Work [for] Your 2016 Network

Who doesn’t know about networking and how critical it is to learning about job prospects, developing mentor relationships or even earning a job interview for a position that you covet? You may know some folks that are very skilled at it. You may have some friends who are not-so-much. You might even include yourself in the ‘not’ group.Networking is a contact sport.

Whether you are in the ‘I got this’ group or the other, I encourage to check out an Entrepreneur.com article written by proclaimed network guru, Darrah Brustein. Your read will go quick and your skill-building understanding of how to develop or improve your networking skills will deepen. It might provide you some much needed momentum into 2016 and beyond.

Happy New Year!

Be Rare and Remembered.

feedback225AM encourages developing mentors. 225AM believes that cultivating a strong social and professional network is an important, if not critical, dimension in how you build and strengthen (or lengthen) your career path. I have referenced opinions and called out advice that supported the same. So this leaves room for Steve Tobak’s recent post on Entrepreneur. He summarizes what generally appeals to us, as a society and community, in the relationships and associations that we make — our coterie of friends and business colleagues. Then he offers his observations.

He laments that what he sees trending now are people who behave or appear one way to the public but are completely different personalities on the inside. He doesn’t take a deep dive into the theory of ‘why’ and I get that because THAT is a much bigger question and Entrepreneur is not the proper forum for such a discussion. But I like that he has made a call for ‘authenticity’ in our collective engagement with each other.  I believe introducing that practice into ones own life, for the most part, is good. I am not advocating, nor is he, any extremes here. In other words, being genuine or authentic shouldn’t narrow or reduce your social graces to the point where you tend to offend. But such self-awareness may be an invaluable quality that in time and practice will make you stand out from the crowd in your private and professional life.

Tobak gives his opinion of the 10 Behaviors of Genuine People. How many of these describe you? Do you think he has overlooked one? Let me know.

 

The ‘Double Whammy’ in Employment

v2_1pagerDo we, in America (and worldwide), have a people or a talent shortage? This is not a simple question to toss off now that baby boomers are slowly but surely exiting the work force and the fresh faces coming on board seem to only aspire to join the over-served and very crowded service economy. These same job seekers seem to ignore or may even deride the skilled trades sector — which, according to ManpowerGroup, has taken the No. 1 spot for U.S. jobs most in demand, for the fourth straight year. This year’s incoming college freshmen may want to take note of this.ManpowerGroup_jobdemandWhat the heck? Why is this even important to bring up? Just consider this. Manufacturing Institute (MI) predicts that 2 million factory jobs will go unfilled because of a shortage of manufacturing engineers and experienced skilled trades and production workers. MI did some math to support their assertion that effort should be made to address why there is a manufacturing skills shortage. They claim that every dollar spent in manufacturing adds $1.37 to the U.S. economy. Every 100 manufacturing jobs creates another 250 jobs in OTHER SECTORS. That, on its face, is an obvious benefit to our economy and our future.

Of course there are a host of related political issues and structural causes for this apparent mismatch of people and skills and this is not the forum for such analysis. But are you at all interested in going a little further in thinking on this subject? Then check out this Ticker Tape to read some more, not as market investment research but, perhaps, for the investment in your own career.

To BARELY KNOW You is To HIRE You

I put quite a bit of time into looking at what the folks on the other side of the job-search desk, aka hiring managers and recruiters, have to say about their outlook. It’s hard, they say, to find people who are viable, never-mind qualified, as job candidates. One would think that with the abundance of apps, analytics, tools, platforms, job-boards and social media at their disposal that a torrent of topnotch talent would be cascading over the transoms of every HR office door but a recent post by Lou Adler has fitfully quieted that notion.

work_maze

It seems that people on both sides of the job-search desk are frustrated and struggling to keep faith in the job hunting and hiring process. Adler asserts his 9 reasons for why its so hard to find success. Since there was no particular order to his list, I will take the liberty to lead here with his #2, which is what 225AM believes is the trigger event toward getting an interview — the first step of getting a job is a referral. He writes:

A different process is used to hire acquaintances than strangers. People who are personally known or referred get a few free passes: 1) they always get to the top of the resume pile so they get the first shot at all new jobs, 2) they are judged on their past performance rather than being filtered first on the depth of their skills, 3) jobs are often modified to fit their strengths and offset their weaknesses. This leads to a major job-seeker strategy: Become an acquaintance rather than applying directly.

Adler supports his ‘better to be an acquaintance’ thesis pretty well and you may want to revisit the value and the strength of weak ties again to restore your enthusiasm and outlook. He covers a lot of ground in his other 8 reasons and observes that both sides often contribute to their own lack of success.

I started out with his #2 reason for this post but start with his #1 in Why Acquaintances Get Better Jobs than Strangers. It may also put you in a better position to learn about that ‘hidden’ job that never makes the light of a job post and enjoy the reward of getting that job. More about that later.

 

Be the One Percent (1%) | Be Authentic

The provocative title of Greg McKeown‘s January article in the Harvard Business Review is 99% of Networking Is a Waste of Time. What he is encouraging the reader to consider is to become the 1% of the population who knows what it takes to invest in and grow the value of their network. What I like about it is that his principles of networking are applicable and will strengthen your personal as well as professional growth. And you know that a keystone for getting meaningful work is to build relationships with people in your network to transform a mere contact into a connection.

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I recently pointed you to another teaser-titled article and if you read the two together you will see that their career successes and counsel share pretty much the same core principle — know who you are and don’t be afraid to focus on the quality of your relationships, not how many friends or 1st connections you have mustered. If you are ready to be your real self, you’re going to be great at networking.

Common Core: Networking in College

Our blog has a category titled Work My Network. It is where we collect our thoughts and ideas in support of the fundamental truth — referred candidates are more likely to be successful in getting an interview. This remains true no matter where you are on your career timeline.

But what does matter is when you start to build your network and we, at 225AM.COM, believe that freshman year in college is a great place to start. So when I read a post by Haley Osborne titled WANT A JOB? START NETWORKING IN COLLEGE on theundercoverrecruiter.com, I thought it would be useful to share it here.

Osborne reaffirms our assertion that networking is the first and critical step to winning a job. And she continues to encourage the reader to actively engage with network connections to develop mentors and advisers. The 225AM platform allows users to aggregate their LinkedIn and Facebook networks as well as add their personal contacts into their 225AM account. Our users can search across all three networks at once, using one of our 4 main filters, Industry | Position | Location | Company, to find relevant connections that have the potential to become referrals or advisers. Being able to organize your entire network within these categories provides a new way of ‘seeing’ who you know and insight into relevant relationships for your career development.

Take a minute to learn how Chantal is networking using 225AM:

Chantal

If you are serious about getting a job or an internship in the Summer of 2015 please take a few minutes to read the article and then get to work on building your network.

#1 Job Search Tool : Person-to-Person Networking

As most of my focus and time is on the 2014 MPACE Conference this week I wanted to share briefly a recent post about by an English Teacher/Resume Writer, Steve Brady, who used a segment from The Quick & Easy Guide to Networking: Tips, Tricks & Tools for Jobseekers, one of his (all career and job search related) guidebooks that is intended to be a networking primer for job/internship seekers of all ages.

An advantage for 225AM users is that the searching, identifying and then the tracking and organization of schedules and contacts is managed by us in your 225AM account. You may find it useful. Let me know if you don’t!