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Networking While Working January 26, 2017

Posted by robewanow in Job Search.
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Networking (job search) while employed is perhaps one of the most difficult things to do well.  You work eight or more hours a day then come home to attend to other personal business and then try to find the time and energy to send out letters requesting a networking meeting and maybe leave enough time to relax with your family.

No time
By david.nikonvscanon

Maybe you are off to a networking event of some type right after work which of course will require some additional activities such as “thank you” or “nice to meet you” notes.

Then there is the question of actually meeting with people with whom you have secured appointments.  Your available time is limited to early morning meetings say before 7am which very few people are able to accommodate, lunch time or immediately after work.    Certainly you cannot line up a networking meeting every day of the week because of your other responsibilities so you are further limited to perhaps 2-3 days a week where you can really advance your networking activities.

What’s a person to do?

With the job market heating up and more opportunities to move on to the next big thing I am sure many of us may face this opportunity (dilemma).

So I ask, what is your suggestion?  How would you manage your networking activities to support a job search while gainfully employed?

I’m waiting for your answers, use the comments section below so we all can benefit from the wisdom of others.

Until next week….

Busy or Productive? February 13, 2014

Posted by robewanow in Job Search.
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During your job search there is certainly no shortage of things to accomplish on a daily, weekly and even monthly basis. You have job listings to scan, LinkedIn profiles to view, meetings to set up and confirm, follow up letters to write and the list goes on and on.

You sure are a busy job searcher…..but are you Productive?

Being busy is good, however it does not mean you are actually “getting work done.” Being productive on the other hand means you age getting the meaningful work done, the activities, tasks etc. that get you one step closer to your next opportunity.

So how do you go from busy to productive?

  1. Review the tasks you do regularly.
  2. Determine which ones add value, keep the valuable ones and ditch the others they are just a distraction.
  3. Prioritize the valuable tasks – which ones offer the biggest payback?
  4. Proportion your time appropriately among these tasks.
  5. Review these tasks at regular intervals (monthly?) and adjust as needed.

Now you are not just a busy job seeker but instead a productive one and this will certainly give you an advantage over the other “busy bodies.”

Until next time….

Create a Schedule and Stick to It June 6, 2013

Posted by robewanow in Job Search.
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I like order in my life, I don’t deal well with chaos.  I prefer to have an agenda, schedule, itinerary, task list, however you describe it.  I like to be in control of the current situation and know what needs to be done over the next hour, day or week.  Go ahead, call me anal-retentive or OCD and I’ll agree with you but hey it helps me sleep at night. 😉

In your job search you too should have some sort of schedule or regular cadence to your search efforts.  As much as possible you should have a regular follow-up schedule with people you are trying to meet with and those you’ve met with. (See last weeks post on follow-up).  I’d also suggest you confine certain activities to specific days of the week.  It’s too easy to get wrapped up doing “internet research” and before you know it you have wasted 2-4 hours of the day which otherwise could have yielded another one-on-one meeting or maybe even an invitation to interview with that company you have been targeting.

The challenge of course is having the discipline to stay the course and focus on that end goal of finding your next opportunity.  The idea is to minimize the distractions which disrupt your schedule and consequently your focus.  Here is a sample schedule for you to consider, adjust it as necessary in order to make it work for you.

Monday-Thursday

  • Check email
  • Update LinkedIn Status
  • Prepare for morning one-on-one meeting
  • Arrange additional one-on-one meetings
  • Prepare for afternoon one-on-one meeting
  • Arrange additional one-on-one meetings
  • Write thank you notes to those you met with
  • Plan next days activities
  • Check email

Friday

  • Check any relevant job boards or bookmarked corporate sites
  • Follow up with recruiters
  • Tweak resume or marketing plan/networking profile as needed based upon feedback received
  • Clean up any loose ends – phone calls, emails, things you promised to deliver but have not done yet
  • Plan for the next week
  • Breathe-Relax-handle the other things in your life do something fun

Until next week….

Priorities February 28, 2013

Posted by robewanow in Job Search.
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I did not post the last couple of weeks due to a couple of things.  I missed on February 14 because I had a lunch date with my wife.  We try to meet at least once a month, usually on Fridays but since Thursday was Valentines day it was only appropriate we move it to that day.

Last week work was overwhelming.  Trying to plan for multiple trade shows one in China, one in the states along with another small one in Taiwan created a perfect storm.  I normally blog during lunch but just could not carve out the time to get it done and forget about trying to do it after work, there are too many competing priorities.

So how do these two experiences relate to the job search? Simple, it all boils down to priorities.

When you’re immersed in your job search it’s easy to lose track of the other things in your life.  True, you must dedicate the proper amount of time to your search but you should not let it consume you.

When you are planning your weekly activities such as who you are meeting with, who you need to follow-up with and who you need to initiate contact with make sure you allow time for your family, yourself and other important parts of your life.  Driving yourself too hard can not only affect your health and your relationships but it can also affect your job search.

When we push to hard sometimes we can find ourselves acting desperate.  When it comes to a job search nothing is more detrimental than desperation.  The people you meet with, speak with, even email with can sense it almost immediately, this could lead to problems securing one-on-one meetings or additional referrals – the life blood of your job search.

Keeping your priorities in focus during your job search keeps you balanced both mentally and physically while simultaneously helping you move forward each week with a clear sense of purpose and direction.

Until next week….

The Converged Model January 3, 2013

Posted by robewanow in Business Development, Job Search.
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As I continue to (slowly) read The Referral Engine in order to improve the marketing of my Photo Booth business I can’t help but see the parallels to the job search and networking.

I already discussed this once before in a post titled Referral Marketing.  I can’t help correlating the most recent chapters regarding how some companies rely on technology to deliver content and context while others prefer to use touch (in person contact) to deliver connection and community.  Most companies (job seekers) are very good at one or the other but the one who will rise above is good at both.   Basically this person (company) leverages technology and touch to deliver the complete package of content-context-connection-community to their prospects, be they potential customers or the target companies on your marketing plan. The person who achieves this is using the “Converged Model.”

Those companies or people who use this model leverage technology (read here – LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook) to create deeper relationships with people and connect with them on a more personal level.  Combining technology (online) with the human touch (offline), brings all four of the “C’s” together strengthening and building your entire network. This convergence also enables easier and more frequent interaction though it should not replace the face-to-face (connection-community) part of the equation.  Many times job seekers can get lulled into a sense of “networking” because they are on LinkedIn for hours a day, this my friends is not going to get you where you need to be.  For sure it will help but its only one part of what you should be doing.

So what did we learn here?  As with everything in life you must strike a balance.  Your job search is no different, you need to find the right balance between tech and touch, one that will enable you to effectively use the converged model of content-context-connection-community to power your job search and achieve your goals in 2013.

Happy New Year!

Until next week….

Spectacular Failure May 10, 2012

Posted by robewanow in Job Search.
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Fail

Photo: Nima Badiey

Yup, that’s what I was at a networking event last week.  I attended the Rochester Business Alliance Mega Mixer at the Strong Museum last Thursday and had high expectations for myself.

This event gathered 12-15 local Chambers of Commerce together in a small trade show like environment.  There were representatives from companies such as Frontier, State Farm Insurance, Bryant and Stratton and the Democrat and Chronicle each with a small table top display.  I’d say there were 100-150 attendees.

I got there 15 minutes early to survey the landscape and observe as people walked in, looking to make eye contact and throw out a friendly hello after they picked up their name badge.  I also moved about the crowd making a point to go the the bar to get a drink and to the various food stations to grab some free grub.  All the while looking to make conversation with those doing the same.

But it never happened.  I tried to chat up few people in the food area, no takers.  Same at the bar.  Ok maybe they were not interested, that’s fine.  I mixed and mingled through the crowd looking for someone to talk with but most seemed thoroughly engaged in conversation with others. I am not a fan of “breaking in” unless I know someone involved in the conversation, making it easier to politely interrupt to say a quick hello and hope for an intro to the others in the group.

What to do?  Well I moved back toward the entrance to continue to watch as people arrived, this has worked well for me in the past but it appeared most of the attendees had already arrived 45 minutes into the event which started at 5:30.

Mingle some more, look for opportunity…..nothing.  Man, just not feelin it tonight, no matter what I do I can’t seem to get engaged.  It happens. Crash and burn, time to leave; there are a few things I need to attend to for my photo booth business anyway so I can get them done sooner rather than later.

What do you do when this happens?  How do you react?  What’s your plan for your next event?

On the plus side I did speak with a couple people who mentioned they read my blog and appreciate my efforts and advice.  That alone made the night worthwhile.  I am glad you find value in this blog.

Thanks for reading and until next week….

Three Reasons to ABN (Always be Networking) April 26, 2012

Posted by robewanow in Job Search.
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The genesis for this weeks post is from the combination of two blog posts.  The first was from American Express Open Forum discussing three reasons you should be networking your start-up and the second was from my friend Arthur Catalanello who this week wrote Networking For Life Or Networking Out Of Necessity?

You come into work each day at 7:00am, maybe you take time to get away from your desk for lunch (if not, you should make time to do this, your brain needs a break) then 5;00 or so rolls around and you are out the door.  After  day like this who has the physical or mental energy to go to a networking event until 6 or  7 then go home and catch up with family business and obligations.

Wouldn’t it be easier to skip it and go next month? It probably would but I’d be willing to bet the same excuse would pop up next month too.

Here are three reasons you should always be networking.

  1. It’s easy.  Remember networking does not always have to happen at an event, it can happen at a school function, in line at Wegmans or at a neighborhood cook out. That’s not to say you should abandon the plethora of networking opportunities offered by all sorts of organizations in the Rochester area but you don’t need to go to each and every one of them either.
  2. Maintain your edge. Meeting new people helps you stay aware and informed of whats going on outside your own little world.  You may find out about a new company coming to town and any potential jobs it may bring, a new Italian restaurant or a smashing deal on carpet cleaning for your house.  (Where did that last idea come from?)
  3. Preparedness. We have all seen how quickly the economy can turn for the worse and how easily companies of all sizes slash their work force.  Maintaining and feeding your network in good times will help ensure its solid and able to help you when times get tough.

Until next week….

How Did I Get Here? April 19, 2012

Posted by robewanow in Job Search.
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As the song Once in a Lifetime from The Talking Heads goes “well, how did I get here?”

Last week I passed the 90 day mark working for Gleason Corporation and its been a wild ride so far.  The days and weeks fly by as there is never a shortage of items requiring my attention.  Having global responsibility for Marketing Communications sure adds a lot more to your plate compared to my previous job where I focused solely on North America.

Getting here was not an easy task, it took longer than I thought and of course the path had its ups and downs mixed with moments of euphoria and self-doubt.  All this was happening while I was still fully employed, launching a new business and getting ready for the holiday season, not what one might consider perfect timing.

Searching for a new opportunity while presently employed is perhaps one of the most difficult things to do.  I think more people will begin to experience this challenge as the economy continues to improve and people start to look for “something better”,  whatever “better” means to them.

While employed you’re in the office from 8-5, making the scheduling of interviews rather difficult, causing people to use vacation time or sick time.   With the interview cycle getting logner this can eat up a good portion of time.  I’d suggest the possibility of after or before hours meetings, maybe even a lunch meeting.

If you are able to schedule an interview during lunch time your next challenge is dress.  Most offices are business casual now, what does it say if you come in wearing a suit and tie more frequently than in the past?  Depending on who you are meeting and how far along in the process you are it is not a bad idea to raise the interview dress question with the person you are meeting.  Most folks would be quite understanding, (they know you are currently working) especially if the meeting is during lunch or another time where you may be expected back at the office (a breakfast meeting for example).

Follow up calls and emails can present another hurdle.  With the proliferation of smartphones staying on top of and responding to your email is easier than ever. I have two suggestions here.  First never use your company email to communicate back and forth with your potential employer.  Your potential employer may see it in bad taste and you could accidentally send the email to someone in your current company or worse yet leave it open on your monitor for all to see.

Instead move to a private area during your break or at lunch, perhaps your car or an area outside and respond to emails and phone calls from there.  Don’t feel comfortable right outside your building?  Take a drive up the block and park somewhere quiet, as long as you are prepared and focused you will have no problem getting this done.

When compared to search for a job while unemployed, conducting a job search while fully employed is full of extra challenges.  However, in similar fashion, preparation, common sense, persistence and patience will pay off in the long run.  It won’t be long before you find yourself saying “Well, how did I get here?”

What do you think?

Until next time….

12 Ways to better networking in 2012 January 5, 2012

Posted by robewanow in Job Search.
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Why not follow along with the crowd, even if its a bit late.

Here are my 12 ways to better networking in 2012.

  1. Get out there
  2. Be seen!  Doing #1 above is not enough, you have to more than show up
  3. Stay positive – positive thoughts produce positive results
  4. Help others before you ask for help (pay it forward)
  5. Stay focused – avoid distractions as much as possible
  6. Don’t eat alone
  7. Buy lunch for someone who is out of work, ask how you can help.  It may be as simple as listening or perhaps buying the previously mentioned lunch.
  8. Find balance between online an offline networking – I’d say tilt the scales more towards offline its too easy to spend an inordinate amount of time online (See #5)
  9. Feed your network, share articles, humor, jobs, etc
  10. Celebrate success
  11. Have fun, laugh
  12. Make time for YOURSELF and your FAMILY.

Until next week….

4 Great Year-End Tips December 22, 2011

Posted by robewanow in Job Search.
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Here are four great tips to improve your networking.  Think about how you can use these in 2012.

My favorite is –  set goals.

I also like the quote “You’re there: do your job and go home.”  This is an interesting way to approach networking and if I combine it with setting goals it may force me to be more efficient than I currently am and get the results I need.

What’s your take?

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Until next YEAR….