Readers of this blog know that networking is about establishing and maintaining mutually beneficial relationships. We strive to make them warm and friendly - and ongoing.
Sometimes, when networking is undertaken as a concerted activity in a job search, a job seeker is referred to a Key Player who agrees to see what they can do to help. The connection is based on the respect between the referrer and the Key Player, not the job seeker yet.
To honor the trust the Key Player is putting in the referrer and generosity they are extending to you, we suggest having a clear agenda. It may be sent ahead of time or in your own mind. You two may only meet once, and you and they want to make the most of it.
(Be sure you know WHY the referrer has recommended that you meet with the Key Player. This will inform your agenda. Of course, you’ll follow up with a thank you and updates on your action items later. This extends the relationship.)
In the example below, you will notice that the Key Player asked for background info on the job seeker. He also asked for an agenda. This does not always happen.
Dear Key Player:
The main purpose of our meeting is becoming a connection between each other. After spending years in the same industry, I let my networking suffer outside of my industry. I have been spending the last year rectifying that situation. Susan felt you were the perfect person for me to meet, and that you would have ideas for how to describe my experience as well as people who come to mind for me to meet. The agenda is outlined for an hour, but we can adjust down if a full hour is not possible.
Learn about your journey and passion of helping people
Ask me what you would like to know about me outside of the documents you have received
I would love to know how the C-Suite landscape is in Cleveland right now in your opinion and experience
The group or groups you think would be helpful for me to connect with
Come out with us having an idea of at least one person I should connect with that you believe may be a great resource for me, or I may be a great resource for them, or mutually beneficial
Please let me know if you would like to add anything to this agenda. I look forward to seeing you on Thursday.