Power Networking! Simple Tips to Change your Career Fast

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If you have you been thinking about making a career change, networking should be in your Career Change Toolbox. But, what’s the “right” way to network?

Here are my tips for Power Networking to make a faster career change as a professional or executive.

The next time you find yourself in a room with someone you’d like to meet, look around to see if there’s someone else around your know who could introduce the two of you. Then, keep the conversation focused on them. (It’s not about you! At least not yet, anyway!) So, ask them about their latest marketing campaign or product launch, or comment on something new or interesting that’s going on inside their company.

Next, try to get their business card by simply saying, I’d love to stay in touch – how about if we exchange business cards? Then, follow up by sending a piece of information that you think they may be of interest to your new contact such as an article, or the results of a new study, or a cool website that relates to their business.

The perception you want to create is not, Hey, I’m someone who’s looking for a job. But instead, that you’re a successful professional who’s resourceful, well connected, and who has some similar interests as they do. You want them to see that you as someone that THEY should get to know!

Offer to introduce them to someone in your network who could help them solve a business challenge, or help them save costs on a project, or who is a mover and shaker in the industry. You want them to see you as a resource – someone who could potentially help THEM in THEIR career!

Then, after you’ve exchanged e-mails, then talk about some projects or teams that you’re working on that are successful. One thing that works really well for me is I offer to share tips or lessons learned. I find that by doing this, people who value and appreciate your talents will naturally gravitate towards you.

So after you’ve established a relationship, go ahead and drop a hint that you’re looking for your next career opportunity. And believe me, if they know of any they’re going to let you know!

One final thought, I strongly believe that no matter where you are in your career, we’re always in a position to help out others. Is there someone else you can support by introducing her to a potential employer, or giving a recommendation, or inviting to a networking event? It’s sometimes easy to focus just on ourselves, but remember that when we help out others along the way – the universe gives back to us more than we ever dreamed possible.

The bottom line is that if you want to drive your career up to the next level, you need to make networking a priority. And once you’ve practiced a couple of the strategies, your career will start moving forward in the direction you want to go!

If you’re stuck – get professional help! You never want your career to be sitting on shelf longer than it has to – it means thousands of dollars every month in missed income that you should be making! So if you’re not getting results, then invest in some professional advice wherever you need it –

  1. A Professional resume writer, or
  2. An interview coach, or
  3. Or a career coach

These are professionals who can accelerate your career change and help you get into a new job faster!

PARADE Update: One Step Closer

PARADE Update: One Step Closer


I’m delighted to see that Meghan has completed her first assignment – creating her personal Career Success Blueprint™. Her goal is to transition into a career that motivates and inspires her … and now she is one step closer. She’s created a career vision that excites her!

Many professionals and executives become stuck when they think of career goals. It can be difficult trying to envision a career that would be meaningful, purposeful and inspiring. I mean, seriously, who has that, right?

Well, actually lots of people! Specifically, those who are able to articulate their passions, strengths, successes and the type of organization and management style where they perform their best.

I’m thrilled that Meghan has successfully identified each of these key areas. She knows the type of career that inspires her includes doing meaningful, socially conscious work, flexing her creative muscles, as well as being in a project management-type of position where management respects her ideas and gives her decision making responsibilities.

She also has defined the type of organization, culture and management style that she needs in order to be at her career best.

This is a big accomplishment for Meghan, and I’m proud of her for completing her first assignment! Her background and work experience includes being an executive pastry chef, marketing specialist and entrepreneur, so getting clear on a career vision took dedicated focus and thought.

Establishing a powerful career vision and goals is critical if you want to have a meaningful and purposeful career. One of the biggest mistakes I made in my own career was thinking that if I got a job – then that was where I was meant to be. After a few months, I’d start feeling unfulfilled, unmotivated or unappreciated. Then, one day I realized that I need to be more proactive in my career. I needed to set the bar higher for what I wanted (and needed) in my career. Once I did that, I achieved greater success than I ever dreamed possible inside a Fortune 100 company.

Now that Meghan has a strong sense of direction and purpose for her career, we’re moving on to Step #2 which is – assessing the job market. Meghan needs to understand what kind of jobs are available that align to her personal Career Success Blueprint™.

Her assignment this week: review on-line job boards, industry magazines, company websites, and business periodicals to get a clear understanding of what the “hot jobs” are, and what the requirements are for those jobs.

She’ll need to come back to me with job postings that she’s found that excite her! It doesn’t have to be the entire job listing, but can just be something in the listing that excites her such as the job tile, a few of the key responsibilities, or even the description of the organization.

The purpose of the assignment is to see what types of job openings are available that align to Meghan’s strengths and spark enthusiasm for Meghan. This will give us the roadmap to create a customized resume to help her land her new career!

I can’t wait to see what she finds! 🙂

PARADE Update: Make Those 20 Seconds Count

PARADE Update: Make Those 20 Seconds Count


Meghan shares the same challenge that many job changers in today’s market are facing. That is, her career history includes such a wide variety of industries, job roles and responsibilities, that she’s not sure how to market (or position) herself to potential employers.

The biggest mistake I see job seekers making is writing their resume and including every job that they’ve ever had and every skill that they’ve ever had. However, most hiring managers don’t care about all the different skills you have and tasks you can perform – they simply want to know – can you successfully perform their job?

So to position Meghan in the best possible light to hiring managers, and help her stand out from competition, I’m working with Meghan on the following –

Step #1 – Creating her personal Career Success Blueprint™. This includes her identifying three (3) primary areas of responsibility she wants to have in her next career. She’s also identifying her “must have” conditions about the company culture, management style and working conditions. These may include a baseline salary, flexible hours, telecommuting, professional training and development, a clear career path, autonomy, growth company, etc.

Step #2 – Assessing the job market. Meghan needs to understand what kind of jobs are available that also align to her personal Career Success Blueprint™. She’ll need to review on-line job boards, industry magazines, company websites, and business periodicals to get a clear understanding of what the “hot jobs” are, and what the requirements are for those jobs.

Step #3 – Customizing a polished and professional looking resume. Hiring managers, on average, only take about 15-20 seconds to review a resume before determining whether or not to interview the job applicant. Therefore, it’s critical that Meghan’s resume showcases her in the best possible light. I’ll teach Meghan how to create a resume that highlights the right key words, and makes her stand out from the competition.

Step #4 – Developing a personalized job search strategy. Now that Meghan will have a keen focus on what she wants in her next career, as well as a top notch professional resume – now she’ll be ready to seek out those job openings. I’ll help her create an on-line and off-line targeted job search strategy, as well as give her my exclusive networking techniques to help her get more referrals, recommendations and job leads.

For a faster career change, work your netWORK

There has been a major shift in the hiring strategies that organizations are using to hire top talent over the past 12-months that many job seekers don’t know about. The latest studies show that as much as 70% of companies who hired new employees in 2009 hired those candidates who had a referral within the organization.
In other words, if you want to speed up the process of landing your next job, you need to “work your network.”
Who should be in your network?
Make it a priority to get connected and stay connected to people who could hire you, or introduce you to others who could potentially hire you. Get re-connected with past employers, managers, customers, and colleagues.
Also, expand your network by meeting new contacts and attending industry conferences, trade shows, business networking events, and association meetings that target the industry (high tech, health care, etc.), or the job role (marketing, finance, management, etc.) you want. Be sure to block off your calendar so that you can attend at least two events each week.
Another great way to expand your network is by joining professional networking sites such as LinkedIn.com This is a super easy way to get connected to networking groups, industry leaders, and company decision makers. Make sure you create a polished and professional profile that highlights your career strengths, talents, results, and successes.
How can you network in a tactful way?
There is one BIG rule in networking. That is, you never want to give the impression that you’re hungry for a job. Instead, you want to be seen as someone who’s resourceful, knowledgeable, and has a wide network.
Send out personalized notes and e-mails to your network with links to industry news, reports, case studies, press releases, videos, and cool websites that you think may interest them. Offer to write recommendation letters, and introduce them to others in your network. Finally, invite your network to business networking events, and introduce them to movers and shakers that you know.
Career influencers are drawn to those who are resourceful. And when they know about job opportunities they’re more likely to tell you about job opportunities and give you a recommendation. So remember, the goal is to create a pull relationship with your network so that they are drawn towards you (not running away from you!). 🙂
To learn more about the “four types of career influencers” who need to be in your network, and how to network for job leads, referrals and recommendations check out my book, “Career Smart – 5 Steps to a Powerful Personal Brand”. It’s now on Amazon’s Top 10 List for personal branding books!

Create a strategic job search plan

The single biggest mistake I see job seekers making is not having a personalized job search strategy. That is, an action plan loaded with websites, companies and people they are going to leverage to land their next career move.

Many professionals are simply applying for a few jobs they see on-line, attend a couple of networking events, and then get completely discouraged and say that there aren’t any job openings. The fact is companies are hiring professionals every day. So what shouldn’t one of them by YOU?!

The fastest and easiest way to land your next job is to create a personalized job search strategy and then follow it every week!

You need to fish where the fish are, so find out where your potential employers are by reading on-line job boards (i.e. CareerJournal.com, theLadders.com, etc.) specialized trade magazines, industry publications (the Business Journal) and company websites. You’ll learn which industries are hiring, which companies are hiring, and what the hot jobs are.

Additionally, you’ll want to create a list of organizations where you would like to work. Visit their website every week to search for on-line jobs, and any press releases or blog postings about internal departments that may be hiring.

The reason that on-line job boards should NOT be your only source for job openings is that some sites are notorious for listing outdated jobs. Why waste your time? Instead, I suggest that you make a list of job search sites that offer high quality jobs that match your skillset, and then check those sites weekly.

You can start by conducting a search on Google or Yahoo for the job role and the city where you want to work (example: software engineer, Portland). Review all the sites listed on the top four or five pages, and bookmark only those sites that list promising job opportunities.

You’ll find that each site varies in the quality of positions listed (lower-level to senior-level, as well as salary ranges), plus the type of industries, or vertical sectors listed. Some sites do a better job than others updating their lists, or publicizing openings in your city.

Focus your attention only on those sites. Once you’ve created a list of your top job search sites, make a commitment to review those sites weekly.

For more juicy tips on how to find out which industries are hiring, which companies are hiring, and what the hot jobs are pick up my exclusive Career Change Boot Camp Program. My two (2) CD audio program w/ e-Workbook gives proven, step-by-step strategies to help you transition QUICKLY and EASILY into a new job role, company, or industry.

Think Up, Down and Sideways

When it comes to getting your next job you need to think outside the box. The biggest mistake job hunting professionals make is looking for a position with the exact same job title they had in their last job. To increase your job opportunities, consider looking at smaller companies and going one-level up (i.e. from a manager to a Director), as well as larger companies and going one-level down (from a Director to a manager.)

Want even more job opportunities? Then start thinking “sideways.” Some companies don’t require you to have industry experience, only expertise in a specific job function. So if you’ve been in sales, finance, engineering, or administration in a specific industry (such as health care, high tech, or construction), start applying for those same job roles in other industries.

For example, after working in an advertising agency, I searched for my next career move and included organizations that had in-house advertising, marketing and communications departments. In less than 60 days, I was hired as a Regional Marketing Manager at a Fortune 500 company in an industry that was completely new to me!

Also, it’s not mandatory that you meet 100-percent of the requirements in the job description. In fact, I only met about 50-75% of the job requirements each time I reinvented my career! My secrets? Focusing on transferable skills, passion and confidence! A good rule of thumb is to have at least 75-percent of the skills and experience required, and express in your cover letter and interviews that you’re a quick learner, flexible, and passionate about the position and the company!

For more career strategies, or to get personalized strategies based on your unique career situation, challenges and goals visit my career coaching web page.