How NOT to leave a job

8 07 2011

I’ve been wanting to write a post about how one should NOT leave a job for a while now, but I’ve been too busy at my new job. And then, what do you know? Glassdoor went ahead and shared a blog post from @myfootpath for me! It’s titled, “How To Resign On Good Terms,” and they did a fine job of it.

I especially like the emphasis on giving more than 2 weeks notice when you’re in a higher level or key position. Believe it or not, I know someone that after 8 years actually gave what amounted to less than 2 weeks notice and left when their only back-up was on a planned vacation. It was very sad.

All too often, what I don’t think people consider is just how many bridges they’re burning when they leave without enough notice, don’t help find a replacement or thoroughly document the status of their projects, accounts or work. And, I’m not referring to the bridges in management because, unfortunately, and all too often, they just move on quickly since they don’t typically “do” the person’s work anyway. I’m talking about the bridges that will really matter…those that connect you to your co-workers. Now that’s the group with which you need to be concerned because you never know where they are going to turn up again or how you might need their help in the form of intel, contacts, a reference or a referral from them down the road.

Today, reality is, our 6 degrees of separation are more like 3 or 4 degrees, and more often than not, you will bump into each other again. Don’t let the last thing people remember about you be how you left them high and dry to clean up the mess you may have left behind. Besides, it’s just seriously bad karma, so please take heed people and read the Glassdoor post!

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Learning to Love LinkedIn Tip #11

6 05 2011

I thought I was done with these LinkedIn tips, but apparently I am not. 🙂

I just received an email from LinkedIn about using their messaging system and InMails in particular. They shared 5 good tips on how to make the most of these communications and I thought I should share it because most of this applies not only to InMails, but also to any  email or message within LinkedIn or elsewhere, and regardless of the degree of connection:

1.First impressions count: Use a direct and informative subject line to make it clear what your message is about.  

2.Less is more: Keep your message clear and concise. Longer messages tend to have lower response rates.  

3.Mention common threads: If you know someone in common, or have similar backgrounds, mention it. It’s a great way to start a conversation.  

4.Build credibility: Make sure your LinkedIn Profile is complete and up to date. A strong profile can help strengthen your message.  

5.Reach out with confidence: InMails have a response guarantee*, so don’t be afraid to send them out. (Nice that they have a guarantee, but coming across with confidence is always key…just try not to come across as cocky.)

And, one last thing from Guy Kawasaki with which I totally agree: 

The ideal length for an email is five sentences. The ideal content level is one idea. If you’re asking something reasonable of a reasonable recipient, simply explain who you are in one of two sentences and get to the “ask.” If it’s not reasonable, don’t ask at all.





Five attributes of an ideal connection

25 01 2011

As a follow-up to my recent blog post titled, “How NOT to network in 2011,” I knew I had to share this smart post from John Sumser on Glassdoor.com’s blog. He’s talking about recommendations for a job, but this applies to everything. The link is at the end of this and here’s what motivated me to re-post this:

A connection who doesn’t have all five of the following attributes can’t be helpful. A good person for a recommendation must:

* Know someone who has jobs and the authority to fill them;
* Be credible with that person;
* Be able to pledge her credibility on your ability to do the job;
* Know you well enough to bet her reputation on you; and,
* Believe that your behavior will reflect positively on her.

Referrals in actionAs John notes, “That’s a tall order,” so do think carefully about who and how you ask for recommendations, references or referrals going forward.

Here’s the link to the Glassdoor’s blog post.

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How NOT to network in 2011

1 01 2011

Since so many people have “I will do more networking this year” on their New Year’s resolutions lists, I had to share this:

Here is an example of something I categorize as “leveraging the useless.” I’m also including my explanation of why this type of communication is useless to the sender as well as the receiver. The names have been changed to protect the innocent clueless.Clueless Networking

This message came from someone I’ve never met, referencing someone I barely know, and requesting an intro to someone fairly close to me, as well as someone I protect from inquiries just like this (as she does for me).  This message came into my LinkedIn messages Inbox.

On 11/28/10 3:49 PM, David Paul wrote:
——————–
Sandy,

I just had coffee with Wayne Lunky today as a followup from a seminar he did at his church on job search tips.

He highly recommended your book – ‘I’m at a Networking Event – Now What???’ to me.

I was wondering if you could introduce me to Mary Lorenzo at Expedia so I could learn more about the ‘Business Development’ opportunities they have.

Thank you for your help,

David Paul

——————–

That’s it?! Oh, sure. Let’s imagine what he thinks I should do on his behalf:

Call or email my contact and say, “Hey Mary, I don’t know this person, I barely know the person he referenced, but he apparently wants me to ask you to make time to talk to him about whatever opportunities might exist at your company in an area you have nothing to do with. Is it OK if I give him all your contact info? Oh, and since he’s acquainted with the guy I barely know via something at his church, he must be OK and totally worthy of your referring him into your company for a job and associating yourself with him.”

REALLY?! What I want to know is who is advising people to “network” this way? (He certainly did NOT read MY book!) There are so many things wrong with this I’ll get a headache if I have to go through them, so I’ll just go with the most basic:

The definition of the word “network” according to The Oxford Dictionary is:

nétwerk n. & v. a group of people who exchange information, contacts, and experience for professional or social purposes.

We can then define networking as one’s efforts to create a group, and the key word in the above definition is EXCHANGE.

So, if you’re doing the “ask,” and there’s not even an attempt to at least offer an exchange of some type of future assistance, it’s definitely best to find another way to get to a very distant connection’s contact.

Please feel free to share this post wherever you think it might be seen by people who need this basic business savvy info. Thank you!

Additional note: Even The Onion has something to say about what they refer to as “nonconcensual networking.” CLICK HERE for a chuckle.
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Thank You Notes 101

14 12 2010

“Thank You Notes 101” is the title I decided to give this blog post because it’s better for SEO, but I really wanted to name it “Why Bother With Thank You Notes” or “Thank You Notes and then some…”

I know a lot of folks think that thank you notes are more in the realm of etiquette, but I believe they are not only a sign that someone has good manners, they also indicate what I refer to as “basic business savvy.” Not much else creates the same impression or positive social capital as a well-written, genuine and timely thank you note. (Earlier this year, I even wrote about a “Best Thank You Note Contest” I came across.)

I’ve always found that the end of the year is a great time to turn the “To Do” of holiday card writing into an enjoyable gratitude exercise and use it to write personal thank you notes to:

  • Clients
  • Business/referral partners
  • Vendors
  • Managers
  • Employees
  • Neighbors
  • Others

Write a thank you note in your holiday card
Try to make sure your notes include sentiments like the ones I’ve used or have received over the years:

“I am proud that you think so highly of Bella Domain that you recommended our services to one of your clients. Many thanks for your thoughtfulness.”

“I hardly know how to express my gratitude for your assistance; without it, the deal would never have closed.”

“Your kindness and responsiveness during a very stressful time were deeply appreciated.”

“Words cannot express the heartfelt thanks of my team. Your assistance was invaluable.”

“I was so glad you were able to attend. Your insightful questions helped put the client’s challenges in a whole new light.”

“I appreciated the opportunity to learn the ropes from a real rock star like you.”

“My time is your time – anytime.”

“You were very kind to take time to meet with me about developers. I hope to have the opportunity to return the favor when you’re ready to talk about your launch.”

“The gift of time is priceless. Thanks for the countless hours you devoted to the WITI proposal.”

“We think you have just redefined ‘above and beyond.’ The presentation deck was more than anyone could have imagined.”

“I know you had to put aside some important projects to complete the proposal deck. I just wanted to tell you how much it meant to us. Please use this gift card to take your team out on our behalf.”

“Your efforts added a new dimension to the scope of our upcoming social media project. Thanks for being there when it mattered.”

“I just wanted to let you know that I never take clients for granted. I will do everything possible to continue to deserve your business.”

“Many things have changed since we started doing business together. One thing has not: I value our relationship and will do all I can to strengthen it in the coming year.”

In lieu of a gift

Now, granted, some of the vendors or employees you’re thanking might prefer, and even warrant, a gift card along with the note (see below). However, when you can’t afford gifts, or it’s not appropriate because of a corporate policy, a well-written thank you note creates a lasting impression and is often posted up on a bulletin board and glanced at all year long.  I recently read that President Clinton advised Oprah to write thank you notes in letterform and kept to a single page so they’d be easier for the recipient to frame and hang on a wall. Not exactly what I’m talking about here, but it proves my point. People hang onto thank you notes and the gratitude or recognition within them.

When I managed a large team of what I like to affectionately refer to as “junior mints” (either directly or indirectly), as the VP of Research Operations at a past employer in Chicago, each year-end I would take time throughout the month of December to personalize a holiday card for each member of my staff. I couldn’t afford to buy them each a gift, but I could take the time to write a note thanking them for specific things they’d done during the year or to recognize their unique talents and contributions to the company.  I knew the notes were received as I’d hoped when I would still see them hanging on the cube or office walls of the recipients long after the holidays had past and into the next year.Thank you notes on a cubicle wall

So why not take some time this year to write thank you notes/holiday cards and put some thought into how specific people have helped you in your business, career or life in 2010 and tell them how grateful you are that they’re in your network? You’ll be surprised at how good you’ll feel when you write them and how much good karma you’ll experience once you pass them onto the deserving recipients.

When a gift is appropriate

One word of caution though, if you have biz or referral partners that have sent revenue generating business, or other types of significant opportunities your way, think very carefully about what else you could do to show your gratitude this year. If you haven’t reciprocated or offered them some form of trade, well, that’s just bad business savvy. And, if you’re not sure how you can reciprocate or what they might value in trade, simply ASK THEM.

BTW, as a biz owner you’re allowed gift allowances as a business expense (here’s a WomenEntrepreneur.com article covering this), so if you don’t have a formal referral program in place (which I recommend), or don’t extend some form of a gesture of thanks other than an email, you just might see fewer opportunities or leads sent your way next year.  I’m just saying…..
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Learning to Love LinkedIn Tip #10

29 11 2010

My #10 and final tip for 2010?

Read this blog post titled, “20 LinkedIn Case Studies for Personal Branding” from Kyle Lacy. I spotted it on the Personal Branding Blog. I’m grateful that Kyle culled these stories and saved me the trouble! I think my favorite is #11 because it mentions that Jeff Ragovin of Buddy Media “..found success with quality not quantity.”

I’m certain reading this motivating post will generate some new ideas for career as well as business development activities for the new year. Enjoy! P.S. If you need help developing a strategy for applying any of these to your 2011 goals just email me!

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To whom do I write the thank you card?

25 11 2010

As tough as things have been for most of us these past few years (we’re definitely included in this), I feel that I have so much for which to be grateful this Thanksgiving and now just need to know to whom I write the thank you card?

Between finally getting out of dreary and “frosty” Seattle, thanks to Keith (my incredibly creative and talented husband) landing an amazing opportunity at what we’re pretty certain is his dream interactive agency in San Francisco, and a healthy and happy enough circle of family and friends, I thought I had been blessed enough. However, by seriously shaking things up in our lives and shifting the energy around this year, it appears the universe is now directing some of that famous California sunshine on the many seeds I’ve planted these past few years.

So, why do I want to share some of what I have to be grateful for today? Well, beside it being Thanksgiving, and simply wanting to share my excitement over recent events, I think it is worth explaining that the type of content creation, publicity and media exposure I share below demonstrates what I can also do for my clients. It took plenty of hard, smart and efficient work, and a little bit of good fortune, but it was mainly strategy, tactics and persistent follow-up that made most of what I share below happen.

I'm at a networking event--Now What??? by Sandy Jones-KaminskiSome of the most significant sprouting is around my writing and content creation in the form of  the little seedling that is my book, “I’m at a Networking Event–Now What???” I’d say this little sprout is well on its way to becoming a nice sturdy plant and I have my incredible network of friends, family, contacts, colleagues and fans for helping me get the word out and consistently supporting my efforts in promoting my networking manifesto.  Plus, doing a few 12 Rules of Effective Networking webinars for some non-profits has brought me more good karma than I ever could have imagined and has enabled me to reach way more people than the number of folks that have attended my PIF (pay it forward) Parties to date.  I’ve seen the direct correlation between those webinars and the opportunities that have recently come my way, as well as the new Facebook fans, Twitter followers, Bella Domain Networking group members on LinkedIn, email/blog subscribers and more.

Earlier this year, I was also fortunate enough to get selected as a columnist for WomenEntrepreneur.com where recently my third article for my Networking is Connecting column was recently picked up by FoxNews.com (of all places).  Then, within a few days of that happening, and thanks to a Google alert, I found out that my book was in the #1 spot on the Inc.com 2010 Holiday Gift Guide for business books! Whah?? Such a gift! And with any luck, I’ll soon get to break-even with my publisher, Mitchell Levy of Happy About!

(Soon after the above we noticed that my book was finally ranked less than 100K on Amazon again and was ranked #44,867! It had been in the coveted less-than-100K rank soon after it was released, about a year ago this month.)

Lastly, after spotting the Inc.com recognition, and a few days of jumping up and down with excitement, yesterday, I learned (thanks to another Google alert) that, most likely due to all the activity around these things, I was the featured columnist on the WomenEntrepreneur.com home page (see below)! Sweet!

Now, to whom do you think I should write the thank you card?? Kind of a hard call isn’t it? 😉 Happy Thanksgiving all and please let me know if there is anything I can help YOU be thankful for by next Turkey Day!

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