One of the most common negative things I hear from my CFOs when we are creating their strategic job search plan is around networking. Either they don’t have a network, they don’t have time to network, or networking just isn’t their strong suit.
Networking isn’t that difficult because people generally like talking about themselves. Just ask a few open-ended questions and it’s off to the races. Your job boils down to listening.
However, networking is definitely time-consuming. And because it is time-consuming, having a good ROI for the time investment is always important. Especially to finance guys.
Mistake #6 – Talking AT People
We all do it. When it’s our turn to own the floor we wax on and on and on about whatever we might feel passionate about. The outcome of one well-fashioned question. Remember, people generally like talking about themselves.
But what often happens during that stream of consciousness is the tuning out by the recipient. After a few seconds, their thoughts are focused on their to do list, or who else they want to meet, or what they are going to say as soon as you take a breath.
Learn to talk “with” people. Since our communication intake times are driven by Twitter and texting today, a better networking ROI will be generated when you offer a snippet of information that begs a follow-up question from the other party. Once the back-and-forth engagement begins, you’ll have the beginning of a “real” networking conversation.
It’s the Christmas holiday season and a great time to be practicing your networking skills! If you don’t have a network, now is a great time to begin cultivating one. If you don’t have time to network, resolve today to begin by scheduling networking as a weekly appointment.
If you aren’t networking because you don’t do it well, call me. It’s THAT important to your career!