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Hate Networking? 10 Reasons to Try a Different Approach

When I hear the word “networking” or someone mentions a “networking event” I have visions of vultures circling a dead carcass on the freeway. 

I don’t like feeling like I’m being “sold to,” nor have I ever liked, probably to my detriment, “selling myself.” Rather, I feel if people get to know me, know what I’m passionate about, and what I have to offer my friends, colleagues, and customers, they’ll let me know if they need me.

Okay, all salespeople are cringing right now, but I admit it, I’m no salesperson.

However, I do realize if I want people to get to know me, my passions, and what I can offer, I’ve got to get out there and meet them.

Yesterday afternoon I had the pleasure of having lunch with two dynamic women: Monique Spence of Spence Staffing & Coaching Solutions and Sandy Adams of Sandy Adams Photography. Monique is a performance coach specializing in career, business, and personal development coaching. She’s one of those people who is always on the lookout for “growth opportunities” for her friends and colleagues. She felt that Sandy and I just had to meet because we had mutual goals and interests.

It took her several months to find a time when we could all get together, but we finally did. We had a great time and learned quite about each other’s personal and business goals, strengths, and passions. I don’t think anyone walked away feeling like any other person was “hard selling” themselves. Instead, it was an opportunity to create a bond. I know if I ever have a friend or client who needs either woman’s services, I’ll put them in touch!

I asked Monique and Sandy to add their thoughts to mine about the benefits of this type of non-traditional (I hate to call it) networking– casual events with five or fewer business people.

women having lunch

Here are the benefits we discovered:

1. Helps create a personal connection with no pressure to produce or “sell”

2. Less structured approach provides a freer flow of ideas

3. Each person has more time to share themselves with the group, therefore you learn more about each other and are more likely, and able, to help each other achieve your goals

4. Small groups are more focused on the exchange of ideas, not just business cards, which translates into a greater learning and networking

5. More likely to get referrals because others get to “know” you better than a 30 sec spot or 5 minute rushed sell at a traditional networking event
 
6. Better opportunity to brainstorm ideas to help each person grow his or her business

7. Impartial feedback on your ideas from people you trust

8. Helps ignite shared passions/interests as well as identify opportunities for teaming up on projects

9. Gain advocates, and even better, friendships with substance

10. Potential for doing business with people you trust truly want to do business with you, rather than a relationship based on trying to reach pre-set quotas

honest conversation

Bottom line, especially for self-employed people, job seekers, and career changers– you’ve gotta get out there. You can’t sit at your computer all day, no matter how many e-resumes you submit or posts you make to Facebook, LinkedIn, or other sites.

Human relationships are still the key factor to successfully achieving your goals!

 

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The First Step in a Successful Job Search: Believe in Yourself

Whether you’re a first-time job seeker or a seasoned, professional job hunter, the first step toward getting the position you deserve is believing in yourself. My friend and colleague Monique Solomon Spence, Executive Recruiter and Business Coach, and President of Spence Staffing Solutions (www.spencestaffingandcoachingsolutions.com), offers the following tips for job seekers.

 

Believe in Yourself

“This is the best advice I can give any job seeker seeking employment or in career transition. It is important that you market and sell yourself confidently when it comes to your knowledge, skills and abilities,” Monique says. “First and foremost, You have to believe that you are fully capable of performing the job. If you don’t feel that you can do the job do not market yourself as a professional in that field.”

Sometimes we are enthusiastic about our skills or abilities. The word enthusiasm literally means “God within.” The only way to exude true confidence and enthusiasm is have a true conviction in your heart that you can do what you say you can do and you are good at it. If you don’t feel you can do the job 100%, don’t apply. Confidence and enthusiasm go hand in hand.

Belief in Yourself can even make up for lack of experience or education. When you believe in yourself it shows and others believe in you too!

 

Find a Job That Fits, Don’t Try to Fit a Job

job 2One reason that there is so much stress in job searching is that job seekers too often try to make their skills fit an open position based on pay, location, and sometimes desperation, instead of looking for one that compliments the skills they already have.

In fact, the biggest mistake job seekers can make is applying for a job based on pay, instead of making sure their skills are a good fit first. Remember apply based on your skills, not your lifestyle.

 

Take Steps Every Day to Strengthen Your Belief in Yourself and the Ability to Get the Job You Want

1. Research positions in your desired field and educate yourself on new techniques and changes in the industry.

2. Understand the history and current events of companies that interest you.

3. Review the resumes of other job seekers that are in your industry.

4. Identify key things that make you “stand out” from other applicants.

5. Stay connected and get involved in local affiliations, clubs and networking events. You never know who you may meet, that is looking for YOU!

6. Make looking for a job your full time job. You won’t be successful if you don’t give your job search your 100% attention every day.

7. Remind yourself that your Belief is the most VALUABLE asset you have.

8. Be Vision-Inspired every day! See what you seek and let that vision guide you toward success.

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Welcome , today is Wednesday, July 23, 2014