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How To Make A Net – Work

How To Make A Net – Work
Written by Craig Warren

Many job seekers are confused about networking and
therefore doubt its effectiveness. Networking is the art
of building and maintaining mutually beneficial
relationships. So, like anything else, networking
requires a bit of practice and finesse, but if done
correctly, networking can be an invaluable part of
your job search campaign.

Here are a few tips that can help develop a network that
works for you:

Be Patient

Networking doesn’t happen overnight; it’s a process.
Networking is not just something you can check off your
job search list like “Send resume to Pfizer”.

While people may want to help you, they might not be able
to do so right away. Quite simply, you may not be the
first item on their agenda. So, if someone agrees to meet
with you but can’t do so immediately, accept their offer
graciously and patiently. Never let an opportunity to
meet with someone during the course of networking slip
away. Always be open to meeting!

Be Authentic and Kind

When you do meet with someone resulting from your
scheduling attempts, take a sincere interest in their
life, not just the information or possible assistance
they can offer you. Don’t push people for their knowledge
or connections and then abandon the relationship.
Networking means fostering relationships. This objective
cannot be achieved by one person constantly taking while
the other person constantly gives information or time.
Relationships are built on trust and sharing over time.

Remember, one day you might be in a reverse career
position so be considerate and respectful to all you
meet. Find ways to periodically reconnect with the
contacts in your network to stay up to date on their
lives and let them know that you genuinely care about
what is going on with them. Also, connecting and
re-connecting, take the time to let them know that their
advice and counsel was heard and put to good use.
Acknowledging their individual value to you and to your
career. Reinforcement of the time and advice offered by
those in your network will foster gratefulness, awareness
of their value to you and encourage them to continue
helping you and others.

Be a Conduit

Remember, the objective of networking is well more
networking. You should be constantly adding people to
your list of contacts. Always find more contacts to meet
and in turn, become a great connector yourself! Open up
your network to others. Hopefully they’ll follow suit and
do the same for you, keeping the cycle going. Think about
those contacts who could help others in your network,then
introduce them!

Be a Teacher

Keep in mind that not everyone you meet will understand
what networking is or how they can help you. Many people
think that the best way they can help you as a job seeker
is to take your resume and pass it along to their human
resources department. While their intentions are noble,
their strategy won’t help you and could actually wind up
being counter-productive and consequently,losing you a
great job.

HR managers, like recruiters, are sometimes only
motivated to take action on your resume if there is a
current job opening within the organization that matches
your skills. If a position is not available, they have no
incentive to contact you and the connection is lost.

Rather than giving your contacts a resume, ask them if
they could introduce you to a member of their company so
that you can learn more about their position, industry
and organization. This way, you’ll learn more about the
company, share information about yourself and begin to
build a relationship rather than ending up as just
another resume lost at the bottom of the pile.

Be a Helper

Networking is all about reciprocity. No matter who you’re
dealing with, you should always try to give more than you
receive. For example, if you have information about a
particular company, industry, or educational program that
would be valuable to someone in your network, share it.
By sharing you will help others and in turn, others will
help you.

Whether you’re currently employed or job seeking is
irrelevant – networking is a constant process. Obviously,
you’ll be more on the receiving end of your contacts’
information when you’re on the look out for a new job.
But that just means you need to work that much harder at
giving information and sharing your network while happily

If you’re constantly looking for ways to help people in
your network achieve their goals, they’ll be much more
likely to help you in return.

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Networking for Success

Networking for Success
Copyright © Craig Warren

In my mind, small talk basically consists of 3 phases:
-> The ice breaker
-> Get to know you better
-> Graceful exit
So let’s go ahead and briefly touch on each phase and in
turn give you some concrete takeaway strategies that you
can apply immediately for each.

Phase 1: The Ice Breaker

So you attend a networking event you make eye contact
with someone you want to meet, you approach them and
introduce yourself now what?

Well having a few powerful, open-ended ice breaker
questions should certainly do the trick. For example:
A tried and true ice breaker is the proverbial, So Jeff,
what do you do? In other words Jeff, what business are
you in? Now people love talking about themselves and
their business so the idea here is to get them started
talking. Most people also love to hear the sound of
their own voice so the ice breaker question is critical
and essentially sets the tone and potential for the

Another good ice breaker could be, So Jeff, what brings
you here today? Now notice on these sample ice breaker
questions I’ve repeated the person’s name. First off, by
doing this it will help burn that person’s name into my
head so I don’t forget it. Secondly, people love the
sound of their own name so don’t be afraid to use it
throughout your conversation.

Phase 2: Get To Know You Better

Depending on the results of the ice breaker questions
you should by now be able to determine whether or not
it makes sense to get to know this person better. If
not, simply skip this phase and go into your graceful
exit. But if you do see a synergy here, by all means
try some of these again open-ended, getting to know you
better questions:

* So Jeff, how did you get into that business?
* What types of challenges keep you up at night?
* Jeff, help me out here, draw me a mental picture,
what does success look like for you and your business?
* Whats new in your industry these days? Any events or
trends that are shaping it?

Now you can use one, two, all of these questions, or more
if the situation permits. However, be careful here not to
dominate and monopolize someones time. If you’re at a
networking event, there’s a good chance that they’re there
to network and meet other people as well, so it may make
sense to go to the graceful exit phase and encourage that
you two get together in the near future.

Phase 3: Graceful Exit

It’s vastly important how you leave a conversation as this
is the last impression you make on that person. We’re not
looking to create any animosity here by rudely blowing
someone off. The key here is as this phases title states,
is to exit gracefully.

A key difference between the types of questions or
statements you make in this phase as opposed to the
previous two phases is that now you shift to using
close-ended ones.

For example: Introduce the person to someone else that
may be of interest to them and then politely excuse
yourself. The dialogue can go something like this: Hey
Cindy Id like you to meet Jeff. Jeff’s in the xyz industry
as well and I just felt that you two should meet. Now
they exchange pleasantries and you immediately exit the
conversation by saying something like, Well you two
probably have a bunch to talk about. Cindy I’ll catch up
with you later and Jeff, it was great meeting you.
Another example of a graceful exit may be: I can
certainly see some synergy between what you and I do.
Can I give you a call next week to set up some time to
talk further? Or, its been great meeting you, will I see
you at future meetings? And lastly, wow, this is quite an
event don’t you think? Well, we should probably keep moving
it was great meeting you Jeff!

So now you’re aware of and armed with some actual
strategies for the 3 phases of small talk. The key now is
to get in the game and practice, practice, practice and
you too can see the results you would like for your

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