Have you been made redundant or find yourself on gardening leave and need to kick start your networking? Have you worked extremely hard and performed well in your job over many years at the expense of your personal networking? My quick guidelines below will get you started but there are two points you need to bear in mind.
It is important to get the basics right when looking for your next job and
You will need to face your fears/barriers and get on with it.
a. Think of your career as a project and set up a daily routine – 2/3 days of your week should look something like this:
9 am coffee with John
11 am tea with Jane
12.30 am lunch with Tim
2 pm off to the business library to do some research
5 pm quick chat with recruitment agency
6.30 pm attend industry event of some sort (ok only do this once a week)
During the other days of the week, you should be making sure your web profile is top notch, doing some internet networking and on the hone with people setting up appointments (coffee) for the weeks ahead.
b. As in the work environment, each time you had to face a challenge, you psyched yourself up to keep yourself motivated. Working from home is no different.
c. Do all the difficult stuff first to get it out of the way.
d. Create a personal marketing budget, even if times are hard; invest in yourself and your future.
2. Get your CV into great shape with different versions for different markets.
Get your friends to go over it with a fine toothcomb because it has to:
a. Stand out from the crowd – it is crowded out there.
b. Make sure each version is selling your achievements and experiences to MATCH its particular market.
NB: Don’t spend too long on this. It is very easy to get caught up in the distraction of perfecting your CV but it is tens time more effective to be out there networking. Let me tell you when you have created a job opportunity your motivation to write your CV will be ten times higher than it is without one.
3. Write a list of who you knew – go back at least 3 years and categorise
your list in the following way:
a. Previous managers.
b. People that simply seemed to know everyone and everything – people
who had their fingers on the pulse.
c. Influencers – those who you know were well connected to important people.
d. HR professionals.
e. Friends, family and relatives.
f. Your peer group – people who do what you do.
g. Then everyone else
4. List all the ‘external’ networks:
a. Your last company: Were you part of their alumni? Do they have one?
b. Did you do an MBA or other qualifications through a college/university? Do they run alumni events?
c. Does your profession have a professional body? Check out their website.
d. Talk to your contacts and ask them what organisations they are members of and check out their web sites.
e. There are lots of women’s groups out there that are not expensive – join a few.
5. Online marketing, networking. Check out your online profile:
a. Do you have one?
b. Have you joined Linked In? Go buy “How to Really Use Linked In”, by Jan Vermeiren http://www.how-to-really-use-linkedin.com/en-home.html
c. Does it convey the right message about you?
d. Have you signed up to all the best online agencies?
e. Have you set up alerts from these sites?
f. Have you got your own web site?
NOW GET OUT THERE
Do not give up any networking memberships at all – not even £55 to stay a member of Women in Banking & Finance or City Women or any of the others that will offer you excellent support and the opportunity to connect.
You need to have somewhere to go, to get dressed up for, where you can meet people.
It is vital that you keep up to date, listen to current thought leaders and stay/ get connected.
It is so important you keep on talking about business, issues – yourself
You don’t get opportunities through sitting at home, you get them from being out there networking!