Networking Got You Spooked?

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Have you seen this Ghost at your networking event?

Are you haunted by the thought of running into one of these characters at your next networking event? Here are the warning signs and tools to slay those situations.

The Vampire: Charms all the contacts and advice right out of you – for free – providing no reciprocation.

Slayer: No pointy stick needed. Instead, try this phrase, “Vlad, it’s a real pleasure meeting you. Would love to schedule a call to discuss what you’re looking for and how we can work together. Right now, I’ve got x time and x time open for a phone call. Which works best for you?”

The Zombie: This person doesn’t eat brains, but sure wants to pick your brain. For free. “C’mon. Let’s go for coffee,” they say. And they keep coming back for more free advice. In the meantime, you haven’t earned a dime.

Slayer: Neutralize the brain-picking requests with this killer phrasing, “Zena, thanks so much for your request. I’d love to work with you. Let’s schedule time to discuss your situation over the phone. That saves us both driving time and we can maximize our time on the call. At the end of our call, I’ll recommend some of my services, which could help you turn around that situation fast. Here’s what’s available. What time/date works best for you?” Or “Thanks for asking, I’ve got a great blog post on that. What’s your email, I’ll send you the link.”

The Werewolf: His hair is perfect. You have a nice conversation. You exchange business cards. The next day, you find you’re subscribed to his newsletter and you’ve received several sales pitches from him via all your social media accounts.

Slayer: Your silver bullet: Unsubscribe. And, block, if necessary. Sure, you can try to educate Wolfy on proper social media etiquette, but chances are this Werewolf has bitten before and likely won’t change.

The Mummy: This person is wrapped up in themselves. And their department. They don’t want to share information for fear they’ll be exposed and lose their job or client or whatever else they deem most valuable. (Maybe it’s a red Swingline stapler.)

Slayer: You understand. You can build trust by reassuring Mummy that sharing a little piece of advice won’t jeopardize their career. Instead, it may enhance it because they’ll have a new ally in another department. They can build on this connection, create cross-functional inroads, and get their job done faster. And you benefit because you’ve got a fresh set of eyes on your work situation from an expert with a long history at the organization.

The Ghost: You were having a great conversation. You turn around and poof. They’ve vanished. No exit conversation. No, “let’s get a call on the calendar.” And no contact info. They’ve simply vanished. “Who was that person? Why did they leave? What did I do?” you ask yourself.

Slayer: It might not be about you. It may be the Ghost’s typical behavior because they hate networking events. If, however it is you, examine the conversation. Might you have accidentally shown a few symptoms from the Mummy, Werewolf, Zombie or Vampire? If so, work on improving your networking prowess. Focus on building the business relationship and friendship first, before making an ask. Think about ways you can help your network, whether it’s making a personal introduction to another in your network or sending a helpful link or resource. That way your network will thrive. And you’re less likely to run into these characters or accidentally turn into one of them yourself in the future. I know you’ll slay it at your next event. Drop me a comment and share your networking story.

© 2017 | Wendy Terwelp | All rights reserved.

Wendy Terwelp is an award-winning career expert and personal branding strategist who works with leaders, directors, and high potentials to propel their careers and be rock stars at work. Her private coaching clients win promotions, salary raises, and gigs. A sought-after speaker, Wendy works with organizations who want to smash silos, increase employee engagement, and eliminate people headaches. Book her for your next event: http://www.knocks.com/speaking/ 

Who needs to know about you?

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“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with,” Jim Rohn

As the author of “Rock Your Network®,” I’m often asked  about how to network, how to network while working (aka no time to network), and who should be in your network.

Where do you begin? Begin with your career goals. 

Are you looking for a promotion? New business? More clients? Colleagues and peers to brainstorm ideas?

Knowing  your goals will help you determine who needs to be in your network. And who you may need to prune. There are now five generations in the workplace with the arrival of Generation Z. Therefore, it’s good to diversify your network across generations for lasting career management.

When one of my clients was in the market for a new gig, he tapped his college alumni – those who graduated 10 years ahead of him and those who graduated 10 years after him. This led to several opportunities. And, after he landed his new gig, he maintained those connections throughout his career, rising to his current role: vice president of business development.

Your networking criteria will help you save time because you’ll focus on only those areas relevant to your goals. And you can use your networking criteria online or off. For example, I list my personal criteria for connecting on LinkedIn in my profile under “Advice for contacting Wendy.” In my case, I accept invitations from people I know, met personally or know through another connection I respect.

As your career evolves over time,. your networking criteria evolves with it.

Be sure to nurture your network by regularly communicating with people, providing resources and assistance when they need it. Networking is a two-way street. You’ve got to fuel your network to fire it up!

Coaching Challenge: Write down your own criteria for adding people to your online and offline networks based on your career goals.

Need help with your networking efforts? Check out my networking programs here, including LinkedIn networking.

© 1998 – 2016 Wendy Terwelp | All rights reserved.

What Career Success Really Looks Like

 

Career Success looks like

In today’s world of work, the only guarantee is CHANGE. The old days of staying with one company for decades, working hard, and waiting to get recognized and promoted are gone. Senior leaders have more and more responsibilities – and more and more people reporting to them. They can’t possibly track all the fantastic things you do. Now more than ever, it’s important to take control of your career in order to reach your goals.

Don’t wait for someone to promote you, give you assignments or choose you. Promote yourself through your work ethic, visibility, project contributions, follow through, internal and external networks, and continuing training. Set meetings with your boss to keep them abreast of your contributions and value to the organization.

According to data from a survey by CEB, a management research firm, 6% of Fortune 500 companies have stopped using annual performance reviews and forced rankings in favor of ongoing feedback. In 2015, Deloitte and Accenture also dropped performance reviews in favor of ongoing feedback. This is a trend going forward.

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics shows the average person changes jobs 11.7 times during his/her lifetime via 2015 report. Career changes ranged from 4 to 7 depending on the survey. Now more than ever it is mission critical to take an active role in managing your career and personal brand.

Coaching Challenge: Track your hits. Set a meeting with your boss. Communicate your value. You got this!

© 2016 Wendy Terwelp | All rights reserved.

Easy 5-minute Tips to Make Your Network Thrive

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No time to network? Have you got five minutes?

Here are some quick tips to stay top of mind with your network and make it thrive.

1. Get Social: Set a specific purpose and time limit for your social media activities each day. This helps you avoid overwhelm or distraction (hey check out this link, which leads to that link, which leads to …). In your specified time frame, take a moment and tweet a reply to one of your followers. Have you read a great post on LinkedIn or Facebook? Hit the “like” button and share it with your connections.

2. Repurpose: Are you reading a great blog post or article you feel would benefit your network? Tweet a link or post a link to the story with a brief descriptor on LinkedIn or Facebook. Or if it’s relevant to only one or two people in your network versus the entire group, send a link to the story in an email: “Saw this article and thought you might find it helpful.”

3. Align networking with things you’re already doing: Going to a football game? Whether it’s the pros or your kids, game time is a great time to network. You’re sharing a common interest, which makes starting a conversation easy.

4. Make a plan: Going to a networking event or conference? Set a goal to meet at least three new people.

5. Create a dynamic, branded sound bite: Doing so helps you quickly address, “So, what do you do?” Check out chapter 5 of my book, Rock Your Network®, for a quick three-step formula to create a sound bite that helps you network with ease and confidence. Got a business? Shark Tank’s Daymond John says, you better be able to distill your brand down to two to five words. Are you ready for your next big gig?

Now that you have your networking plan, sound bite, and goals, you’re prepared for networking anytime, anywhere, I’d love to hear your networking stories and tips. Feel free to share in the comment section. Go get ’em!

© 1998 – 2014 | Wendy Terwelp . All rights reserved.

 

 

Do Employers Read Online Portfolios?

bar_biz[1]Web or online portfolios have been around for years and are now back in the news. Passe or vogue?

In a recent story by The Wall Street Journal, employers stated they don’t have time to read online portfolios. Per the story, “One big problem: Few employers are actually looking at them. Polls suggest employers might be interested in the sites—83% of respondents to a recent Association of American Colleges and Universities survey said an e-portfolio would be “very” or “fairly” useful in ensuring that job applicants have requisite knowledge and skills. But basic human-resources software don’t allow such links in the first round of application submissions, and many hiring managers are simply unwilling to carve out time to dig into the digital showcases, they say.”

Online portfolios work on interviews: While employers may not have time to look at a portfolio in an initial resume scan (employers receive 200 to 300 resumes per day 7 days a week according to one recruiter), candidates may be able to showcase their skills with an online portfolio during an interview. Candidates can back up interview question  responses with examples from their online portfolios. Additionally, time for portfolio highlights also depends on where the candidate is at in the interview process – such as a second or third interview. Type of job, company culture, and the interviewer’s personality will also play a role. Web portfolios can demonstrate proof of performance. And employers say that “past performance demonstrates future productivity.”

Old school: Mass Communications / Journalism grads like me had to build a portfolio of clips and send them to employers with our resume in some cases or bring them to  interviews as leave behind proof of our ability to write news stories. And that was in the late ’80’s.

New tools: Now, LinkedIn allows you to post proof – you can add links to videos, SlideShare presentations, blog posts, white papers and more.

Boost your personal brand: This all helps boost your personal brand. According to one poll, 86% of people use a search engine like Google before ever meeting you, the web portfolio gives people information you WANT them to see. As LinkedIn typically lands on page one, start there.

Readers rock! Hat tip to Thomasina for sharing the WJS story with me via Facebook. What’s your take on web / online portfolios?

Comments welcome: Have you got an opinion or story to share? Feel free to leave comments.

Testimonials: Boasting or Beneficial?

In one of my groups on LinkedIn a member asked, “How important is it to post testimonials on the website? It seems to be necessary to some but few feel it’s too much of self-gratification.”

I feel testimonials are mission critical to a business website and immediately address the “Why should I hire you?” question potential customers are asking. I thought I’d share my response:

Think about it like this, do you ask friends for a great restaurant suggestion? When several friends recommend the same place for the same reasons (great food, fabulous service, fun atmosphere, etc.) do you make the decision to go to that restaurant? And when you do and have a wonderful experience, do you share that information with others? I’m guessing you do.

That’s what testimonials can do for a business, provide social proof. Depending on which study you review, purchasing decisions based on mentions and recommendations range between 72% to 90%. People have always used Word of Mouth and recommendations to determine a purchasing decision long before the advent of the web. Now, the reach has expanded.

Amazon reviews, LinkedIn recommendations, “likes,” are all testimonials of sorts.

Having them on a business website are critical – as long as the following occurs: 1) they’re true and authentic, 2) they have quantifiable results, and 3) they provide names or other clearly identifying information.

When I see only vague generalities, like “great work,” accompanied by no name or simply initials, then I doubt the veracity of the testimonial and the quality of the work.

It’s not bragging if it’s true and therefore self-gratification does not play a role. When you have experienced great results and wonderful service, it’s natural to want to spread the good word. Let your clients spread the good word about you!

© Wendy Terwelp | All rights reserved. | http://knocks.com (Full disclosure: You’ll see testimonials / social proof throughout my website.)

Best Of Holiday Networking Blog Posts

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Each year someone asks, “Are people hiring over the holidays?” Or makes a statement, “No one is hiring over the holidays, why bother?”

Yes, people are getting hired over the holidays and boosting their careers. Just last week one of my clients landed an offer AND through our coaching work together, she negotiated an even better salary and compensation package. Another client is on her second and third interviews and awaiting offers. That’s just in the past week.

Each year, I write a blog post on the topic with real people sharing stories of how they were hired and what they did to land the gig. Here are some of the best. Click on the links, get ideas, and take action. Enjoy!

Holiday Networking and Your Brand 

Holiday Networking: Pass the Nuts and Your Resume Please

Good News: Hired Over the Holidays!

Yes Virginia, Companies are Hiring Over the Holidays

Feel your holidays are too hectic to network? Here are some 5-minute tips you can do over the holidays and beyond to make your network thrive:

Easy 5-Minute Tips to Make Your Network Thrive

Have you got a holiday networking story to share? Please do! And get your chance to win my book, “Rock Your Network®,” with loads of tips, tricks, and strategies to keep your networking momentum going over the holidays and beyond. Includes a social media bio template – simply fill in the blanks and enter your new bio into LinkedIn and other social media. Deadline: Dec. 31, 2014.

© 2013 – 2014 Wendy Terwelp | All rights reserved. (Post was updated on 12/1/14)