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Tuesday, August 08, 2006
Talk Your Way to Your Next Job
It’s almost time for the kids to start school again and everyone is squeezing in those last vacations or trips before Labor Day. It’s hot, hot, hot everywhere and the dog days of summer are upon us. The second best time of the year for networking is almost over – summer. I say second best because the Christmas holidays are usually the most prime time for networking due to the party and social schedules of Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukah, and New Year.

Summer is a great time to network because it is also full of opportunities to get out of the office and meet new people, get together in social situations and generally hobnob. Cook-outs, ballgames, vacations, and pool parties are all excellent opportunities to network and generate connections that will help you move into your next position.

I’ve seen this happen personally. A few years ago, I regularly sat on a baseball field bleacher with a VP of Dell Computer on one side and a C-level exec of Hoovers, Inc. on the other. We shared peanuts and yakked. Without that summer networking opportunity, I probably would not have known either of those two people.

Networking is still THE most effective job search method. Who you know always will come out ahead of other methods just because that is the way that the world works. We’re people and we are social animals. A personal recommendation out-classes whatever other candidates can offer almost every time.

If you don’t go in for the formal networking meeting type method (personally, I’d rather have a root canal than attend one of those), just make an effort to see more people who are already in your social circle. Church events, school events, and classes are great ways to get out of your cubicle and talk to people. Ask lots of questions – people like to talk about themselves. You’ll be amazed at who knows whom and – WHAM – you have a connection that might be beneficial to your career.

There is a radio commercial running right now for that features Dr. Phil. He says something along the lines of “The love of your life isn’t like the pizza delivery guy. He’s not going to show up on your doorstep.” Networking is like that. To make it work, you have to make the effort to be around people. If you don’t do anything but work and go home to mow your lawn, you are not going to make connections. Get out and talk to people and you might just talk your way to your next job!

November 2005 / December 2005 / January 2006 / February 2006 / March 2006 / April 2006 / May 2006 / June 2006 / July 2006 / August 2006 /


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