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Posts Tagged ‘Holiday Networking’

The Gift of a Linkedin Connection: Creative Gift Idea #7

Don’t underestimate how you might be able to help someone by inviting them into your network. A Linkedin invitation is ideally a mutually beneficial experience; assuming that both parties are equally invested in their professional networks and they both use Linkedin. So, when you are enjoying the holiday parties of the season, go armed with your business card, and if you don’t have one, now is the time to invest in one. Vistaprint is relatively inexpensive, and easy to design online. This is one present you need to give yourself and the most important piece of information you can have on it is your Linkedin Profile URL. Before you leave, ask others if they have a business card, or give yours card to every person you have talked to, and invite them to connect. You might be the link to helping someone else find a job, and that’s priceless, and not just for the lucky person. Being the essential connection in that process will pay long-term dividends back to you.

So, pay-it forward and put some good will out there this holiday season, everyone will be very grateful and you won’t be forgotten.  A win-win for all. Cost:  Priceless

I invite you to share your thoughts about networking during the holiday season. Have you met any interesting people? Did you invite them to connect? Its not too late. Please comment below or on our facebook page, click here

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The Gift of Expressing Thanks:Creative Gift Idea #6

Even though we may often get caught up in our own needs and desires, most of us do genuinely try to help others.  But do we recognize when others have helped us?  And beyond that, do we even think to thank them?  Sometimes the help we receive, an insightful suggestion, a new idea, an encouragement, an opportunity to help another which results in our helping ourselves far more than the other, remains below our cognitive radar.  Recently, a friend allowed me the opportunity to “help” her by writing a few pieces for her website.  Writing has been something I have had as a career goal for as long as I can remember, but I never actually felt I had “officially” started it.  But by writing for my friend and seeing my words in print, psychologically, I felt my writing career had been launched.  The opportunity my friend gave me to “help” her has helped me and set me on my course in a much greater way than my simple writing could possibly have contributed to her.  Let us try to remember the good we have received and take this holiday season to express genuine gratitude.  In so doing, we will contribute to the circle of positive energy and help create a truly joyous season.

By Camille Kramer

Camille, I am so grateful to you for embracing this idea and thrilled to have you as a guest blogger. I am sure my readers would agree, you are a wonderful writer.

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The Gift of Genuine Interest & Curiosity: Creative Gift Idea # 5

Curiosity is, in great and generous minds, the first passion and the last. – Samuel Johnson

Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known. – Carl Sagan

For better or worse, I have always been intensely curious. I say “for better or worse” because curiosity has been known to get people into trouble, (poor cat!)  but I feel quite grateful for my innate sense of curiosity because without it, I am sure there would be a lot I wouldn’t know, and people I would never meet. I can’t imagine where I would / or WOULDN’T (for that matter) be now!

What about you? Are you naturally curious? If not, here are some tips on how to take advantage of this busy holiday party time, and use curiosity to max your time networking. How can you use curiosity to benefit you while you are in job search mode? Here are some suggestions so that you can leverage the holiday parties over the next week. Find out who is going to be at your various networking events by calling your friends, perusing the evite invitations, or Meetup.com RSVP’s, and then select 1 or 2 acquaintances (or more, per party) who you have always wanted to get to know better but haven’t had the chance. You’ve seen these people at networking events before and you know a little about them and want to know more because they do something you are interested in, worked a company you are exploring, or they are just interesting. If you know they will be at a party you are going to, do some research (No this is not snooping, just a little networking preparation). This way, you will be able to engage in some meaningful conversation, and be ready with some strategic questions that might help you learn more about a company you are interested in, or about their particular expertise. By having learned a little about them, make your acquaintance feel special, and interested in what they do and have to offer, without asking too many questions. Most people loved to be asked advice, and are generally very willing to share their knowledge with interested parties. So, show your genuine interest, and you just might reap the rewards of a more fulfilling conversation.

I would love to hear if you use these suggestions and they work! Drop us a line.  Even better, give us a thumbs up (Like) on Facebook. Thank you!

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The Gift of Listening: Creative Gift Idea #2

Listening is the greatest gift you can give.  By engaging in the act of listening you are giving someone the chance to tell their story. So, in order to really engage with someone, the best thing you can do is listen. I learned this after a powerful experience with master storytellers from the organization Narativ, that there is no story without a listener. However, we humans are easily distracted, and considering these stressful times, we tend to get caught up in our own thoughts, concerns and anxieties that prevent us from listening fully. It has also been found that, despite conventional wisdom, introverts do a better job at “networking” in the long term, because they tend not to talk as much and are therefore, better listeners.  So if you can work on putting those anxieties aside, stop talking for a while, and practice the art and skill of listening, you might be amazed at what you will hear.

So, pay-it-forward (where you can) and put some good will out there this December, everyone will be very grateful and you won’t be forgotten.  Two gifts for the price of $0.

For those reading this, who live close to my office in Stamford, CT I invite you to a lively and hopefully engaging discussion on the mindset of Networking. I know so many people still need to work on this, I hope you will join me. Read more about the Careerfolk Cafe on Tuesday 12/13 at 9.45. Networking and coffee at 9.30. I hope you can make it.

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So it’s Thanksgiving. What do you have to be thankful for?

“So it’s Thanksgiving.  What do I have to be thankful for?  Lost my job, my income, and even my self confidence is slowly slipping away.  I just can’t feel gratitude for what is a disaster in my life.”

Sounds familiar?  Perhaps even expressed by you?

Seems like platitudes abound at this time of year and you are just not buying any of it – nor should you.

Gratitude, contrary to popular opinion, is not something we put on like a new holiday outfit with the accompanying verbiage of how lucky we are to have a roof over our head, to have friends and family, to be in decent health. Not that there is anything wrong with being grateful for these incredible things. But it falls short of the mark.

Thanksgiving is about turning inward and being thankful for who we are, where we have come, and where we plan to go.  It is about a journey and how well and honestly we have made choices along the way.  It is about being able to look ourselves in the eye and genuinely feel we have done our very best and that tomorrow we will do even better. It is about stripping away the non essentials and facing the core.  Because the truth of the matter is that only you can access what you truly need to give thanks for.

You may have lost your job or your career.  You may have to work hard and long to get another and brainstorm and strategize like you have never done before.

But if you can step back and try to be as objective as possible, you may realize you have been given an opportunity – an opportunity for deep inner reflection that does not present itself in the midst of a hectic and frenetic work life with impossible deadlines.

Where do you want to be?  What direction do you want to pursue? What was right about what you no longer have and what conflicted with who you really are?

Now is the time for you to set a new course or realign the course you had been on in a more meaningful and satisfying way.

While it may be a stretch to be thankful for losing your job, you can legitimately be grateful for the opportunity to reflect, reassess, refocus, and reinvigorate yourself and your goals.  Life is a precious gift and it is not diminished by temporary setbacks or a run of unsuccessful attempts. In fact, under duress we often gain strength and uncover talents we never knew were there.  Life moves forward and so will you.

Remember the concept, “pay it forward,” where a good deed is repaid by doing something good for someone else?  Well, a new variation could be, “be grateful forward.”  Be grateful for what you will be creating, the new skills you will be learning, and all the joyful possibilities.  In the process, you may touch others in ways you can’t even imagine right now. And so the gratitude will go forward.

Take this lovely holiday of Thanksgiving to give yourself the gift of reflection and the incubation of a new vision.

 

Wishing you and your families the blessings of the season and true light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.

Written with Camille Kramer. Thank you for your insights Camille.

 

 

 

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Making Networking The Best Gift You Can Give, Continued

3. The Gift of a Positive Attitude: You may be in a difficult place with your job search, and understandably so– an ongoing job search, being stuck in a job you hate, or chronic underemployment are all very demoralizing, but an optimistic outlook (ok, not that easy to find at times, but dig up whatever you can), can be beneficial on a number of levels.

Positivity is infectious and the more positive energy you exude, the more others will be inclined to want to talk with you and help you. Taking along your positive attitude might also help someone else who isn’t feeling so good. And if you need a little pick me up, see how other people do it at the Happiness Project or the Positivity Blog. Sometimes, it’s just getting out of the house and being around others that can help you forget about your woes for the time being.

A holiday party, for instance, is a time to put aside those anxieties, relax and make the most of being around old friends, new friends, fellow job seekers and who knows who else, right? Make the decision to show up with the most positive and open mind because the chances of you leaving feeling even better is directly correlated to your positive approach.  Alternatively, take a friend or two to your next party, particularly if you know someone who does not get out enough right now and needs to do more networking, because, the more the merrier when spreading good cheer.

4 Don’t Overlook the Gifts Others Will Have For You. It is easy to go into a networking event or party, take a quick glance, and decide, “There is nobody worth networking with”. Of course, this not a very constructive attitude to go anywhere with, and in fact, since networking is about getting to know people, unless you have really made every effort to do that, that judgment call is inherently false. In fact, everyone has something of value to offer, and if it’s not immediately evident, your task is to engage until you figure out what that nugget of uniqueness is and with enough inquiry and curiosity, you might be pleasantly surprised by what you find out.

You may have holiday parties lined up with family and friend and believe that no networking is going to take place there. However, you might find yourself reconnecting with cousins, aunts, or friends of friends you only get to see around the holidays. Do they know you are on the market for a new opportunity? Do you know what type of work they all do, where they work, and how they got there? Maybe not, so be prepared to find out what they do, ask questions about their career trajectory, and any other good advice they can share with you. Never dismiss anyone and their potential to share something with you and vice versa. With an open mind, and a little curiosity, you might walk away with a lot more than you expected.

5. The Gift of Genuine Interest. Find out who is going to be at your various networking events by calling your friends, perusing the evite invitations, or Meetup.com RSVP’s, and then select 1 or 2 acquaintances (or more, per party) who you have always wanted to get to know better but haven’t had the chance. You’ve seen these people at networking events before and you know a little about them and want to know more because they do something you are interested in, worked a company you are exploring, or they are just interesting. If you know they will be at a party you are going to, do some research (No this is not snooping, just a little networking preparation). This way, you will be able to engage in some meaningful conversation, and be ready with some strategic questions that might help you learn more about a company you are interested in, or about their particular expertise. By having learnt a little about them, make your acquaintance feel special, and interested in what they do and have to offer, without asking too many questions. Most people loved to be asked advice, and are generally very willing to share their knowledge with interested parties. So, show your genuine interest, and you just might reap the rewards of a more fulfilling conversation.

6. The gift of a Linkedin Connection . Don’t underestimate how you might be able to help someone by inviting them into your network. A Linkedin invitation is ideally a mutually beneficial experience; assuming that both parties are equally invested in their professional networks and they both use Linkedin. So, go armed with your business card, and if you don’t have one, now is the time to invest in one. Vistaprint is relatively inexpensive, and easy to design online. This is one present you need to give yourself and the most important piece of information you can have on it is your Linkedin Profile URL. Before you leave, don’t forget give your card to every person you have talked to, and invite them to connect. You might be the link to helping someone else find a job, and that’s priceless, and not just for the lucky person. Being the essential connection in that process will pay long-term dividends back to you.

So, pay-it forward and put some good will out there this holiday season, everyone will be very grateful and you won’t be forgotten.  Ultimately, that’s what really counts.

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How To Make Networking the Best Gift You Can Give!

‘Tis the season and you deserve a break, so I would like to suggest we take the work out of “network” this December. If you’re getting out there anyway and going to have some fun with friends, family, peers and colleagues here are 6 ways to turn your networking into the most valuable gift you can give this season. Since networking is about building relationships, meaningful conversation, asking questions and listening, use this December to practice the Gift of Networking.

A Mindset of Giving Gift

Seems obvious, right, since this is the season, but one of the biggest mistakes people make when networking is going into it with the mindset of “what can I get out of this?” No doubt, having a clear set of goals and what you want to gain from your networking efforts is very important, but that is not what its all about. A common assumption is the thinking that you don’t have anything to give back, particularly if you are not working. This is not true at all and in fact if you go into any environment where you are going to have the opportunity to connect with people, focusing on how you might be able to help someone else is what can really propel your networking efforts forward.

A mindset of giving is the foundation of truly successful networking. Developing  your reputation as someone who is interested, helpful, and trustworthy will lead the way for others to willingly and generously want to help you in times of need. If this was not your understanding of networking before, what better time to start.

The Gift of Listening

In order to really engage with someone, the best thing you can do is listen. In fact, listening is the greatest gift you can give anybody because you are giving someone the chance to tell their story. I learned this weekend after a powerful experience with an organization called Narativ, that there is no story without a listener. However, we humans are easily distracted, and considering these stressful times, we tend to get caught up in our own thoughts, concerns and anxieties that prevent us from listening fully. It has also been found that, despite conventional wisdom, introverts do a better job at “networking” in the long term, because they tend not to talk as much and are therefore, better listeners.  So if you can work on putting those anxieties aside, stop talking for a while, and practice the art and skill of listening, you might be amazed at what you will hear.

So, pay-it-forward (where you can) and put some good will out there this  December, everyone will be very grateful and you won’t be forgotten.  Two gifts for the price of $0.

To read part 2 of the Gift of Networking click here

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