The Golden Rule of Networking
"For several months," says Lori Feldman in an article at MarketingProfs, "I've been asked almost weekly to help someone who's just lost a paycheck to find their next one." Sound familiar? When it first happens to our friends and family, we're very sympathetic—after all, we may be next on the chopping block.
We begin to lose our patience, however, when these panicked jobseekers begin to bombard us with what she terms "recruitment spam." Feldman compares the syndrome to that of new waiters who act like they've never eaten in a restaurant. "[T]hey're oblivious to connecting what they liked and what drove them crazy when they were being served to how to take care of their customers," she says. "They're just too focused on themselves and their own discomfort level."
Feldman suggests laying the groundwork that will make your email or phone call a welcome, and not a dreaded, prospect. Here's some of her advice:
- Establish an online reputation/brand. "If you can't be personally googled,'" she notes, "you might as well not exist."
- Show respect for those you contact. If your roles were reversed, what would make you amenable to such a request? Feldman resents those who appear from nowhere and want to pick her brain. "But I'd be impressed if you read my blog, then commented or submitted one of my posts to a social media site."
Your skill set gives you the upper hand, whether you're considering the possibility of a layoff or actively engaged in a job hunt—your Marketing Inspiration is to use it. "[T]he work you put into documenting your accomplishments online and taking an interest in others in your field is a long-term investment in yourself," says Feldman.
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