A part-time position can be a great opportunity to gain skills and experience while offering the flexibility to tend to other responsibilities, but what happens when those responsibilities shift and you’re ready to go full time?
When I landed a job in a top public relations firm after my college graduation, I thought the toughest part of my entry into the…
Networking is an essential part of moving your career forward, but while making interpersonal connections comes naturally for some, it can be an uncomfortable prospect…
Every once in a while you’ll hit a wall in your professional life. Career-driven people know how important it is to continue growing and developing…
It’s no secret that people have short attention spans. In fact, a recent study reported that the average human’s attention span is shorter than that of a goldfish. With that in mind, it’s more important than ever to be able to deliver a short, clear and memorable elevator pitch. From networking events and job fairs to business meetings or informal introductions, a good elevator pitch is a great way to get off on the right foot.
The first time I attended a networking event, I had homemade business cards that pointed to a personal email address, and I had virtually no career to speak of. I barely had a college degree, and the conversations I had hinted that I didn’t have a job: “So if you hear of anything….” I’d trail off, leaving an awkward silence.
I was one of those people you probably wanted to slowly back away from at a networking event. Why? I was relying on the rest of the networking professionals to help me find a career focus, as well as a job, instead of coming to the event with a polished game plan and knowing what I wanted.
If you had been stuck talking to me that night, here are the tips present-day me would give you to get out of that awkward networking conversation:
Whether you work for a large corporation or a small business, you probably feel at least a little intimidated by your company’s executive team. After all, they not only call the shots, but they essentially hold your job security and the future of your career in their hands.
As daunted as you may feel at the prospect of networking with your organization’s higher-ups, getting to know them could be one of the best things you do for your career.
“It is quite worthwhile to get to know senior leaders [at your company],” says John Millikin, clinical professor of management at Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business and former vice president of human resources at Motorola. “From the leader’s standpoint, by getting to know you as more than a name on a roster, he or she can have a face and personality in mind when making decisions that might affect you and your job. You, conversely, begin to have a clearer understanding of who this leader is and how she or he thinks. This can be very helpful in better aligning your actions with the goals of the firm. The leader may also gain from a connection with you, because he or she is getting an unfiltered view from the ‘floor,’ which can be very helpful.”
So how do you form relationships with the upper management at your company? Consider the do’s and don’ts of networking up.
Much has been written about how to expand your professional network — attend events, make connections, build relationships, etc. Building your network, of course, is worthwhile, but while you’re busy looking for new connections, don’t overlook the older ones — namely your former co-workers.
Ongoing relationships with former co-workers “are the cornerstones of networking,” says Jodi R. R. Smith, president of Massachusetts-based Mannersmith Etiquette Consulting. “They provide resources for questions, industry trends and recommendations. And, should you find yourself looking for work, they are your first line of defense when job seeking.”
Don’t miss out on a great career resource by letting yourself fade away. Consider the following ways to stay connected: