was looking for an AE.  An AE is a person who has about five years experience in the advertising game.  This person had twenty years marketing experience and had not been an AE at an agency in 15 years. After all those years in the game that’s what they had learned about targeting?  Total waste of time.  Have a high probability strategy in your job hunt.

Don’t retreat.  Advance.  Many people start retrenching the longer they job search goes.  They stop going to networking events because they think they cost money.  Are you crazy? They become Marketers who are afraid to spend.  They retreat to hide behind their computers and chase job posts on job sites like millions of other people.  Don’t fall into that trap.  Get out more and show everyone your new look.

Disrupt your routine.  If you don’t stretch you don’t learn.

Mentor.  You have great skills to share.  There is no other measure of personal success than to contribute to the uplifting of our youth and they need some help these days.  A thriving Society is defined by how much it invests in its youth.  Mentoring today provides mutually beneficial social currency and it could lead to financial currency.

Hank Blank started his career in Canada working on McDonald’s at DDB.  Hank then worked at JWT in Toronto and Chicago where he worked for ten years.  JWT’s Chicago office opened in 1891 and closed a couple of years ago during the Great Recession.  Hank now works in the New Normal.

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 a video on How to Create a Job.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMSFqT9M_FQ

The New Glass Ceiling

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We all know about the term Glass Ceiling which refers to the unseen, yet unbreachable barrier that keeps minorities and women from rising to the upper rungs of the corporate ladder, regardless of their qualifications or achievements.

I think that today’s glass ceiling is very low. Today’s glass ceiling is the barrier that young people face in getting their first solid career position. I would say it is probably the hardest it has been for youth to get a job for decades.

Many young job seekers find their job prospects somewhat bleak. I have read that the unemployment rate among young people aged 16 to 24 is around 17% and I am sure that number is probably understated.

Continue reading

Don’t Let Your Network Control Your Time.

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I often speak on networking to companies and organizations across the country and Canada.  I also have been networking for years.  It is the primary fuel driving my consulting career.

I know that one’s network can be a very powerful force. It has been in my life. Your network can nourish you and your network can consume you and all your time if you respond to everyone who tries to network with you. Nobody has that kind of bandwidth.

As a consultant who has to create a job for myself each and every day I have learned that saving money isn’t as important as saving time.  Time is perishable.  Although not always easy, money can be replenished but not time.

I am well aware of the Principle of paying it forward and have practiced that for years. I know the serendipity of networking and how it can bring surprising results.  I also know that the promises of follow up by people I have networked with and helped have often been hollow. Even the practice of good networking Karma needs boundaries and limits to help you deliver on your commitments.

If you have a well established and broad network people try to use it as if it was theirs and it isn’t.  More to come on that.

Sometimes to improve your productivity you have to have say no to networking.  Did I say that?  No to networking.   This can be difficult.  I know it is for me but I am getting better at it.

People often reach out to me because of my vast and elaborate network. However they are often misinformed on my influence. They invent it to rationalize their pursuit. They build their chase on false hope and fabrication. My clients have never asked me for help finding a new CIO or recommendations for new phone systems.  They ask me for advice in my sweet spot capability of marketing.

When some people reach out to me they say let’s get together and see how we can help each other I think that pitch is a little old now and shows they aren’t prepared or well researched.

Let’s face it.  The recession is in its fifth year and I have heard that approach many many times before. We have moved beyond that. That is an elementary invitation and not very compelling.  If you have ideas to help me send them my way.  I might react more favorably to that because I see that you have invested some of your time prior to asking me for my time.

What can you offer that would motivate me not to work on my clients’ business or chase more new business on my own with a better targeted prospect.

I have learned that networking can be like an addiction.  For me it is fun to meet people and connect the dots but I have learned that I can’t fill my days with fun even though it can be a networking adventure.  Sorry.

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 videos on http://www.youtube.com/user/MrHankblank

Here is one called Networking Tips for Those Who Hate to Network.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7QgkLCRq4o