We all apparently know 250 people….. some of you may be responding “yes of course I do?” or “really I don’t even know 10!”. Well when it comes to networking it doesn’t really matter how many we do know it is how we manage the connections we do have. It is also important to continually manage your connections in a strategic way to keep your network current and alive.
When was the last time you sat down to take a strategic look at your current network to see if this is in area you need to do some work on. For most people it becomes important when they find themselves job hunting. Suddenly we start picking up the phone or sending emails to people we haven’t connected with for a very long time in the hope they might know of some suitable roles. This is far from ideal.
A high performer (job hunting or not) continually manages their network, keeps connected with everyone but in different ways and in different timeframes. The skilled networker is just as keen to help others grow their networks and put people in touch with each other as they are to make new connections themselves. There is nothing more rewarding than putting two people in touch with each other that can help both people achieve personal or work goals.
When you sit down to strategically review your network do you have any gaps? Do you have people who challenge your thinking, do you have people who you can go to who inspire you?, do you have people in your network who you can contact when things get really tough and you need some advice? Do you have people in your network who have an equally good network when you are looking to hire people or get specific expert advice on a subject?
What sort of person are you in other peoples network? Its a two way street networking when it works well…….
Over the past few weeks in a variety of our workshops a common theme has emerged. When trying to secure a job or trying to progress within a company ,people are coming across barriers. We hear phrases like “ I have applied for lots of jobs but heard nothing” or “ the agencies said they would ring back and they haven’t” or “there is nowhere for me to progress in this company” or “that department never has any vacancies or “none of the managers are ever going to leave so I will never get promotion”.
There is a common theme with all of these statements… the individuals are not taking the action upon themselves; they are waiting for others to take action on their behalf.
At a presentation last week one senior manager asked a great question “so what do you plan to do about it then?” This is exactly the thought provoking question that needs to be asked so that we as individuals realise if we want something badly enough then we need to take ownership ourselves. Everyone is extremely busy and they do intend to get back to you, they do intend to look out for career opportunities for you but unfortunately its not their top priority and other things on the to do list take over.
Make your future your priority, decide what you want to achieve, identify those people that can help you but make it easy for them… you drive the action, keep it a priority, don’t give up, keep communicating, consider alternatives. Take ownership for your own future , you may be surprised how quick things happen when you do?
I have met a lot of different people this week… Working with corporate clients, holding events and being a guest at 3 different hotels, plus attending a careers event last night at the University West of England.
When I think of the people who have impressed me the most this week they have all displayed the 3 qualities in the title of this blog:
- Energy – going about their job in a positive way and demonstrating they enjoy what they do.
- Focus – on what they are doing; be that customer service, being part of a management team, or students focused on activities that support their career options.
- Action – taken to meet customer needs, to meet team goals, or to proactively own their career.
If I also reflect on the people I enjoy working with – the people I want to be part of my team and the people I choose to recruit – these are the qualities I look for in an individual.
I often talk about Energy Givers and Energy Takers.
Which are you?
Welcome to The Kudos Group’s first ever blog! We hope you’ll keep reading…
As we are about to launch our new offering – www.myjobcoach.co.uk – I (Sandra Webber, Director here at Kudos) am thinking about who has inspired me this week in the world of work? The answer: two people at opposite ends of the career journey!
Person one is a character from a recent programme on a Channel 4 Documentary – Fabulous Fashionistas – who still loved her job and she was 87! Check out the trailer:
(Full documentary: http://www.channel4.com/programmes/fabulous-fashionistas/4od)
The moral of the story here, to coin a phrase and a familiar hashtag, is – #dosomethingyoulove
The other person I found inspiring, was a young graduate who had secured a job – fresh out of uni. The job was going well, he loved the team, his manager was good, everything looked perfect until he was called into the office and told that due to financial pressure they were making redundancies! He was understandably devastated; the career he thought he had embarked on came to an abrupt end without any warning.
As I type, to his credit and with help from a supportive recruitment agency, he is being interviewed for another good role – only 3 working days later! Fingers crossed he is back in employment soon – and he will have acquired a valuable skill in the process by learning to cope with change.
So here is my reflection on the week and advice to all of you out there looking for your first ever position, promotion, or a career change:
Find a job you love to do and learn to adapt quickly to change.