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Networks and Networking: More Than A Cocktail Party

By February 6, 2019No Comments

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.

J. Kelly Hoey

J. Kelly Hoey is a problem solver who believes that most professional challenges—whether funding, landing a board position or getting a new job—are solved by tapping into networks.Kelly is a popular speaker on networking, community building and investing issues, especially as they relate to women, and has worked with the IEEE, PGA, Bank of America, Apple and countless others. Follow Kelly on Twitter @jkhoey and on Instagram @jkellyhoey and join the #BYDN community at