Conferences and Your Career

Conferences and Your Career

ConferencesI recently had a client receive free passes to a coveted industry conference. She was not sure how to prepare to get most out of the day.

Business Cards

You should always have business cards. There are two different kinds; personal and business. Which do you take?

Depends on who is paying and our objectives for attending the conference. If the company is paying and you intend to stay at your current company for the time being, always give out your company business card. If you are quietly looking for something new, then give out your company business card. Only use the personal business card when you are not worried about anyone at your current employer finding out that your are looking or you are out of work.

Attendee Lists

Many smaller niche conferences will give you a list of attendees. You can also contact the organizer ahead of time and ask them if they would be willing to give you the names of attendees.

The plan should be to scour the attendee list for key people that work for companies on your target list.  A good goal is to plan to meet at least one person from each company on your target list. You want a list of individuals that you can on the look out for on the day of the conference.

Conference Agenda

Review the agenda and determine which conference speakers you would like to meet. Prepare several salient questions that you could ask the speaker that will demonstrate your knowledge of the topic. Be prepared to ask for A-I-R (Advice, Insights and Recommends).

Day of Event

Arrive early and plan your day. Pick the sessions you plan to attend with an eye for topics where key people that work for companies on your target list might be attending.

This is kind of like being a teenager again. When you wanted to meet a certain girl you would hang out where you thought she would be. Same thing here. Where will the people you want to meet be hanging out?

Make sure your name tag is easy to read and placed on the right shoulder. I like to attach it to my collar on the right side of my body.

If there is a speaker that is of particular importance to your career, arrive early for the session and sit in the front row. Do not sit in the back row!!

If possible, introduce yourself to the speaker before the session and give them a business card. Be careful to not interfere with their session preparations. When the session is complete, you can approach the speaker with the salient questions you previously prepared.

Take notes on business cards on where and when you met each person.

Lunch and Breaks

Career Pivot Sponsor for the Month of November 2014

Career Pivot Sponsor for the Month of November 2014

Do not eat lunch with people you know. Seek out tables where key people that work for companies on your target list might be sitting. At worse case, randomly pick a place to sit. You never know who might sit down next to you!

Post Conference

The day after the conference, sort through all of the business cards and select key individuals that you need to follow up with. If possible, send them a handwritten thank you note and insert your business card in the envelope. Yes, this is old school but when they receive it, they will open it and you business card is no longer just another card in the stack but it is right in front of them on their desk!

Send LinkedIn connection requests to everyone you met, and schedule follow up meetings with key individuals.

Conferences are a great way to make initial contact with key individuals who can help you with your career.

Real networking does not happen at conferences but the real networking comes afterwards in the follow up meetings.

This post is part of a weekly series on the Personal Branding Blog.

You can read the original post on the Personal Branding Blog.

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Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

Strategic Networking – Career Pivot Whitepaper

Strategic Networking

Strategic NetworkingWhen I talk about strategic networking, people will often think of networking events. Their palms will get sweaty, as they would rather get root canal surgery than walk into a room full of strangers.

This new whitepaper documents a strategy that most everyone can execute to build and maintain the relationships you will need for your career.

Strategic Networking – or – Strategic Relationships

It is less about building a network than building the right relationships. Your next job will likely come through a relationship!

Strategic Networking – Building Your Tribe

It is all about building your tribe. Your tribe consists of the people in your network you can go to for a favor and actually expect it to be granted.

Who is in your tribe? What types of people are in your tribe?

Are you missing certain types of people from your tribe? This whitepaper identifies the different types of people in your tribe and where you need to put your emphasis in building your tribe.

Building Your Tribe for Career Success

How do you go about building your tribe? (You do not even have to go to a networking event!)

This whitepaper documents for you a variety of strategies to build and cultivate your tribe.

Asking for AIR– Advice, Insights, & Recommendations

When you ask for advice, does anyone turn you down? Usually not! If they do, they are probably a jerk and you do not want to talk to them anyway. Asking for A-I-R (or Advice, Insights and Recommendations) is a simple and easy way to approach your contacts for help.

Partner with Recruiters to Manage Your Career

In this social media connected world, recruiters and other HR professional have become the mesh that ties things together. It is key that you build strategic relationships with recruiters and other HR professionals. This whitepaper gives you a simple approach for contacting recruiters.

Does this sound interesting?

You can access this whitepaper by:

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Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

You can also download my whitepaperDon’t Retire Even If you Can and What to do Instead – A Baby Boomer Manifesto

Strategic Networking – Building Your Tribe

Do you have a tribe?

tribeWhat I mean by a tribe is the people in your network you can go to for a favor and actually expect it to be granted.

How many relationships can you maintain? You may have 10K followers on Twitter or 5K connections on LinkedIn, but how many do you really know? The number of relationships you can maintain is also known as the Dunbar Number. Evolutionary psychologist Robin Dunbar began a study of the Christmas-card-sending habits of the English and found that they sent on average 153.5 cards each year. The number of 150 has come up over and over in society. The Amish break up communities when they reach 150. Chimpanzee families reach a maximum of 150……

Do you have 150 people in your network that you can go to for a favor?

Last week I wrote about the kinds of people you want in your network:

  • Connectors
  • Mentors
  • Company or Industry Experts
  • Peers

Take a moment to locate the LinkedIn profile of everyone you know who could be part of your tribe. Tag each profile in LinkedIn with the category that they fall under.

This may take you a week or more to think of every person and then categorize them.

Do you have 150 in your tribe?

If the answer is no then you have some work to do.

Is there an area where you are weak or have too few?

Time to strategically network to build your tribe

Leverage your network to help you develop those strategic relationships!

What is missing from your network? Too few connectors? Too few company or industry experts? Do you have one or more mentors? Do you need a mentor in a particular skill area?

Develop a list of people who you would like to meet. Who in your network knows them well enough to make an introduction? I always want an introduction to a new connection. Think of this in sales terminology as a warm lead.

Once you have an introduction, schedule either a face-to-face meeting over a cup of coffee or, if they are not local, on the phone.

What will you ask for?

You will ask for A-I-R – Advice, Insights and Recommendations.

The magic word is advice! When you ask for advice, you will rarely be turned down. It is a compliment. Ask for their insights and then ask for their recommendations. Who else should I meet? Can you make an introduction?

If you will make one outreach a week, you will find that your tribe will grow naturally and strategically.

Do you know who is in your tribe?

Do you need to grow your tribe?

This post is part of a weekly series on the Personal Branding Blog.

You can read the original post on the Personal Branding Blog.

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Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

You can also download my latest whitepaper Personal Branding for Baby Boomers – What It Is, How to Manage It, and Why It’s No Longer Optional!

Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest  curated content relating to baby boomers.

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

Strategic Networking uh err .. Strategic Relationships

Strategic Networking

strategic networkingOften when I talk about strategic networking, people will immediately think of networking events. Their palms will get sweaty as they would rather get a root canal surgery than walk into a room full of strangers.

I now say strategic relationships because that is what we are really creating. Also, relationships are rarely created at networking events. Relationships are created after the event when you sit down and meet one on one. You get to know one another and find common ground.

What strategic relationships should you have?

Connectors

You should have at least 5% of your network… err.. relationships be connectors. Connectors are people who know a lot of people and enjoy making connections between them.

I am a connector. I know a lot of people and thoroughly enjoy playing matchmaker. I will warn you that you should be careful in over using any one connector. That is why you should have many connectors in your network.

There is a special kind of connectors called recruiters.  I wrote in a previous post-called Partner with Recruiters to Manage Your Career that you should carefully cultivate strategic relationships with recruiters. They are very busy people but they are people people. Whenever you engage with them do it with a purpose and state it clearly.

Mentors

As a baby boomer and having started my career in the 1970’s, no one encouraged me to find mentors.

When I started my career with IBM in 1978, I knew to seek out those in the area that really knew what they were talking about AND were not jerks! There were some really big egos, who would not help anyone but there were those who you could learn from. Seek those people out and cultivate formal mentoring relationships.

I now have multiple mentors each in a different subject area.

Industry or Company Expert

Who in your industry or company do you need to know? Be very selective and make sure they know who you are and what value you bring to the table. You do not need to form a bond with these people but you do need to be on their radar screen.

I have a client who works for a company that is downsizing. My client is working to maintain “their seat” until they can move on. When the last round of layoffs came my client went to a person of importance within the company and asked for advice.

The person of importance could assure my client of nothing but we found out later that the person of importance stepped in to make sure my client had “their seat”.

That relationship was built several years earlier!

Peers

This may sound odd but seek out peers and see how you can help them. I wrote in a previous article called Paying It Forward to Establish Your Personal Brand.

What I clearly stated in that post was it was important to help others and expect nothing in return. Be that guy or gal that people know that they can turn to when they need help.

Go look at your network err.. relationships! What role does everyone play in your success?

What strategic relationships are missing? Which types of relationships do you need to cultivate?

This post is part of a weekly series on the Personal Branding Blog.

You can read the original post on the Personal Branding Blog.

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Like what you just read? Share it with your friends using the buttons below?

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Check out my book which is available on Amazon.com!

Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

You can also download my latest whitepaper Personal Branding for Baby Boomers – What It Is, How to Manage It, and Why It’s No Longer Optional!

Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest  curated content relating to baby boomers.

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

Connecting on LinkedIn is Like Asking for a Date

Connecting on LinkedIn is like asking for a dateConnecting on LinkedIn is like what?

Have you considered that when you are connecting on LinkedIn you should follow the same rules that you used when you asked for a date?

I have been married for over thirty years. I only vaguely remember those awkward feelings when asking for a date. I do remember that I did not want to be rejected, ignored or dumped.

When you are connecting on LinkedIn, consider the following:

  • How do you know this person? Did you meet at a conference or meeting? Did you read an article on their website? Did you comment on their blog? Is it a personal or a virtual relationship?
  • Why do you want to create a connection on LinkedIn with this person? Do you want to network with this person? Do they work at a company that you are targeting? Can they introduce you to decision makers? Can they help you get your next job? Do you think they are doing interesting work and would like to connect personally?
  • Is there anything you can do for them? People rarely do this but if there is something reciprocal in nature to the connection mention it.

Why are you asking for the date… eerr.. connecting on LinkedIn?

How do you know the connection?

When you connect you have seven options for categorizing the connection.

  1. Colleague – You work with now or did work with the person in the past. Folks be honest.
  2. Classmate – We went to school together or at the very least went to the same University.
  3. We have done business together.
  4. Friends – Pretty obvious
  5. Groups – We belong to the same LinkedIn group.  This is a very powerful way to connect.
  6. Other – You will have to provide the connection’s e-mail address.
  7. I do not know xxx – If you specify this you will get a nasty pop up message saying “Invitations should only be sent to people you know personally.

Use the one that is true and honest.

When you ask for a date you know you should be authentic and put your best foot forward. When connecting on LinkedIn be authentic!

Do not tell me we worked together when we have not! Do not tell me we are friends when we just met for two minutes at a networking event.

What if none of them are true?  What if you just met at a conference very briefly, you work at different companies, you did not go to the same school and you do not have any groups in common?

I use the most powerful aspect of LinkedIn – LinkedIn Groups

I just met Mary at a conference and I have her business cards with her e-mail address, I could connect with her using the friend option and explain where we met.  Well that is not really true.

Would I call up Mary and tell her I was her friend? That is like going immediately to a second date and skipping the first date.

What should I do instead, is check out Mary’s LinkedIn profile to see what groups she participates on LinkedIn. I will typically pick two groups that makes sense for me to belong and join them.

Why two groups?

I do not know how long it will take to be approved.

Once I have been approved to one of her groups, I will write a connection request like the following:

Mary,

It was great meeting you at XYZ conference. (notice I specify where we met). I looked at your profile and saw that you belonged to ABC LinkedIn group. I just joined this group. It looks like I can learn a few things and contribute a bit in the group.

I look forward to meeting you again and corresponding about EFG (whatever we talked about at the conference). I would enjoy continuing the conversation. (Give Mary a reason to stay engaged)

Please accept this invitation to connect.

Marc Miller

This invitation quickly tells Mary:

  • Where we met
  • What we have in common
  • Gives her a reason to stay connected
  • I am a real person and not just sending out SPAM

This is using the same tactics that men have used for years. If you want to meet a girl, you hang around those groups, classes, clubs,… where the girls you want to meet congregate. In this case, you join a LinkedIn group.

I am dropping all of the little hints that I like you and would like to get to know you. I want to go out on a date….eerrr… I want to network with you.

If she has no groups that makes sense to join then connect as a friend but explain that in the connection request.

Be authentic, personable and most importantly tell me how we know each other!

If you want a date, …errr… connecting on LinkedIn, then you should behave just like you are asking for a date!

Give it a try and let me know how it works!

This post is part of a new regular series on the Personal Branding Blog.

You can read the original post on the Personal Branding Blog.

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Check out my book which is available on Amazon.com!

Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

You can also download my whitepaperDon’t Retire Even If you Can and What to do Instead – A Baby Boomer Manifesto

Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest  curated content relating to baby boomers.

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

Cultivating Your Tribe for Career Success

Cultivating Your TribeCultivating Your Tribe

In my previous post, Building Your Tribe for Career Success, I defined the concept of a tribe:

“Your tribe is the group you can call on for an introduction or some advice over coffee. And they can call on you, too–whether for themselves, or for a friend who wants some intelligence about your areas of expertise.”

In my book, Repurpose Your Career –  A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers, which I co-authored with Susan Lahey, we described cultivating your tribe as the following:

The thing about a tribe is, you have to cultivate it, like a garden. You need to weed it from time to time of people you have no real connection with. You have to water it when there’s no rain. You may need to apply fertilizer. Most importantly, you should not neglect it. You need to cultivate a habit of giving it Tender Loving Care (TLC). It needs to be part of the way you think and live, or it will wither.

Do you have friends when the only time you hear from them is when they want something?

One of the easiest way to provide TLC for your tribe is to make it a habit of cultivating the relationships. Do you have friends you have not seen in months?  Why not reach out with an e-mail and check in. At least once a week, I glance through LinkedIn or Outlook contacts and find someone I have not heard from in a while.  I send them my checking in e-mail.  It could be as simple as:

Bob,
I have not heard from you in a while.  How are you doing?  How is your family?  Things are going well with my business. Son got married last year, and they make a great couple. My wife’s business is still slow but getting better.

Let me know how you are doing and do you want to meet for a cup of coffee sometime soon?

Marc

I almost always get a response like the following:

Marc,
Thanks for checking in with me.  Life is good…… Too busy to meet for coffee, but check back in….
Bob

I now know how he is doing, and he knows that I care about him. Cultivating is all about building relationships.

What about meeting face to face?

There is no substitute for face to face meetings to establish and maintain relationships. I like social media but that good old face to face meeting where you get to shake hands and read body language is critical to long term relationships. When do you have the time to do this?

I like to have coffee meetings first thing in the morning at 7 or 7:30 AM.  When our son was small I learned that it was difficult for anyone to schedule my time for me at that hour.  My wife, boss, teammates, son,…. could schedule things for me to do at any other time, but first thing in the morning was sacred.

Sometimes it is not to meet for coffee.  Last week, I met a new contact at 7 AM for a morning walk.

What time works for you?  Lunch, after work for a beer or other libation, or maybe Saturdays. Pick a time, once a week, once every two weeks or once a month, to meet face to face with someone in your tribe. Make it a pattern.

Just do it! Make it a habit!

Are you cultivating your tribe? Are you doing something new and original that you would like to share?

Are you going to wait until you need something before you reach out?

Are you going to be that guy or gal?

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Check out my book which is available on Amazon.com!

Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

You can also download my whitepaperDon’t Retire Even If you Can and What to do Instead – A Baby Boomer Manifesto

Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest  curated content relating to baby boomers.

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

Paying it Forward to Establish Your Personal Brand

Paying It ForwardHave you considered what paying it forward will do for your personal brand?

According to Wikipedia: “Paying it forward is asking the beneficiary of a good deed to repay it to others instead of to the original benefactor”.

In my career, I’ve had plenty of people take an interest in, and help, me. So for me, Paying it forward isn’t about a specific deed someone has done, it is just having a habit of doing good deeds for others, expecting nothing in return.

When I go networking, my goal is to help you. I will be looking to see if I can offer:

  • An introduction to one of my contacts that will help you meet your goal
  • To review your resume or LinkedIn profile
  • Some sage advice
  • Maybe just some kind words

What do I expect in return? Nothing!

But I do receive something, your good opinion. You will perceive me favorably if I help you in some way. That’s not why I do it, but there is that reward. It has become a strong part of my personal brand.

The key is being a good listener

To be effective at offering help someone could really use, you need to be a good listener.

I live in Austin Texas where you could attend a networking event any day and just about any time of day. No one is from Austin…well most people are not from here originally.

My goal when meeting someone new is to get the other person to talk about himself or herself.

I am looking for something we have in common which might include:

  • Grew up in the same part of the country
  • Went to similar universities
  • Have similar hobbies
  • Our kids play the same sports

At this point, it’s not about work. I don’t want to know what you do, I want to know who you are. Too many networking conversations dead-end at job descriptions. You make a much better connection when you’re focused on the person.

My first question is always:

How did you get to Austin?

Everyone has a story and just about everyone likes to tell it. I want to get you talking about yourself and your experiences.

You might respond, I came here to go to college. So my next question is: What did you get your degree in?

A fun one is when they say, I followed my boyfriend or girlfriend here. My next question is always – Are you still with them? The response almost always is no. But they’re still glad to be here.

Once we have found something in common and have a better feel for who you are, I can ask:

How can I help you?

Remember I said to expect nothing in return. Do things flow back from this process?

Sometimes. Most often when you least expect it. It is called creating good Karma!

You will be perceived as a good listener, someone who is concerned for others and someone who is willing to help. These are all traits of likable people.

If you make it a habit of paying it forward, over time this will be an integral part of your personal brand 

Most of you are not from Austin. Find another question to ask that people enjoy answering.

Give it a try and let me know how it works!

This post is part of a new regular series on the Personal Branding Blog.

You can read the original post on the Personal Branding Blog.

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Check out my book which is available on Amazon.com!

Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

You can also download my whitepaperDon’t Retire Even If you Can and What to do Instead – A Baby Boomer Manifesto

Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest  curated content relating to baby boomers.

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

Asking for AIR – Advice, Insights, and Recommendations

Advice, Insights, and RecommendationsAdvice, Insights, and Recommendations

Frequently, when people use their contacts to try to change jobs or careers, they make one of several mistakes:

  1. They spend the whole time talking about themselves
  2. They spend the whole time asking questions the other person doesn’t feel comfortable answering
  3. They squander the opportunity and forget to meet their primary objectives.

How you present yourself to the people who are helping you furthers your personal brand. If you make one or more of the mistakes above, then you’ve communicated that your personal brand is self-centered, unprofessional or scattered. Whereas if you’re focused, clear and appropriate, that’s what your interviewee is going to walk away saying about you.

Let’s say you are looking for a new position. You want to check out this hot new startup. You did your homework and received an introduction to one of the managers, who we will call Jeffrey.

Do you ask for an informational interview? No…..

What you want to do is ask for A – I – R. You will ask for advice, insights and recommendations.

A – Advice- When you ask for advice it is a compliment. Rarely will anyone ever turn you down when you ask advice.  In an e-mail to Jeffrey, ask for 30 minutes of his time to ask for some advice. It could be about how to pursue a position at the company or to learn more about the company. The magic word is “advice!”

•    I – Insights- Once you meet Jeffrey ask for his insights into how the company functions, the culture and management structure. You might ask him how he was hired or does he like his job. You will want to ask very open ended questions to give Jeffrey to talk. This is NOT ABOUT YOU.

•   R – Recommendations – This is the part that many people forget. Ask what should I do next?  Is there anyone else you would recommend I talk with?  Can you introduce me to anyone else within the organization?

You will ask Jeffrey questions and only talk about yourself when asked. It is not about you!

This is all about building the relationship. Asking for advice, insights and recommendations is a great way to initiate and cultivate a lasting relationship.

You have not asked for help to get a job, but you have asked for help in understanding the organization and for further networking opportunities.  You are networking to build relationships and not to find a job. The opportunity to interview for a position will come later after you have established relationships.

Jeffrey will likely provide an introduction to at least one person, if not two, if you made it clear you were interested in him and his perspective.

You will ask for advice, insights, and recommendations from each of the individuals that Jeffrey made introductions.

When each meeting is complete who you gonna call? Jeffrey.

Well maybe not call, but at least send him an e-mail and let him know how it went. You will also tell him if you received any more introductions. People love to know that they’re helping and that the time they spent with you had some value. They also appreciate knowing that you’re grateful and recognize the time and effort they contributed to your career search.

Now, if a position opens up at this hot startup, Jeffrey will think of you.  If you made a favorable impression, he might even call you before the position is posted.

I was hired exactly this way at my last two tech startup companies.

This post is part of a new regular series on the Personal Branding Blog.

You can read the original post on the Personal Branding Blog.

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Like what you just read? Share it with your friends using the buttons at the bottom?

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Check out my book which is available on Amazon.com!

Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

You can also download my whitepaperDon’t Retire Even If you Can and What to do Instead – A Baby Boomer Manifesto

Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest  curated content relating to baby boomers.

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

Networking Strategically to Communicate Your Personal Brand

Networking StrategicallyNetworking Strategically?

What is networking strategically It is networking with a defined goal and a strategy to get to that goal. Let’s look at some examples:

  • You are unemployed, and you are looking for a job - Your goal might be to get to know the recruiter who handles positions for a company or the hiring manager for current and future positions.
  • You are employed but want out of your current company - You probably have the same goal as the unemployed job seeker. BUT you may have to use different tactics because you do not want your current employer to know.
  • You are looking into a career change – You want to meet professionals in your new field of choice, with a goal to decide on a new career path.
  • You want to move up or laterally in your current company – Your goal might be to meet people and build relationships outside of your current management chain.

In each of these cases, you must communicate your personal brand, your skills, personality, and reputation to someone who can use that information to help you accomplish your goals. But instead of just spreading your personal brand around to anyone who might be able to help you, you’re focusing on building key and strategic relationships and communicating your personal brand to those people.

Define the target

First you need to define the company, organization or industry you want to penetrate. For example, maybe you want to learn more about the marketing function at Jack Widget LLC.

  • Identify individuals who work in the marketing function at Jack Widget LLC - Search on LinkedIn for people who currently work for Jack Widget LLC and use a variety of keywords like “Marketing” or “Market Development” or “Business Development”.
  • Pick one or more individuals in the list with whom you share a LinkedIn connection – Find someone you know who can provide an introduction.
  • Call or e-mail your shared LinkedIn connection – Ask the shared connection, how well do you know the target individual and would you be willing to make an introduction? What you are looking for is a warm lead. Ask the shared connection to send an e-mail or make a phone call to make the introduction. When I make these introductions I use the subject line of Virtual Introduction.
  • E-mail the target individual to ask for some “advice” – Advice is the magic word. Ask to set up a visit over the phone or in person to ask for some advice. When you ask for advice, it is a compliment!
  • Meet the target individual with a prepared list of questions – Do not share your life story or even your career story beyond what’s needed to clarify why you need advice. Keep the meeting focused on the knowledge base of the target individual. You are there to listen and learn. They will have a much better impression of you if you stay focused on the goal of the meeting, which is to get advice, rather than “pitching” them on the idea of supporting you.

Your goal is to get face time with individuals within the target organization. Ask open-ended questions about the other person. Show an interest in who they are and what they think. Find out whether this is an organization that you want to work for!

Your goal is to establish a relationship which communicates something about your personal brand without hawking it like a used car salesman! This post is part of a new regular series on the Personal Branding Blog.

You can read the original post on the Personal Branding Blog.

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Check out my book which is available on Amazon.com!

Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

Also available at Barnes and Noble

You can also download my whitepaperDon’t Retire Even If you Can and What to do Instead – A Baby Boomer Manifesto

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

Baby Boomer Career Management – Paradigm Shift

paradigm-shiftBaby Boomer Career Management – Paradigm Shift

Are you ready to make a paradigm shift in how you manage your career?

Client #1

I was sitting with a client who was networking for their next job.

He had just met with an old colleague who was working for new high tech company. His friend brought him in, introduced him around and made the proper introductions into HR.

The problem?

They had no open positions in the area where he is a good fit.

My client states “I am drilling holes and coming up empty!”

Another way to look at this is “I am drilling holes, and I am planting seeds!”

You plant enough seeds and some will germinate and sprout to the surface.

When?

You never know when!

You have NO CONTROL over the timing.

Boy is this frustrating, particularly for technical people who are used to working in predictable and controllable environments. This is a Paradigm Shift in how they manage their career.

You are out planting seeds strategically and …….waiting! ARGH!

(More: What is Strategic Networking)

Client #2

I was sitting with another client having just finished our second feedback session of his Birkman assessment. He had been diligently networking for a couple of years. He had built up his network on LinkedIn. He was getting contacted regularly for positions that…. he did not want.

What did he want? This client does not fit into a classical employee category. He had been at the same employer for over 15 years and moved from position to position as opportunities appeared.

He had just started to network strategically. We are now building his brand story that highlights his unique combinations of talents and skills. The idea is recruiters will find his LinkedIn profile, which will have the appropriate keywords, and will want to talk to him!

He then asks how long will it take to move into a new position at a new employer.

My response was the same as with client #1.

You have NO CONTROL over the timing. Another Paradigm shift in thought!

(More: Baby Boomers and your Brand Story)

Are you ready to start planting seeds?

You then need to cultivate your network on a regular basis!

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Marc Miller Career Design Specialist