Connecting Over the Holidays
In the search mode, I have the opportunity to take advantage of the upcoming holidays to improve my connections with my network. There is still time for me to select several different holiday cards and begin to write a personal note on each, address, and hold until near the forthcoming holiday to mail. I can write five to 10 each evening while listening to the news, or whatever. In this way I can easily write personal notes to at least 100 of my network friends, neighbors, and contacts.
My writing a personal note to each allows me to reconnect with those I have not been in touch with for some time; with others, to pick up where we left off in our contacts, and for new contacts, begin to turn these contacts into connections. What I need to remind myself is that “networking” is a life skill, one we use daily. In our day to day “networking” we reach out, and ask for assistance, information or referrals for any number of reasons. Yet, when it comes to looking for a new position in an organization, we personalize, and hold information to ourselves. At the same time we ask after our friends, professional associates, and neighbors. Hopefully this interest in others is legitimate; and perhaps an offer is made to assist in some manner. This is the initiation of a networking scenario and should be followed. I never should ask for something without first seeing what I can do for those I am contacting.
Here too, it is also critical that I know what I want to do, have some ideas of the types of organizations that use my skills, abilities and interests, all so I can include this information in the second half of my note to each of my contacts
If I have not already developed the information I should include in my notes, then that is my first step. I need this for all of my sound bites, for my introductions, and in my networking events. I can also use this same information when I attend career fairs. The more I use these pieces of information the more comfortable I am in offering the information.
And, as we move forward with our career, we can help others with this same approach. The bottom line in all of this is, “will I keep up my network once I have stepped into a new position?”
My questions to you are: 1. Will you take the time now, to turn your contacts into connections and your connections into advocates? And, 2. When was the last time you received a personal note from a friend, rather than an email, tweet or other electronic vehicle?
Have some great holidays, may they be joyful, rewarding and safe.
“It is our attitude at the beginning of a difficult task which, more than anything else, will affect its successful outcome.” … William James
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