Networking is an effective way to support your job search and career goals. To get the most out of your networking, understand your goals and create a plan to achieve them. By making a conscious decision to create and execute your networking plan you will see greater results.
photo credit: Ramsay2
- First understand what results you want to get from your networking activities. Are you networking because you are in job search mode? Are you looking to build your network to expand your career horizons? Is your goal to identify strategic partners? Is your networking objective to find customers? By understanding what you want to get out of your networking activities, you can best determine where to spend your efforts.
- Next determine where you will find the people you want to network with. Look for professional organizations, Chamber of Commerce, community groups, trade shows and educational events which would be of interest to your ideal networking contacts. Research these opportunities to understand the attendance levels and typical attendee. Determine the cost to attend the event including any membership dues.
- Set a goal for the number of contacts you will meet during the event. By spending 5 to 7 minutes with each contact, you could plan to meet ten people in an hour. By the end of the event you will have a sample of the attendees. You can now determine if attending this event brought you closer to achieving your networking goals.
By creating a plan for your networking activities you will have a better chance to achieve your career and networking goals. Taking the time to plan your next networking activity may take more effort before the event though your networking results will be more rewarding.
Do you wonder how some people gain direction, focus and momentum in their job search? How do they stay so motivated? What are they doing differently than you are? According to the Wall Street Journal, those who use a career coach find their next job 15%-46% faster than those who do not. Here are five benefits you can receive by hiring a career coach.
photo credit: opensourceway
1. Perspective: At times we can get so wrapped up in our day to day activities that we lose perspective. A coach will offer an outside opinion of how the world perceives you.
2. Assessment: Part of a coach’s job is to keep current on industries and trends. They can advise you on how your current skills align with today’s job market. They will help you learn more about yourself and your passion.
3. Goal Setting: You will define both tactical and strategic goals with your coach as well as a road map to achieve these. Together you will discuss your desired career path and lay out the plans to get you to your destination.
4. Motivation: Your coach is there to motivate you and inspire you to be your best. If you are not making progress, your coach will challenge you to be more effective. You’ll get a pat on the back when you deserve it.
5. Accountability: When you meet with your coach, you will review the progress you have made towards achieving your goals. The coach will ask you about road blocks you put in your own path and work with you to remove them or detour around them.
Today, June 1, 2010 is Day 1 of the Blog 30 Day Challenge. My goal is to post 30 new blog postings here over the month of June. Inspired by Connie Green, I accepted the first Blog 30 Day Challenge in April. I had fun, learned a few tips and met interesting bloggers from around the world. I decided to participate in the new challenge as a way to stretch outside my comfort zone and learn more about blogging.
photo credit: videocrab
Over the past two years I started two blogs. I am learning more about working with WordPress blogs and I’ll be sharing this experience with you on this site in the near future. You will see changes to the look and feel of this blog also.
What do you to stretch outside your comfort zone? Where do you look for inspiration and information?
To find other bloggers who have joined the Blog 30 day challenge, search Twitter for hash tag #blog30
Steven Covey‘s 7th habit in his book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People“, is “Sharpen the Saw“. For Covey, this means growth and self renewal in physical, social/emotional, mental, and spiritual areas of your life. By challenging ourselves, we stretch our mental capacity to keep on top of our game.
My husband and I enjoy traveling and learning about local people, customs and cultures of the places we visit. In Hawaii, we often encounter Japanese tourists and residents who speak limited English. We decided to learn to speak Japanese to better communicate when we are on island. My husband devotes more time to this studying and further ahead in this journey. He is able to converse to understand and get his point across in Japanese.
Sharpening the saw in your business is also important. Staying current with evolving trends and technology allows you to better communicate with your customers. What are you doing to sharpen your saw?