Skills You Were Not Taught in School – Networking For Career Success

Skills You Were Not Taught in School – Networking For Career Success

By Michael M DeSafey

There are the technical skills you were taught in school: engineering, geology, environmental services. The science and methods (The why). As you start working in the industry though you need to gain more skills and experiences related to real life business activities.

As your career progresses you will earn professional registrations and most likely be promoted to the Project levels. Your responsibilities begin to increase and it’s up to you to meet the deadlines and prepare deliverables. You learn to write reports, interact with clients and manage project teams.

At first you will find it tough going, but with time and experience, it becomes like second nature. Because you know the why, and have learned the how.

One of the most difficult activities engineering and environmental professionals are tasked with is Business development; networking. You understand the technical aspects to your job; the science and engineering (the why), but the how (how to build relationships, how to establish clients, and how network with associates) is beyond your education. This is a skill you most definitely were not taught in school and need to develop as a professional to advance your career. But where do you start?

Here are some tips on how to network

  • It’s important to remember that no one ever died from networking (we checked).
  • Start out by attending an association luncheon. If you choose an event with a speaker or topic that you’re interested in you’ll have something to talk about during the networking session.
  • Bring cards and be prepared with your elevator speech. This is who you are, who you work for, and how your firm relates to the days topic, in 30 seconds. If your marketing department doesn’t have that message crafted, try Google.
  • Have a plan. If the event attendees aren’t listed online, show up to the event early and scan the name tags. Make a mental note of who you’d like to talk to.
  • If you recognize a name of someone you don’t know but would like to meet (a decision maker at a potential client firm, perhaps), hang out at the registration table and see who picks up that name tag.
  • As other attendees show up, it’s OK to make a beeline for a friendly face. Ask your friend to introduce you around. Caveat: don’t hang out with your friend for the entire networking session. Give her time to mingle on her own; make sure you mingle on your own as well.
  • The easiest way to find someone to talk to is locate a person standing by himself, wishing he were anywhere but there. Put your nerves aside, walk up, and say hi.
  • (Speaking of nerves, it’s perfectly normal to be nervous. Many seasoned business development professionals get butterflies before every networking event).
  • The best ice-breaker is to ask your new acquaintance about himself. People love to talk about themselves.
  • Ask open-ended questions. A yes-or-no question is a conversation killer. Lead him with questions that lead to more questions, but don’t interrogate him!
  • It’s OK, even preferable, to talk about topic other than business. Relationships are developed over time by getting to know someone as a person, instead of potential work.
  • Know when to move on. Don’t monopolize one person’s time, or let one person monopolize yours. Once you make an acquaintance, learn about him and exchange information, move on.
  • Make it your goal to meet at least three new people during the networking time. This will keep you moving around and maximize the use of your time.
  • When it’s time to be seated for lunch DO NOT sit with someone you’ve already talked to. This is the time to find one of the people you want to meet and find a seat at, or near, her table. Introduce yourself and chat for just a moment, with a promise to follow-up at a later time.
  • Once everyone is seated, pass a stack of your cards around the table. Everyone else should do the same. Then introduce yourself to the people on either side of you. Keep the conversation light. Now is not the time to set meetings or discuss projects.
  • Please, please, use common sense when making conversation! Politics, religion, sex, or anything controversial is off-limits.
  • Industry gossip, no matter how juicy, is also off-limits. You don’t know who knows who, and the very nature of gossip is negative. Don’t get drawn into it.
  • After the presentation is over, close the loop with your table mates and the other people you talked to. Everyone has to get back to work, so now is not the time to strike up an in-depth conversation.
  • The most important part of any networking event is the follow-up. Send an email to every person you met. Remind them of your conversation, provide any information you promised to share, and ask for a follow-up meeting.

The more often you attend events, the wider your circle of contacts becomes. Keep in touch with your network. Develop relationships, share information, and move forward in your career.

 

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Michael_M_DeSafey/1832732

Build Strong Relationships With Active Participation

Build Strong Relationships With Active Participation

By Patrick Smyth

After a long flight to Tokyo Japan, the sight of two thousand people in the audience for keynote speech at the technology conference was impressive. The presentation moved along slowly as frequent pauses enabled the interpreter to convert the original English spoken and written on the slides into Japanese. After twenty minutes or so, it appeared that two thousand heads were resting on their shoulders as the entire audience had fallen asleep. The interpreter insisted they were listening and not sleeping, so please to continue. After all the effort and time to prepare and travel halfway around the world only to meet a sleeping audience, the last thirty minutes of the talk were sheer drudgery.

How you participate in meetings has a direct effect on the motivation and level of engagement by other people in the meeting. Technology has become an excuse to continue whatever you were doing outside of the meeting, while the meeting is in progress. A prospective customer does not want to stare at the back of your laptop screen and watch you type away while they are attempting to build a relationship with you. You can try to justify this laptop behavior by suggesting that you rely on the laptop to take notes during the meeting. The problem is your notes do not impress the people on the other side of the table.

Smart phones are equally offensive. Yes, you hold the phone below the table and cast your eyes downward to read it. Somehow, you believe the other people in the room don’t notice that you are busy tapping away at the small screen in front of you and not engaging in a conversation with them. All they see is someone who appears to be focusing on something other than the most important people and conversation in the room. Your behavior suggests to them that whatever is going on in front of you is far more important than they are. Clearly, that’s a serious mistake.

The first good step to active participation is assuring that you remove distractions, such as those from laptops and smart phones, from the conversation. Of course, active participation reaches far beyond simply removing distractions. Focus your attention on the other party or parties in the meeting. Ask insightful questions to demonstrate your interest in them and their business needs. Acknowledge the key points they are making to encourage them to continue sharing. Ask for clarification if they say anything that might seem slightly ambiguous or unclear. If you are delivering a presentation in a meeting, make sure the audience is following along and getting the key points you are communicating.

Avoid talking incessantly to show how much you know. All that does is confirm that you are not listening and that your focus is on yourself. Launching into an endless scripted speech without engaging the audience with questions and clarifications will certainly turn them off. Watch their body language for signs that they are reacting to what you are saying and use those as cues to expound further or ask questions. The more you demonstrate your care about their success, the more they will learn to respect and trust you. Active participation builds trust, which in turn builds solid relationships.

 

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Patrick_Smyth/33422

INSPIRE – A Power Word for Every Day

INSPIRE – A Power Word for Every Day

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Inspire

In 2011 this word came crashing into my life as being central to everything I am about. I had the privilege of meeting Thomas Power from the UK, in person, in Sydney. Thomas spent an hour with me taking me through a guided session that resulted in bringing everything that drives me down to two words.

Those 2 words were: Inspiring Solutions.

Thomas’ instructions to me were to treat those two words as key to everything I do and I started from that moment on to build my personal brand around ‘Inspiring Solutions’.  A few months later I set up my first LinkedIn profile and used my new ‘core words’ to create the following statement:

 

“Passionate, energetic and dynamic, I am all about inspiring solutions through international business development and helping others network and connect effectively.”

 

From 2011 and even more so today, ‘Inspiring Solutions’ is my benchmark for everything I share on-line, everything I tweet about, like, re-share, post, comment on and for offline face to face networking conversations, discussions, topics I will talk about and even people I choose to associate with. If it is aligned with inspiring solutions, I am there. If it is not then I politely choose to exit or change the subject and I like to think I honestly manage this most of the time.

 

The simple word ‘inspire’ and all its variations, inspiring, inspiration, inspirational, have taught be more about life, about attitudes towards business and pleasure, about people, about positive change that focus on 2 key words brings, than I ever would have thought possible.

My favourite definition of the verb to inspire is

To fill with an animating, quickening or exalting influence; to fill with enlivening or exalting emotion

 

I have discovered the power of choosing to become inspiring and have been on a mission for the last couple of years to inspire others to choose the same. This personal purpose statement that I created at a workshop led by Jan Haldane is a powerful reminder: ‘My purpose is to express my passion, energy and drive to inspire, connect and build engaging networks with people and businesses.

 

I could write all day about this amazing little word inspire but I will choose to finish off with some of a key note that I wrote and delivered as part of a Corporate Series led by Cam Calkoen in 2014:

“Inspiring people are attractive. They ooze something which the rest of us want – they feed us, challenge us, and energise us. We want to follow them, know them, and be associated with them.

In choosing to become inspiring, you will choose to become one of those people who others gravitate towards. They will share your posts, like your blogs and updates, will connect with you, follow you, meet face to face with you, attend events you are at, introduce you to others and look to build some kind of relationship with you.

So inspire those around you and find others who inspire YOU. Build your network around these 2 points and you will have loyal connections who will bring others who they think would be inspired by or resonate with you AND you will be doing the same for those connections who inspire you.

It’s all about GIVE and TAKE. Giving comes first.”

 

Jayne Albiston
Director
Business over Breakfast (BoB) Clubs Australia & New Zealand

Parnell BoB Club OFFICIAL Pre-Launch CONFIRMED

PARNELL BoB CLUB

OFFICIAL PRE-LAUNCH CONFIRMED FOR FRIDAY 11 MARCH 2016 7.30AM

 

We continue to successfully launch multiple Business over Breakfast (BoB) Clubs all around New Zealand and we are now setting up a BoB Club in Parnell. The Parnell business networking club will meet every two weeks on a Friday morning, 7.30 – 9.00am, venue Nottinghill Kitchen – 162-168 Parnell Road – Parnell.

We are accepting pre-registrations now ($150+GST) and will launch when we have 12 pre-registered founding members. Networking is proven to be successful and helps grow any business quickly and increases your sales in the most profitable way. We are now actively looking for new members who are keen to network in the Parnell area.

For those of you who may have tried networking before and felt under pressure to refer each week, then try BoB Networking as we have no pressure for referrals at every meeting. So contact us now to pre-register for our Parnell BoB Club and learn more about how Networking through BoB Clubs can help your business

 

Learn more HERE, join or book in for the pre-launch.

 

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Robert Charbine from Minuteman Press joins Narre Warren BoB Club – Better Business Networking

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Robert Charbine, Minuteman Press Narre Warren

View Robert Charbine profile
Minuteman Press Narre Warren

Printer
4 / 4 Vesper Drive
Narre Warren 3805
8790 5611
0411195462
Member of the Narre-Warren-Melbourne BoB Club

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Senior Product Manager with 11 years proven experience and achievements in various functional operational roles within the semiconductor industry; with a focus on product management, technical support, process/business improvements and analysis, strategy and project management.