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Long Hours, Short Days - The Long Journey known as Networking
I'm sure some of you may have noticed but I'm not as active as I used to be at the forum. Blame work. I am working long hours and my evenings seem to have become non-existent. I can't even sneak in here for a peak during work and check out what is going on because I happen to be sitting where management is ever present and they can always see what is on my screen. I do indulge in long lunches and make it a habit to lunch with friends as much as possible but there I go off on a tangent.
Networking and impressing your future colleagues is the trump card in getting a job in most cases. You don't really get a chance to show off your skill in an interview (at least I've never had the chance) and I find LinkedIn to be marginally helpfully but mostly useless (helpful in keeping track of friends and knowing when to congratulate them when they get a promotion).
I'd like to share my recent developments at work and how I've managed to convince my boss that they shouldn't get me to do what I was hired to do. Which was a good move mostly because reviewing KYC checklist (remember those from the CFA curriculum?!) for companies each and every day and double checking that the correct information was collected is borderline boring.
So how did I do it? I wish it was a simple formula that I could share and be done with it but unfortunately real life doesn't conform to simple formulas. But I do have some simple rules I always follow:
Always smile. I find just because I greet people with a smile they remember me. It may seem like an obvious tip but I think networking or talking to upper management makes people either overly nervous or overly formal to the point that they forget to smile. What a shame!
Make conversation. While I was unemployed I helped out a job developer (whose job is to help people find job) help people write a script for what to say when they met potential employers while networking. The script suggested people launch the conversation by stating their skills and qualification as soon and possible. I completely disagree with this approach. It doesn't give you time to scope out the person you are talking too and figure out what the like and how to tailor the conversation. I generally ask the person across from me what they are doing these days and for advice on how to form a solid career path which strokes their ego and it is more liking to keep the conversation rolling.
It doesn't work for everyone and in all circumstances but it did get me an appointment as a part time faculty at a college.
So I was wondering what are your networking techniques and not just to get a job but also for getting a promotion!