9 tips for Neworking Rehabilitation

 

The word “networking” makes many people cringe. Somewhere along the line, this vital process in career advancement garnered a tainted reputation, a few battle scars and an unjustifiably abused moniker. Perhaps, it stems from those who have misused networking to gain unfair advantages in their quest of climbing the corporate ladder. Or maybe networking’s a victim of word association, as it’s often paired with strong arm sales techniques. It could also be that networking is simply misunderstood as just a process of walking up to complete strangers and attempting to carry on an interesting conversation about “whatever.” Regardless of why networking is licking its wounds, it’s still the front-runner for career advancement.

The best way to move past networking’s tarnished past is to help it heal. This begins with re-associating the word with it’s true meaning — connecting. People love connecting, and thanks to the Internet, reaching out to random strangers has become an everyday habit. The key, however, to making networking healthy again is to approach the process respectfully. In other words, adopt a networking approach that’s authentic by graciously spending time with others, getting to know them, learning from them, asking for advice and always offering the same in return.

Here are nine tips to get the most out of your networking experience, while contributing to its rehabilitation:

1. Ask questions. Help guide the process by coming prepared with targeted questions that keep you both on track and on time.

2. Be a good listener. People love sharing their story, and it’s a great way to learn from others’ experience and expertise.

3. Shoot for face-to-face. An in-person meeting is more personal and expressive and demonstrates respect for another’s position.

4. Be your best. Show your strengths, but not in a domineering way. People enjoy connecting with others who are “going places” with purpose and pride.

5. Be at your best. Dress for success, be kind and gracious and treat the other person as if she has the authority to hire or promote. She just might.

6. Respect each other’s time. Be on time, leave on time and don’t abuse someone’s generosity by scheduling too many meetings, unless it’s a mutually agreed upon goal.

7. Ask for referrals. Networking is about connecting and sharing connections. If your contact was gracious enough to share referrals, following through on contacting them shows respect.

8. Stay positive. Even if you’ve been fired or are facing a work challenge, this is not the time for dumping your woes on others. Focus on the positive and you will leave a positive impression.

9. Say “thanks” and “thanks” again. Thank them for their time, and send them a handwritten thank-you note after your meeting.

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    I would say that Darryl Jackson was very professional and helped me in all aspects of my job search.  Darryl took my resume and made it more attractive and appealing, he was also very attentive to my needs and what my expectations were.  What I feel was a key part of the success in our relationship was the constant communication on his part.  Darryl makes it his business to know his client and always speaks to you in a positive manner.  He tries to make you see the good aspects of each individual employer.  In the future if I would need to seek other employment I truly believe I would look for his availability.    

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    Bruce Leininger is an exceptional and irreplaceable asset to Practice & Associates.  Bruce took the time and really get to know me, my passions and personality.  He understood my wants when it came to my career move .  He took the time to talk to me and build a relationship with me.  Bruce had a lot of patience and was always in communication with me in regards to different opportunities.  I respected and appreciated his advice and input.  I will always be grateful to Bruce, as he listened with all his heart.  I will always remember what Bruce has done for my family and I and I will make sure that everyone I know who wants a career change only talks to Bruce!                  

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    He was so informative, prepped to give me the best help whether it was by phone or video call, it gave me the confidence and readiness to succeed in my interview and land the job I was looking for.  He was in constant communication with me and the employer for the entire process, it truly felt like he cared for my needs the entire time and made sure they were met as well.  I am beyond happy with Francisco Chevez and Patrice & Associates, they will be with you 100% during the process and even after to make sure everything is going well. Phenomenal job and thank you so much!      

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