Today's blog post is a request from B. After reading How to Work the Room Like a Pro, B wanted to know how to take her networking efforts to the next level using LinkedIn. She specifically wanted to know about the introduction feature.
Introductions are a fantastic, and underused feature on LinkedIn. Many professionals will flatly ignore connection requests from strangers, but a message from someone they know is a different matter. That's why introductions are so important. It's not just a matter of etiquette, it's a matter of effectiveness. You'll want to use this tool when you are looking to network, prospect business, or simply learn more about what the other person does.
Questions? Comments? Requests for future tutorials or blog posts? All are welcome at email@example.com.
My recent guest blog post “Passions or Paycheck” on Integrative Academic Solutions sparked a lively discussion on LinkedIn. One of the commenters raised a fantastic point: passion is just one of a number of variables that you need to take into account when you are making career decisions. If you’re paying attention to your career values, they should influence every aspect of your career from job searching to the type of employer you work for, as well as your long and short term planning. So what exactly are career values, and how do you know what yours are?
Almost a year ago, Thomas Friedman published his article Need A Job? Invent It in the NY Times. At the time it was published, I followed the comments and was surprised at the deep revulsion to Friedman’s main ideas. Whether you love it or hate it, the truth is that lateral moves within organizations and job reclassification are far more common today than the linear upward mobility that everyone seems to crave. Taking that into consideration, Friedman isn’t so far off the mark, and I’ve seen this phenomenon happen with great results in the case of Eli.
Eli had been working for several years doing various operations and HR functions, but it was a small company so it wasn’t as though there was a progression plan. Rather than jump ship, Eli got smart. He observed the strengths and weaknesses of the organization, and wrote a report for the senior leaders with recommendations that he felt would make them more efficient and profitable. They took notice, and began listening when he made suggestions, and they started seeking out his opinion more often.
Next, Eli identified more gaps in operations. Again he went to senior management, pointing out holes in operating procedures and identifying how they could solve the problems. This time he volunteered to take on those responsibilities if the company would send him for the necessary training. They agreed, and his duties expanded, though he still had all of his original responsibilities as well.
Once again, Eli analyzed company processes, but this time he focused a bit more on himself. He pointed out gaps, inefficiencies and where money was wasted but positioned himself front and center as part of the solution. He was able to document how he had already been able to save them money and improve operations. This time, he requested a job reclassification as part of his solution. After reviewing the proposal and his track record with the company, the senior leaders agreed and created the role that Eli wanted all along.
Want to be like Eli? Then follow his lead:
If resumes and cover letters are meant to be about the employer's needs, when is it your turn to make the job search about you? At the start of your search, you have the opportunity to identify your preferred employers and target your search strategies toward those organizations. But the question you should be asking yourself is how do you identify a preferred employer? What makes one organization better than another?
Here are some things to look for as you go through your potential employer checklist:
Where/how you work- In the global, digital economy, the idea of working 9-5 in one specific location is becoming less and less practical. Telecommuting and flex work hours may allow you to live father away from the office if you don't have to travel there on a daily basis. Check on the employer's HR page to see if telecommuting and flexing hours is a standard practice, and if it's important to you then make sure you discuss it before signing on.