Networking is one of the most exhausting things for a job seeker – but also one of the most essential.
But after countless emails, calls or LinkedIn pursuits, how do you find the energy to keep doing it?
I have a number of networking strategies I implement with my Career Coaching clients to help fight networking fatigue. But if you’re looking for an introduction, check out the tips in this Huffington Post article. Here’s a quick intro:
Again, these are some topline tips that have more follow-up detail over at the article. Check it out, and let me know how YOU have fought networking burnout in the past!
I often ask an individual what it is they are trying to accomplish with their career search (i.e., what they want to do in their career), and their answer is something like this:
“Well, I’m good at a lot of things! I could go into marketing since I had some promotional experience at my college radio station. Or, I could go into food service management since I used to be a waiter. I’m also interested in landscaping and thought about starting my own business.”
It begins to sound like a 10-year-old’s response when asked what they want to be when they grow up!
This is not a person who has focus. They clearly don’t know what they are all about or where they want to go with their career.
You can avoid this kind of confusion by developing a marketing strategy. I work with my clients to examine the exploration phase and how to execute it without sounding like a beggar. We also talk about the validation phase that let’s us know if the career “shoe” fits. The final phase is the positioning stage, in which you can truly activate your career without having to answer an ad or chase a job opening!
One of the things I work with Career Coaching clients on all the time is how to effectively network – and a big part of that is simply knowing where to begin.
When you’re at an industry conference, networking event, or local organization happy hour, understanding how to genuinely start an engaging conversation is a big part of the problem. People feel awkward when they approach someone else vice versa.
I have some proprietary tips I give my clients, but if you are looking for some general advice, this Entrepreneur article breaks down some really good, simple tips and rules-of-thumb on starting a conversation:
Read the article for a full breakdown of each tip. Do you have any good stories from starting a conversation at a networking event – good or bad? Comment with your learnings!
Did you know there is a movement to recognize today – March 31 – as International Quit Your Crappy Job Day?
Per this Yahoo! Finance article:
“Way too many people stay in jobs they hate for way too long,” the man behind the plan, Alexander Kjerulf, tells Money Talk News. “We need to shift our perspectives and realize that quitting a job you hate is not an act of weakness [but] a lead to a better work life, a happier home life and a more successful career.”
Now, I’m definitely an advocate of quitting a job that does not fulfill you. However I never recommend making a spontaneous decision to quit. You need to consider the value you have to offer your current job and whether or not that value is being utilized. You need to ask if there is any way to work with management to adjust your role on the team to satisfy your desires.
But what if it’s still not worth it? The article reco’s considering this checklist of reasons it may be time to quit:
The key is this: Don’t just quit. Have a plan to grasp your dream job. Identify goals and a strategy to reach those goals. Know your next step before you take the first one.
There is a right way to quit and a wrong way – and if you’re at a point when you’re not sure which is which, I’m here to talk.
Middle management is a hard place to be.
You have to manage up to a senior manager who expects you to handle projects and situations so they can simply give it the green light – but the senior manager USUALLY still has the final say.
At the same time, the middle manager is trying to manage down to his/her team, keeping things moving and leading effectively – but those team members also know that the senior manager has the final say! This can all lead to a lack of respect by team members, and oversight by the senior manager.
This Entrepreneur article suggests that middle managers are often set up to fail, especially when their senior manager isn’t leading effectively. It also calls out 4 ways to improve the effectiveness of middle management:
Read the whole article for better insight into this situation. If you are a senior manager, consider the position your middle managers are in and the environment you create. Likewise, if you report to a middle manager, try to understand the challenges they face daily and identify how you can find solutions.
And if you are a middle manager, hand in there!
You hear so much about networking.
“It’s just faking relationships to get a job.”
“It’s all about making connections to get ahead.”
“It’s meeting as many people as possible so you have a wider net to cast in the future.”
Nobody ever seems to get it right. Networking IS essential to your career. It IS about making connections and relationships. But it’s so much more. It’s a two-way, mutually beneficial engagement. It’s about helping others as much as getting help.
I recently came across an article titled Networking For Career Development that I believe does a good job of summing up all that networking encompasses:
As a Career Coach, my opinion on the use of recruiters is this: It’s not always right and it’s not always wrong.
Not too long I ago, I blogged on the topic of recruiters – note that the “Schmitz” mentioned below is a sales and marketing recruiter and President of Twin Cities-based Blue Octopus LLC (blueoctopusllc.com):
As for that recruiter, keep this story in mind: Schmitz had a friend who (against Schmitz’s expert advice) paid a recruiter $2,700 for what turned out to be a résumé, cover letter, interview tips and one interview for a job $25,000 below his expectations. And of course, they never found him a job. “Recruiters like me make money when we place people,” says Schmitz. And that fee is paid by the employer — not the job seeker. “We shouldn’t be charging job seekers and unemployed candidates who desperately need the money.”
So, while I am skeptical of recruiters, there are some things that are worth considering. I recently came across an article titled “Career Search: Building Relationships With Recruiters”, that identifies how to start and maintain a healthy relationship with a recruiter that can help you achieve success.
Read the article. Think about how you could, should or should not work with a recruiter.
And if you’ve ever had a successful experience with a recruiter, please share your story in the comments!