Best Practices that Empower Your Career and Business
I was on a Zoom call run by a Meetup group called, LinkedIn Local Austin Networking. I have been involved with this group for years when I lived in Austin Texas. Since our move to Ajijic Mexico, I have been unable to participate until COVID-19 struck and they moved the meetup to Zoom.
Thom Singer presented for the first 15 minutes with his new talk, “Social Tightening While Social Distancing.” I would suggest you read the Medium post written by Hugh Forrest called, Thom Singer Re-Thinks Networking in a Socially-Distanced World.
Thom discussed 7 best practices that he is using to empower his career and business. You can also listen to Thom’s story on the Repurpose Your Career podcast episode Pivoting a Speaking Career in a Time of Pandemic.
Thom is a full-time public speaker who saw his business go from running on steroids to every event he had booked cancel in 3 days during March.
When I heard the 7 best practices I thought they could be applied in so many ways in our careers and business.
We are all suffering from the isolation that the pandemic has created. Being alone is not how humans work. I am a pretty big introvert but even I need some socialization and to be with people. How can we be with others when we are stuck at home? You can do this by reaching out.
Many of us have seen our email volumes go up significantly since the pandemic began as many of the companies we deal with have been sending us emails. Thom tells us we should be personal and not to broadcast out our message like these companies are doing.
Try sending out a message to 3 people every day and make it personal. This could be an:
- text message
- a phone call, or
- a social media direct message.
Heck, you might actually send them a handwritten card in the mail.
Make it personal and it should not be something that you can cut and paste.
So many of us are lonely and taking the time to reach out will let others know that you care and maybe can be of some help. I personally have called a lot of people in the last few months and each person has thanked me for calling before we hung up.
If you feel lonely, take responsibility, and start reaching out. When you do reach out and show others that you care many people will return the acts and show they care about you too.
Loneliness is Nothing New
Long before the pandemic hit there was already an epidemic of loneliness in our society. Dr. Vivek Murthy, the former Surgeon General under the Obama administration wrote an article for the Havard Business Review titled, Work and the Loneliness Epidemic. Murthy has since released his book, Together: The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World.
In his research, he found that 20% of people surveyed said that they sometimes or always felt lonely. The UK and Canada have created government positions called Ministers of Loneliness.
Social media in many ways has made people feel more isolated.
So one way we can empower our network is by reaching out and make it personal.
Offer to Help
What can you do to help others? How can you provide value?
If you are unemployed can you still provide value to others? Thom talks about doing webinars for free for some of his former clients. He knows they have no money to pay him, he just wants them to remember him when things come back.
Who can you help? I have one member of the Career Pivot membership community who has been unemployed for several years. He has become quite adept at using LinkedIn and he helps others in the community on their LinkedIn profile and strategies.
When you help others you empower them to help you.
Use the Tools
Face-to-face meetings are not going to happen for a while. Many of us are craving social interaction but there are tools out there like Zoom, Facetime, Skype, Google meetings, and others that make it as close to “in person” as possible.. Learn how to use the tools.
You can set up a home studio which is not hard to do or expensive. Check out my post, 4 Ingredients to a Winning Video Interview Environment [Updated] to learn how to do this.
If you are not comfortable being on video, practice with people you trust to get feedback.
Partner with Someone Else
Do not do this by yourself. This could be hiring a coach or finding a search partner.
Thom partnered with Eliz Greene who was on the Repurpose Your Career podcast in the episode Dealing with Stress and Uncertainty with Eliz Greene [Podcast]. They create The Webinar Talk Show several years ago when they thought many of the conferences they spoke at would go hybrid. That did not happen then but it has happened now.
Do not do this alone.
In my business, I have people who I depend on like my virtual assistant, Stephanie Brodt. I have others that I depend on, and in fact, I get a lot of feedback and ideas from the Career Pivot Membership community that I run. I recently joined Pat Flynn’s SPI Pro community to get the help I need.
When you partner with others you empower them to help you.
I said many times that when you got a process related to social media that works, do not worry, the platform will change and will not work anymore.
Particularly in this time of a pandemic, you need to throw out the playbook and be creative. What worked before very likely will not work now. Check out my post Are You Operating Without a Playbook? You Ought to Be!
Thom discusses in his talk about his daughter who graduated from high school this spring. Well, she did not have a traditional graduation experience. She is leaving this fall for Dartmouth for her freshman year even though she never set foot on campus. Her campus visit was scheduled for March of 2020 when most airlines stopped flying.
The university set up Facebook live sessions for the upcoming freshman class to visit campus and get a virtual experience. When someone suggested doing a Zoom call, his daughter quickly got permission from her father to use his enterprise Zoom account. She then organized large groups of freshmen to get together and get to know one another.
She got creative and used the tools available.
When you get creative you will discover that you will empower others to help you.
Show Up (Even If Online) and Get Involved
Now is the time to get involved. Whether it is an industry association, meetup group, church or civic organization, or just a group of friends or colleagues.
Many of these groups have moved online. Just like I started this post talking about the LinkedIn Local Austin Networking Meetup group that has moved online. It is all about getting out there.
What you will discover is getting involved will help you make a difference in other people’s lives. This is what I call creating good karma. When you help others you put yourself in the position of getting help yourself.
You empower others to help you.
Talk with One Smart Person Every Day
This is my favorite best practice. Thom decided in the middle of March when every single event he had booked for the next six months canceled that he would ask for help from his network. He worked on scheduling one Zoom call every day with someone who he thought was smart.
Thom reached out and put himself in a position of vulnerability by asking for help. He was just looking for ideas and made it very clear he wanted to talk to smart people who might be able to give him some ideas.
I really like this idea because it keeps you out of your own head. I like to say it protects you from MSU disorder. (MSU = Make Stuff Up).
These best practices are especially important today because of the disruption that the COVID-19 pandemic has created.
Do not try to do all of these immediately. Try one and see how it goes. Choose another and even if things don’t go smoothly do not stop.
Which of these are you going to do today?