Back in February, I was one of the featured authors at Happier Hours (alongside the fabulous Phyllis Korkki author of “The Big Thing”). 100 or so avid book lovers from a variety of walks of life regularly attend this modern literary salon. One attendee I spoke to was feeling stuck in a role she loved (but one with limited prospects for advancement). Her ambition was chaffing against the company’s org chart. My eyes lit up as she described the situation. Like a career doctor I handed her my card and a prescription: “Read the book, then email me with any questions.”
She emailed later that evening to say she had started reading the book on the way home from the event, then sent this second email a few days later:
“I’ve had a very productive time since we met. I’m half way through your book but had to put it down to start putting your ideas into action! What I’ve done because of your book:
1. Created my own networking map.
2. Identified key people who made the warm introductions for my last several jobs.
3. Emailed my former mentor, my former boss, my college advisor, and 2 colleagues with whom I’ve lost touch. (I offered to assist them in varying ways, per your suggestion.)
4. Decided to write a letter of testimony for one of my college professor’s tenure portfolio, as a way of paying it forward and showing gratitude.
5. Decided to write to a new colleague to thank her for providing such helpful insight on a topic that has confused me for years.
6. Browsed groups to join through Meet Up, Linkedin and Facebook.
7. And most importantly, I have changed my approach to my goal. I’m looking to change jobs and instead of spending time applying to jobs at companies that don’t know me, I’m spending time reconnecting with contacts, and identifying new ones to meet.
Networking is taking action — to move your career ahead. What actions can you start taking today?