Tuesday, January 18, 2011

It's About Giving, Not About Getting

Unless you have been in a time capsule, when it comes to managing a successful job search, everyone knows (or at least has heard - maybe more times than they wanted to) that the most effective strategy is networking.  That doesn't mean you don't do anything else, it just means where the biggest ROI is in terms of where you invest your time and energy.

Saying the word ‘networking’, reminds me of the conversations I used have in a former life around the subject of performance appraisals. We all agreed that it was needed, but nobody liked them. On the other hand, nobody has come up with something better either.

Those of you who follow this blog have seen this stat before but for those who haven't, I can tell you that over the years ExecuNet has been around (i.e. 23) of the members we have talked to who have made a change, 70% told us networking was the key for them.

But I also know people sometimes think that since we are always trying to drive home this message that somehow we have a plug and play answer on making it work for them, and preferably making it work like yesterday!

Would that we did and would that we could, but the truth is that when it comes to networking, it is a classic case of "leading the horse to water...."

What we do try to do, however, is not just talking about it, but putting all sorts of resources together to not only show people how, but also to provide them (both online and off) with the ways and means to implement their personal plan effectively. 

Said differently, what we try to do is not only tell people about the tool but give them the tools and show them how to use them.

One of the key components of the "how" is to try to get people to buy into the idea that if they really want networking to work for them that they need both a mindset and genuine belief that to be effective they need to be focused on giving, not getting. As Karen Armon who hosts our meetings in the Denver area likes to say: “Give first and results will follow.”

To that point, I came across a video the other day from a site called Simple Truths. It runs just over three and a half minutes. Title: The Power of Kindness.

Check it out. If you are in a job search, maybe the way this notion is expressed in the video will have a different impact than hearing it from me or others.  And, even if you are not in a job search, given some of the "noise" we are subjected to from inside and outside of Washington, it might be worth a look as well.

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