Networks and Networking: More Than A Cocktail Party

3, 2, 1 – hit listen! In my latest podcast interview, I chat all things networking for career re-launchers with iRelaunch Chair and Co-founder Carol Fishman Cohen. iRelaunch is all about getting professionals back to work after a career break  – and networks are vital to making that happen.

A quick recap of my 3, 2, 1 iRelaunch interview:

  • Prepare for the unexpected! @1:29 I share my career history. Yes, sometimes in life you land where you least imagined or expected.
  • Networks expand a limited mindset! @4:10 I share how before I diversifying my network, I hadn’t seen my career in the full light of possibilities for my skill set.
  • Tune in @5:45 to understand how I have approached taking risk in my career.  The key? Have a marketable skill set.
  • How do I define networking? @12:20 I share my definition with Carol and no, it has nothing to do with running around to cocktail parties.
  • Reviving dormant networks! @14:18 Carol and I tackle this challenging topic. To relieve a few networking fears, know this: it doesn’t take much to keep a relationship warm. Wishing someone happy birthday or sending out holiday cards may be enough to keep a dormant relationship/network alive.
  • We all remember good working relationships. If you invested in your colleagues in the past, that will pay dividends in the future. @16:20 I discuss easing back into a connection (and share, a personal example of an outreach after 8+ years). Communication can resurrect the beauty of a past working relationship.
  • Send the communication you’d like to receive. @21.20 I urge listeners to put themselves in the shoes of the recipient of their targeted email. What’s going on in their lives – and at the time of day you’re reaching out? What may be holding back a response, may be something rather fixable (i.e. leaving a voicemail at the end of the day?).
  • @26:00 Carol asks me about references. My suggestion is to script the response and jog the person’s memory (i.e. make it easier for them to say YES to your request).
  • Should you reach out? @28:00 I remind listeners that we all have messy, complicated lives. Worry about crafting a well researched message not whether or not to send it.
  • Is networking a self-interested activity? YES. @29:20 Networking by definition is self-interested, but the key is to take in the self-interest of the other person into account.
  • What format to use for outreach? The answer @30:18 (spoiler alert: it depends on the recipient).
  • @34:30 Carol asks for my top networking tips for re-launchers. My TOP tip? Ground your activities in a goal. When you don’t know why you’re undertaking an activity, you’ll be hesitant to continue it.

You could argue my networking approach is harder, however, I think of it as smarter! It takes time to send out 100 resumes (as many career re-launchers do) and then more draining, demoralizing time wasted as you wait for a response. How  much better would it be to drill down on your goals and send a handful of finely focused communications?

Finally @38:00 I address COLD EMAILING and the fabulous roadmap to that task found at page 59 of Build Your Dream Network.