Networking Ethics (or Why Sales Often Won't Work in a Networking Environment)

please indulge me as this gets a bit deeper into networking than I (or anyone else I've studied yet, for that matter) typically goes. Almost everyone is familiar with some phrasing of The Golden Rule. It is most commonly written as "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you", and the idea is ancient. 

However, unless you have studied religion or philosophy, you may not know about the various formulations (alternative phrasings) of this rule, and it occurs to me they can help us better understand how to relate to others in our networking activities.

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Three Networking "Disconnects" and some corrections to them Part III - Jeff Hexter

Jeff noticed there are three “disconnects” from reality regarding networking. He discussed the first one: “I hate networking…” or “I hate networking, but I like building relationships” in the first post and in the second he wrote about expectations of selling. Here is his response to the third disconnect he’s noticed: People not knowing how important one on one meetings are after group events.

Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels

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Three Networking "Disconnects" and some corrections to them Part I - Jeff Hexter

Lately, I've encountered some situations where I noticed some "disconnects from reality" regarding networking. I have sorted them into three broad categories, and I want to discuss each one. Those categories are:

1. "I hate networking..." or "I hate networking, but I like building relationships..."
2. I'm here to sell (or get a job, or meet an investor...) but no one here is buying (or hiring, or investing...)
3. Who am I to do a 1-2-1 meeting with?

What to do?

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What can you actually do at a networking event to make it more valuable? - Guest Blogger Jeff Hexter

After everyone at a networking event is done giving their message, you may have heard 20+ commercials, and it would challenging to recall who does what or would benefit from an introduction to whomever. So, collecting some basic information and thoughts about each person you encounter will help you become a better networker.

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Question From a Job Seeker About Networking Groups

Hi Sue;

What are your thoughts regarding this networking group? I attended yesterday, and there seemed to be a lot of entrepreneurs.  

In my wish to balance myself, I want to make sure I don't over-commit to any group that may not be helpful in my search for a job in the non-profit field. Thoughts?

Shirley

Dear Shirley,

Thanks for this provocative question. You made me think that I really want to write a blog post about this topics since so many people are in the same predicament.  

I think it’s a good idea to try a few different general networking groups and to then make 1 a part of your routine per month.  That way you get to form relationships in a community, get to see and be seen (part of Know, Like and Trust factor) and keep refining your presentation of what you’re looking for (Connecting Statement) with feedback from others who know about networking:  

  • Are you saying clearly what kinds of problems you can solve?

  • Can they imagine people they know with those problems?

  • Does the feeling they get from meeting you make it easy for them to refer you?

There are several advantages to belonging in these groups. One is they know lots of people, so they may find an “in” for you somewhere. Another is it refreshes our brains to think and talk about something unrelated to our job searches and work. Third, You get to meet really cool people and see the abundance the world has to offer. You might even expand your range of interests into an area that you never thought of, but that someone introduces you into. Another benefit is that you might be able to help someone else find out how to fill their needs, which is a must requirement for landing a job that fills our needs.  We have to be in circulation in the community. (You’re already doing this in your volunteering, but out in the community is different.)

I also think networking with other job seekers is perhaps the most important since they hear of the latest openings and leads. Again, for Know, Like and Trust, it’s important to be fairly regular. That way you will stay top of mind to the organizers, too. And it’s very likely you will hear of opportunities to share with others as you go along in your search.

 Remember: You can’t call it a search if you’re not out looking.

There are other “mixers,” too, like The Foundation Library’s courses, for non-profit job seekers.  Online is good for learning, but in-person gives you more contacts and a chance to share an experience with a few people. Opportunities for business people are Network After Work, Professional Associations and classes in continuing education. Everyone can participate in Alumni Associations. Many universities have chapters in the city where you live.

Don’t forget your other interests! You’re a whole person! Faith communities, Meet Ups, and Evenbrite are all places to find people to connect with.

Key success factors, then, are expanding your circle of contacts so you can be found by someone who would like to hire you, regular attendance, and requests to meet with people one-on-one. 

I hope this is helpful.

I look forward to seeing you again Monday at our Meet Up!

Sue

 

Groups, Activities and Spaces for Professionals with an Entrepreneurial Mind

There is so much overlap between people looking for work (full time or projects) and people looking for customers or contacts to enlarge their field. In case you, dear seeker, are thinking about potentially opening a new business or looking for ways to expand your ideas, here is my list of ideas for finding resources, time, places or things you need to get started. 

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I Will Work For Food - Guest Blogger Matt Bud

I’m sure some of you have been seriously considered for jobs that paid less than you were previously earning. As an experienced sailor would tell you: any port in a storm.

Unfortunately, there is always a bit of disbelief coming from across the table that ANYONE would work for less than they earned before and not bolt for the door once the economy picks up. My own experience has been that this is not what financial folks do. However, telling someone you will work for food, is probably taking their employment offer a little too far.

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You Don’t Have to Sell Yourself: How to Use a Networking Profile

To get a good job, you do not have to sell yourself.  Needs-meeting is what you are after – yours and others.’ You are offering to help those you meet support their own and others’ needs getting met.  A Profile is a tool to a) help you think through what you want to do, what you’re best at, b) see the value of it, c) work out how to communicate it and d) help others see the value and help you communicate it to others beyond the conversation you are in. When you are available to be found to fill certain needs, you can be offered the job of your dreams.

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