Networking defined and why it matters

27 07 2011

Find out how I define networking and why I think it matters by watching the interview I did with Steve Piazzale, Ph.D., the host of  “You’re Hired!”

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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 #5

20 05 2010

If you can’t find a LinkedIn group that matches your needs, just create one of your own!  It’s a fairly easy process and one where most of the work is actually done before you even create the group within LinkedIn.

One of the first things you need to do is describe the group’s mission or purpose, your goals for the group, and then consider deciding on a code of conduct as well.  As an example, for my Bella Domain Networking group one of my “rules” is: Be nice or leave. You might also want to include things like what your policy will be if members post things that aren’t relevant to the group, start contacting members with direct solicitations or are just way “off topic” in general.

When you’re ready to create and promote the group you can even upload a logo/icon for it (caution: there is a max. on the number of times you can change the image), and if set up correctly, any group can be super easy to manage and moderate. For some inspiration, please feel free to check out the group I launched last year called Bella Domain Networking.

Bella Domain Networking Group on LinkedIn

CLICK HERE to Subscribe to the Bella Domain Blog by Email

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Please pick my brain…for a fee!

12 05 2010

For the next 6 weeks, and for 2 days out of each week, I’m offering friends of friends and/or my Seattle contacts a 50 minute career search or biz dev strategy session for only $50.

WE ARE SOLD OUT! THANK YOU FOR ALL THE REFERRALS!

Why 50-4-50? Because over the past (almost) 5 years, as many of your know, or have personally experienced, I have acquired a considerable amount of social capital in, and knowledge of the Puget Sound market. So, for a few personal as well as professional reasons, I want to share what I can with those that need it before July 1st.

And, just in case you need further convincing of the value I can offer, below you’ll find what a few people have had to say:

“Sandy is generous, outgoing and incredibly knowledgeable about social networking and tackling the ever-challenging job search. After a one hour of meeting with her, I was left with tons of fabulous job search ideas, networking tips of the trade, and a list of new groups and forums that I had not uncovered on my own despite months of searching. Sandy gave me the extra motivation and knowledge I needed to hit the ground running.”

Service Category: Career Coach, Networking Strategist

Top Qualities: Personable, Expert, High Integrity

Jennifer Deakin Noseworthy, Product Marketer (for hire)

“As a new professional in Seattle, Sandy has been an incredible resource in connecting me to the right business partners based on my needs. She has an uncanny ability to quickly assess situations and effectively come up with smart strategic solutions. I recommend her as a great asset to any organization.”

Julie Goldthwait, VP of Marketing, Recruiting.com (fka Jobster)

I’m only offering this coaching on Tuesdays (in Seattle) and Thursdays (on Mercer Island) during the weeks of May 17 through June 25 only and will provide 50 minutes of focused, one-on-one networking strategy coaching (for job search or biz lead gen) as well as connections/introductions on a personalized and pre-paid via PayPal only basis (they take all credit cards – link below).

To insure you get your preferred slot, please PAY IN ADVANCE via PayPal (non-refundable if less than 24 hours notice of cancellation, otherwise, 50% refund) – by JUST CLICKING HERE.

After you’ve paid for your slot, please contact Emma at pifparty@gmail.com to schedule your session. Be sure to include your name, email, cell phone number, and your top 3 time slot choices from the list below.

Lastly, if you’ve ever rec’d coaching or advice from me in the past for free, please consider doing a pay-it-forward and share this offer with anyone you think could benefit from 50 minutes of my insights and access to my brain matter. :) Thanks for your support!

Slots are available: 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Please indicate your top 3 time slot choices from the following list:

  • Morning: 8:00, 9:00, 10:00
  • Afternoon: 1:00, 2:00, 3:00, 4:00
  • Evening: 5:00, 6:00

Not in Seattle? Remote consults are available for $75…again, pre-pay via PayPal (see link above) and then contact Emma (pifparty@gmail.com) to schedule your one-on-one conference call.

Best,
Sandy p.s. More testimonials can be found HERE.

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Are you on the National No Brain Picking list?

6 04 2010

Are you a consultant or a service provider? How many non-billable brain picking sessions did you sit through so far this year? Or, on the flip side, how many brains did you try to pick for free in Q1 of 2010? I think we should start a National Do Not Brain Pick registry and I want to be on it.

I know I’ve written about this before, and even referenced Matt Youngquist’s spot-on post about banning the phrase “pick your brain,” but based on what I’ve experienced, witnessed and heard during the first quarter of 2010, not that many people are getting the message. One of my favorite quotes Matt shares in his blog post is from Jeffrey Gitomer, “People call me all the time and ask to buy my lunch so they can pick my brain. My response is: ‘I have a $1000 an hour brain-picking fee, so I’ll buy your lunch!’ That stops all the bloodsuckers.”
No More Brain Picking! a SandyJK & Victor Pascual collaboration
And then in Kevin Dugan’s popular blog post titled, “Can I pick your brain?” he states, “Sending someone a note asking to pick their brain is the equivalent of saying you want them to work for free.”

If you are a consultant or a service provider you are no doubt all too often faced with the brain picking request. And, maybe, if you’re lucky, the other party will at least offer to buy your coffee or drink, or occasionally lunch. However, more often than not, you’ll only receive a “Thanks for meeting with me.”

In my book, “I’m at a Networking Event–Now What???” I write about the etiquette around follow-up meeting requests after meeting new people. I strongly encourage folks to show their gratitude for the meeting by, at the very least, offering to buy the other person’s cup of coffee, and have since added to my workshops that if they already have something to drink or they decline, when you go up to buy your latte, buy a $5 gift card and give it to them with a smile and say, “Thanks so much for making time to meet with me and I really want your next coffee to be on me.”

But, back to the brain picking sessions…..as Matt asks, “Do you even know folks who charge only $3.50 an hour for their expertise?” I don’t, and wouldn’t take advice from them if that was the highest value they placed on their intellectual capital.

Sometimes it’s much worse for me as both a consultant, service provider, and having a reputation as an “idea person” and “connector,” because more often than not, most folks I’m barely acquainted with think nothing of asking me to:

a) make an introduction to a highly valuable (potentially lucrative to them) relationship (notice I didn’t say “contact”) that I’ve worked years to develop, maintain and typically protect (which is why their target and I have a relationship, and are not just “acquaintances”), without acknowledging the value, size or real agenda of the ask. Usually, it’s that they want to pitch them on their services or sell them their product and generate revenue (money) from the new connection.

b) meet for coffee because they want to “pick your brain” (PYB) about how to start using social media in their business, effectively and cheaply promote their new site, network effectively at an industry association event, which companies to pitch their service or product to, review their site content for relevancy, the list goes on.

The things listed above are classic business development, marketing or networking strategy activities and are things I making my living doing, so why would someone ask me to do these things for free (or a cup of coffee)?! At the very least, it would be nice if they ASKED ME what I currently needed help with first or suggested some kind of equitable trade we could do in exchange for the pieces of brain matter or social capital they intended to acquire from me. For example, would I ask my mechanic to change my oil without offering him my credit card or maybe a website content refresh? Do I ask my accountant to file my annual LLC paperwork without expecting an invoice or at least offering to set up a Fan page on Facebook for her small practice?

Nicole Jordan writes about “Classic PYB behavior” in her blog post titled, “No. You can’t pick my brain.” She asks, “Would you ask a lawyer to coffee to “pick his brain?” and accurately states that, “Creative ideas and connections are the real currency in this digital economy,” and observes that “Strategic and creative counsel is one of the most under-monetized aspects of being in the communications and marketing business.” She’s right and I’m going to start doing as she suggests:

From now on, and especially for people who I do not know well (you know who you are): I will tell them I am happy to meet, that I am flattered they asked, and that because my time is extremely valuable I don’t do these PYB (or “sounding board”) sessions for free.

Nicole also shared that, “Most of the time I’ve said this, they’ve understood and honored it.  The ones that got a little ruffled, are the ones who will suck you dry and likely leave you paying for your own coffee. And theirs. Run. Fast.” Beep Beep!

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Learn to Love LinkedIn Tip #1

24 03 2010

Make a practice of regularly scanning the LinkedIn status updates of your network in order to keep an eye out for opportunities, expressions of interest or stated needs where you might be able to offer help. I note needs like:

Job candidates needed
Spread the word or re-post requests
Vendor resources requests, etc.

It’s a great way to practice pay-it-forward style networking and is something I see reciprocated more often than I ever expected. I use about 10-15 minutes each day to complete this worthwhile task.

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Quality vs quantity focused networking?

4 03 2010

Regardless of an actual increase in the number of “jobs filled” in WA state occurring for the first time in a very long time (according to Jan 2010 stats), I’m amazed by the proliferation of events, sites, programs, webinars, groups and individuals out there offering to provide opportunities for connecting you or teaching you how to connect with that ideal person/class/company/recruiter/connector/coach/guru/innovator or expert that can land you that elusive new job.  It’s mind boggling to me, and especially in such a relatively small metro area like Seattle! How do you choose where you’ll focus and/or spend your precious energy and time? What factors go into saying “yes” to an invite, meeting or writing a check?

And, if you take the leap, which do you practice and/or prefer? bella domain networking Quality-oriented connecting opportunities or skills development programs OR quantity-focused groups or events? Please share your comments here or on Facebook and you’ll help me figure out which resources out there I should support and/or refer people to, and, just as importantly, which to avoid if you’re a quality and relationship-focused connector like me. I’m going to include some of the data in an upcoming white paper I’m working on as well as in my next book. Thanks all!

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