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Chapter 1.2. A Model for Strategic Planning, Analyzing Cases and Decison Making

Chapter 1.3 Forest & Forest Case

Chapter 2. Influencing / Persuading

Chapter 3. Negotiating / Conflict Resolution

Chapter 4. Networking / Self Marketing

Chapter 5. Entrepreneuring / Venturing

Chapter 6. Business Plan Outline

Chapter 7. HBS Case Method Deprives Students of An Authentic Learning Experience

Chapter 8. Improving Your Ability to Recognize Business Opportunities

Chapter 9. Why Business Schools Need to Know What MBAs Want to Learn and How to Find Out

Chapter 10. What do MBAs Want and What Do They Get?

Chapter 11. Applying Services Marketing Concepts to the Administration of A Business School

Chapter 12. A Model of the Business School as A Developer of Achievers

Chapter 13. Obtaining More Options in Your 401(k) or 403 (b) Retirement Plan

Chapter 14. Breathe Slowly - Reduce Your Blood Pressure

Chapter 15. The Body Mass Index (BMI) Is Wrong



Chapter 4. Networking / Self-Marketing

    "Networking" is exchanging information.  Networking also includes swapping services and establishing personal connections.  Some synonyms for networking are: connecting, engaging, meshing.  Networking is valuable and widely practiced because something useful can be learned from just about everyone and if we seek information from many people we increase the probability of achieving our objectives.
    People network mainly by conversing one-on-one in many different settings: on the telephone, in hallways, in company lunchrooms, at professional conferences, at trade shows, company meetings, classrooms, lounges, hallways, elevators, airplanes, trains, busses, hotel lobbies and waiting rooms.  Some networking is carefully planned and some just happens.  Networking is friendly, low-key and essential in our complex society.
    Why do so many people network in so many different places?  They network because they are looking for information or connections that will help them to:
    1. Do their work better.
    2. Advance their careers by:
        a)    Obtaining an increase in pay.
        b)    Expanding their responsibilities.
        c)    Obtaining a promotion with their present employer.
        d)    Recruiting employees or consultants.
        e)    Selecting a school or a major field to study in school.
        f)    Getting a better job.
    3. Advance their own business by:
        a)    Starting, joining or investing in a new business.
        b)    Getting new clients.
    4. Increase their impact on the world by:
        a)    Meeting people and making a favorable impression.
        b)    Reestablishing old contacts.
        c)    Arranging to publish an article or give a presentation.
    5. Improve their social lives.
    Networking also provides a less tangible benefit, but one that is just as important.  If you network, you become well informed about your field and related activities.  You develop and keep a competitive advantage.  Networking should be one of your continuing activities.
    Students find career networking especially productive.  Therefore, many of the examples in the following discussion focus on career networking.

    1.  Prepare and Maintain Your Accomplishments File

        Many of us do not really appreciate how much we have accomplished because we have been taught to be modest.  The problem with excessive modesty is that it doesn't get you where you want to go.  The first step in breaking down excessive modesty is to start an Accomplishments File (AF).
        Your AF will serve you in several ways.  The immediate purpose will be to provide basic data for the Problems and Opportunities discovery that you will be doing soon.  A subsequent purpose will be to provide the building blocks of résumés you will be customizing for various recipients.  The third purpose is to give you quick guidance in making decisions about work assignments, selection of a school or a major field of study.
        The AF includes all the things that you have done that could influence potential employers, investors, partners and other participants in your professional life.   The surest way to impress them them is to show them that you are very likely to produce important benefits for them or their organizations. The most convincing way of doing that is to show them what you have accomplished in the past and are accomplishing now that might be relevant to their objectives.
        If you work in the profit-seeking sector, your AF should focus on what you have done to help business firms to increase their profits, specifically to increase their return on investment, or ROI.  Quantify your accomplishments.  
        In government work, the focus of your AF would include cost reduction and client satisfaction.  In the private not-for-profit area, cost reduction, client satisfaction and fund-raising would be important but quantification is still necessary.  Several very brief examples follow, by job title:

    Sales Manager for a Computer Retailer
            Supervised five sales representatives, whose total sales were $17 million a year.
            Reduced travel expense from $30 thousand a month to $27 thousand.
            Increased sales by $3 million a year.

    Operations Manager in a Manufacturing Company
            Reduced inventory investment by $2 million, without increasing stock-outs or increasing transportation or delivery costs.
            Contracted out one step in the production process with cost savings of 5%.
            Reduced cost of goods sold from 50% of sales revenue to 47%, without reducing customer satisfaction.

    Service Manager for an Automobile Dealer
            Increased customer satisfaction, as measured in surveys from 65% to 82%.
            Reduced employee turn-over from 25% a year to 15%.

    Service Development Supervisor for a Bank
            Developed two new services which became profitable within one year.
            Eliminated five unprofitable services, reducing training costs by $18,000 a year.

    General Manager of a Catalog Division
            Supervised a $10 million a year catalog business, with a 5% net profit margin.
            Increased number of active customers from 58,000 to 62,000.

    Credit Manager for an Office Equipment Retailer
            Reduced "Accounts Receivable" by $1.5 million, without losing business.

    Dean of Business School
            Raised $125 million in unrestricted gifts.
            Secured funding for six endowed chairs.

    Manager of Opera Company
            Increased ticket sales from 67% of capacity to 95% of capacity.
            Increased season tickets as a percentage of sales from 51% to 53%.

    Business School Professor
            Published 100 articles in academic and professional journals.
            Developed six courses, all of them successfully offered at least once a year.
            Served on 15 faculty committees and chaired six of them.
            Conducted seven surveys of graduating students to track their satisfaction.

        The conclusion is that you should dedicate your time to maximizing the power of your accomplishments file.  Evaluate all the ways of using your time in terms of their ability to add to your AF: jobs, work assignments, schooling and volunteer work.  Invest your time in high value, high visibility work or self-development.  
        Activities that do not contribute to your Accomplishments File deserve a low priority.

    2. Prepare a Résumé

        When you prepare a résumé, select accomplishments from your AF that will influence the intended recipients as favorably as possible.  Even though you may not have a specific demand for a résumé right now, you should prepare one to obtain evaluations of its readability and attractiveness.
        Your résumé should communicate non-verbally, but clearly: "Read this résumé first!"  Provide information that will influence the recipient, in a sequence that will grab and retain the reader's interest.  Follow this outline:
        1.    Your name, address, telephone and fax numbers and e-mail address.
        2.    "Value Offered" section: a summary of the valuable things you will do for the reader or his/her organization.
        3.    Work experience and accomplishments that give credibility to what you said in the "Value Offered" section immediately above.
            a)    Current or most recent job.  What you accomplished, with numbers.
            b)    Previous job.  What you accomplished, with numbers.
            c)    Next previous job.  What you accomplished, with numbers.
        4.    Education:  Degree(s), school and year granted.
        Your résumé should consist of short sentences.  To maximize readability, use a laser printer and allow enough space around each paragraph.  Sample résumés are available on the Internet, in word processing programs and at the Career Planning Office.        
        Show the résumé you have just prepared to at least six people whose judgment you trust and ask them to tell you whether the appearance of the résumé influences them to read it.  Revise the résumé and have your critics evaluate it again.  
        Don't forget that for actual usage, your résumé must be customized for each purpose, with an appropriate "Value Offered" section and the most appropriate selection of accomplishments.

3.  Evaluate Your Career Situation

        Do a mini-SCAN to your career situation.
        I.    List your career objectives.  Here are some ideas you should consider:
            A.    Change your field?  To what new field?
            B.    Move to another company?  Which one?
            C.    Seek a promotion in your present job?
            D.    Try for a lateral move?  To what area?
            E.    Start a new business?
        II.    Rank your objectives.  Ask the "Why?" and "How?" questions as shown in Chapter 1.  Identify the Top Rank Objective (TRO) for your career.
        III.     Discover your SWOTs with respect to your career TRO.  Consider the following ideas:
            A.    How does your boss rate you?  How do these people rate you: your peers, subordinates, higher-level managers?
            B.    What obstacles are in your way?  Examples: antagonistic boss; lack of contacts; your goal will take many years of training or education; your next-step job is not open; you have no opportunity to develop the skills you need in your present job.
            C.    Evaluate your AF.  Note the Strengths and Weaknesses of your AF.
        IV.    In order to achieve your Top Rank Objective,
            A.    What information do you need?  What do you need to know?
            B.    What contacts do you need?  Whom do you need to know?

4Start Networking to Obtain Information and to Make Contacts

        You have prepared an Accomplishments File, written the first draft of your résumé and mini-SCANned your career or starting your new business.
        Now it's time to choose the kinds of networking that would benefit you the most.  Review everything you have done so far and prepare a list of the kinds of information and contacts you need for advancing your career.  Rank the items on this list in terms of importance and the select the first order of networking business.
        Important Note:  Help Other Networkers.  Your objective in networking will be to help yourself.  That is a "given."  What may not be obvious, but is also important is that you should take every opportunity to help others.  People that you help will look for opportunities to help you and by making networking a two-way street you maintain the viability of networking as a career building and entrepreneurial activity.

    5.  Easiest Networking:  Friends, Family and Others

        A good way to start is with the easiest kind of networking: close friends and relatives, not including people at work who might be in competition with you.
        Ask people who know you for a long time for their opinions about the feasibility of your career Top Rank Objective (TRO) and your Problems and Opportunities  with respect to the TRO.  
        Here's an example from my own experience.  Some years ago, I was working for IBM as a "Business Scientist," basically an internal consultant in scientific and computer applications for solving management problems.  I had my Ph.D. from the Columbia Business School and I was teaching graduate business school part-time in New York City.            
        One evening after dinner, I was conversing with my father-in-law and a good friend of his, Jason Gretzky, a rather direct type of person.  Out of a clear blue sky, Gretzky asked me what my job title was at IBM.  I told him.  His reaction was: "What kind of a title is that?  Why aren't you a professor?  That's a title everybody understands."
        That provocative remark set me to thinking about my prospects at IBM, what I really liked to do and what my strengths and weaknesses were.  
        Within a year, I took leave of absence from IBM and I started teaching graduate business classes full time, with the understanding that after one year, I could still return to my job at IBM.  
        I never went back to IBM, except as an outside consultant.  I have been a professor for 33 years and it probably suits me better than anything else that I might have done.
        The moral of this personal anecdote is that it may be useful to get outside opinions about your career goals and your Problems and Opportunities.  You don't have to agree with everything you hear.  On the other hand, you may hear something that will make you think creatively and develop alternatives which may lead to greater career satisfaction than you would have found otherwise.
        Another kind of easy networking involves neighbors, former employers and former fellow employees, as well as classmates if you are in school.  After you have determined your career goals, you could ask these contacts to recommend anyone for you to see for more information and employment or entrepreneurial opportunities.

    6.  Networking with Alumni

        Alumni of your school are another rich source of networking contacts.  You should focus especially on alumni who work in fields that interest you and who have achieved the level of success that you aspire to.  The career planning office of your school should have a list (with addresses and telephone numbers) of alumni who are willing to advise students and alumni of the school.  The alumni relations office of your school may also be able to help.  Join the alumni association and attend their social functions.  
        Interview alumni about their jobs, key success factors and aspirations.  Tell them about your interests.  Ask them for advice or suggestions: what you should do, whom you should see.  Here are some specific topics for you to ask about:
        A.    Their job title, description of a typical day (activities and percent time in each), reports to ______, flexibility in work, best and worst parts of the job.
        B.    Advancement path: How did you get here?  What is the next step?
        C.    What experience and education are appropriate for your job?
        D.    Recommendations for me:  whom I should see for information or opportunities?
        E.    Don't forget to send a "thank you" note.

7.  Network Within Your Employing Organization

        Be very tactful (discreet, sensitive, subtle) in networking in your employing organization.  Be careful not to upset anyone with your questions.  If you sense resistance in any of the situations described below, take time out to evaluate why you are encountering resistance and decide what actions will be most favorable to advancing your career at acceptable risk.
        Network with your boss.  Discuss his (her) objectives and yours.  Ask about your career prospects, as perceived by your boss and for suggestions about what you should do to improve your chances for pay increments, promotions and career advancing transfers.  Meet other people in your company at your level and higher.  Make appointments with managers of other departments to visit and find out about the work they do.  While you are speaking with these managers ask the about openings in the foreseeable future.
        Arrange lunch meetings with people at your level in other departments and ask them the same questions you would ask of alumni of your school.

  8.  Go to Meetings

        Meetings provide some of the finest opportunities for networking. Here are two examples that show how meetings have helped me.  
        The first networking venture required two meetings.  I needed guest speakers for my entrepreneurship class, so I attended a meeting of the Planning Forum when the guest speaker was a venture capitalist.  After the presentation, I asked the speaker if he could visit my class.  We checked dates and he said that he would be away at the time of the class, but he gave me the names and phone numbers of three other venture capitalists that I might call.  
        I called the three people and two declined for good reasons.  The third one accepted and when I asked him if he could recommend someone else as a second speaker, he invited me to attend the next lunch meeting of the New York City association of venture capitalists.  I gladly accepted the invitation.  It was a very pleasant and informative meeting and during the half hour of networking that preceded lunch, I exchanged business cards with five people and with two more during the lunch itself.  I left the meeting with seven contacts that I followed up by phone and was able to obtain guest speakers for that semester and the next, as a result of this meeting.    
        The second networking venture was more of a stroke of luck.  I went to a demonstration of a new computer system with nothing more in mind than to learn about the system.  After the presentation, a member of the audience asked a question that I thought was really good.  Later, as the meeting broke up, I sought out the questioner to compliment him on his good question.  We introduced ourselves and he told me that he worked for IBM.  I told him that I was a former IBM'er, and this led to instant rapport.  This encounter led to five meetings at IBM and at Pace University in which I exchanged ideas about strategic planning and case analysis methodology with twenty IBM people.  
        The immediate outcomes of these meetings were improvements in the strategic planning procedure that IBM uses in an important division and refinement in the case analysis method my students use at Pace (SCAN).  
        Another outcome was consulting work for me with IBM and later, with NYNEX and other clients.  All of this happened because I attended the computer demonstration and complimented a man who had asked a good question.

    9.  Participate in Organizations

        Professional organizations provide rich opportunities for networking.  In fact, some organizations appear to exist mainly to provide networking opportunities for their members.  To get an idea of what happens at networking meetings, review the list presented at the beginning of this chapter.
        Network to find and select the most suitable organizations.  Ask friends, associates, your boss, your teachers, anyone who seems to have many contacts.  Ask them what organizations they belong to and what organizations would be helpful to you.  Then go to a meeting of the best organization as a non-member and if it appears to offer good networking opportunities, join up.
        After you have identified the organization and chapter that you should attend, obtain a copy of the announcement of the next meeting by calling the local chapter.  You will then know the name of the speaker and the topic.
        Next, you should learn about the topic itself and other subjects that are likely to be important to members of this organization.  Read the best newspaper and one or two magazines or journals in the area.  This may seem like a big commitment, but if you want to develop your career, being well-informed in your field is a necessity.  It  also prepares you for networking encounters.  The people you meet will respond to you more positively if you bring them new and useful information.
        The next step is to practice introducing yourself.  Only rarely do organizations provide official greeters and introducers.  You will have to introduce yourself to strangers.  Practice in front of a mirror and with friends saying: "I am _____________, with ___________ Company."  
        Imagery, which you have seen previously in the Influencing and Negotiating chapters, helps by eroding the strangeness of introducing yourself to new people.  Practice with friends and imagine it enough times and it will seem like an old routine.
        It will help you a great deal to have a specific purpose in mind before you go to the first meeting of an organization.  Examples might be: to find out about career opportunities in a specific field, or to find out what the current "hot topics" are, or to get some ideas about solving an important problem, or to find out what is currently being said about a major issue confronting the field, or simply to start meeting people who share some interests and goals with you.
        When you go to the meeting, it's much better to arrive early rather than late.  First, you will have more time for networking.  Second, if you arrive early, you have an opportunity to become familiar with the surroundings and you avoid arriving on a scene of a hundred people talking to each other and you are the only one alone.
        Arrive early and greet someone who is there or someone who is just coming in, when he or she is just as alone as you are.  Chat a bit and if it appears that you share some interests, exchange business cards and move on and introduce yourself to another new arrival.  Keep circulating, introducing yourself, making small talk, exchanging business cards and continuing to meet new people.  Make notes on the backs of the cards to help you remember what you talked about.   
        Your pre-meeting reading of newspapers and magazines will come in handy during this round of meeting new people.  If the conversation lags, you could mention something you have read and allow the other person to comment.  On the other hand, they may ask you for your opinion.  Don't be surprised however, if all they want to talk about is some sports event.
        Expect to receive a self-introduction in response to your self-introduction.  Repeat the other person's name to help yourself to remember it.  Next, to keep the conversation going, you could say that this your first meeting of this organization and ask some easy question, like "Is this turnout about average?"  Alternately, you could mention something about the weather or any interesting event in reaching the location, or you could ask a question about the speaker or the topic.  Whatever you say or ask, don't make it too personal.  Make it easy for the other person to respond.
        If you encounter a boorish person, just move on to someone else.  Look for someone else who is alone and introduce yourself.  If there is no one alone, move toward the entrance and wait for the next arrival.  Alternately, join a group that is conversing and see if there is room for another participant.  If there isn't, move on.
        Keep circulating, meeting people and you will see that the time allowed for networking just melts away.  Usually, this period is followed by lunch and a speaker.  Introduce yourself to the people at your table, chat with your neighbors and as before, exchange business cards if it appears that you share some interests.
        After the meeting, review the experience.  Did you meet people who . . . ?
            Share your interests and goals.  
            Have information that is of value to you.
            Have the power and money to offer you desirable jobs or consulting work.
            Might join you in a great new venture.
            Can help you to implement the strategies that you devised in your SCAN.
        If the answers are favorable, join the organization and go to more meetings.  At the next meeting, again arrive early.  Introduce yourself to people you have not met previously and refresh previous encounters.  If you keep attending meetings, you will learn a great deal and make many new friends in your professional field.  
        If you find this activity rewarding, you can help it along by becoming active in the organization.  Volunteer to serve on committees.  If you perceive a need for a survey or any other service to the organization, suggest it to the appropriate officer of the organization.  If the organization needs candidates for office, volunteer to serve.  All of these activities will increase your visibility and enhance your networking.  One of the by-products of your involvement with the professional organization is that you will acquire good information about members' concerns.  This will enable you to write articles and give presentations that will be well received by members of the organization and thereby will increase your stature and enable you to advance your career even faster.  In my experience, publications and presentations lead to job offers and consulting contracts.  Other people have reported similar results.

    10.  Give Presentations

        Select a topic that is of value to your audience.  Develop new information on the topic.  A quick way of doing this is to conduct a survey.  If you have not had training in survey methodology, obtain advice from a professional person or review a marketing research text to learn the proper procedure.  Sometimes, depending on the topic, an informal survey of 15 to 20 well-informed people is sufficient to develop interesting new insights on an important topic.  
        After you have gathered the information, analyze it, draw conclusions and prepare tables, graphs and lists to be presented to your audience.  Overhead transparencies are better than 35 mm slides because they don't require darkening of the room, which may cause some people to fall asleep.  Organize your presentation around the visuals so that your audience will hear and see your story and will understand it better and remember it more clearly.  Six foils should be about right for a half-hour presentation.  
        Your presentation should follow this sequence:
            1.    Objective of your study or project.
            2.    Your conclusions.
            3.    What you learned, enough detail to convince, but not enough to bore.
            4.    Methodology.  Describe how you did your work.  The purpose of this part is to enable your audience to decide whether your work is good enough to be believed.  To make sure that you pass this test, check with other members of the group ahead of time about the usual standards maintained by presenters.  If a presenter is booed off the stage unless he or she interviewed at least 3000 people, don't expect to get by with 75.
        Allow at least 15 minutes for questions.  If the meeting ends at 2:00 o'clock, finish your presentation by 1:45.
        Practice your presentation until you feel totally confident and you have your timing exactly right.  Don't put yourself in a position where you have to rush or skip important parts to finish on time.  Imagery, as always is a help.
        On the day of the presentation, arrive at least a half hour ahead of the group.  Accustom yourself to the room and very importantly, check all the equipment to make sure that it's working.  If you discover a malfunction early enough, there may be enough time for a repair or replacement.
        Shake hands with audience members as they arrive.  Chat with them so that you feel at ease with them and they feel at ease with you.  
        When you are introduced, thank the the person who introduced you and tell the audience how pleased you are to have been invited to speak and tell a little amusing story about some related event.  This gives your audience a minute or two to tune up their attention so that they hear your presentation from the beginning.
        Speak clearly and maintain eye contact with your audience.  Make sure that your visuals are visible and that you are audible.  Permit some questions but not so many that your timing is disrupted.  Stay on schedule.  Finish on time.  Bring business cards with you in case anyone asks for one.  Accept business cards if anyone asks you to call them.

  11.  Publish Articles

        Another career-enhancing way to exchange information is to publish articles in print media such as organization newsletters, magazines or journals.  You approach this task the same way as the presentations discussed above.  The topic and the method of your work must be timely and must contribute to solving problems or achieving goals.  
        Obtain several publications that are seen by your target audience and determine which one is most likely to publish a paper that you might offer them.  Contact the editor and find out whether they are looking for papers and what topics are particularly interesting at the moment.  Newsletter editors often attend organization meetings, so that networking with them should be quite easy.  You may also contact them by phone.  Find out the approximate length of paper they are looking for.
        You will find that publishing a paper is less taxing than giving a presentation, but less gratifying.  It's very nice to see your name in print, but you don't get the invigorating experience of standing in front of an audience, commanding their attention, telling them your story and then exchanging ideas and information during and after the question and answer period.  On the other hand, your ideas and reputation will reach more people.
        Both publishing and presenting will fortify your networking and help you develop important skills.  Both will make important additions to your AF.

    12. Arrange "Information"  Interviews

        Another rich source of information and contact-building possibilities is the "Information Interview."  Steps to follow are:
        1.    Select industries that interest you.
        2.    Select interesting companies in each industry.
        3.    Call each of the companies you select and ask for the literature they supply to prospective employees, their annual report and their most recent publicity releases.
        4.    Study these materials and choose the company that is most interesting and geographically convenient.  Call them and ask for an information interview.  If they don't know what that is, explain to them that you are not looking for a job right now, but you are very interested in the company and you would like to learn more about opportunities in the _________ department and you would like to arrange an interview with a person in that department.  They should agree to this.  If they do not, try the next company on your list.  Eventually, you will get an information interview.
        5.    Conduct the interview, covering the same topics outlined above for the alumni interview, with some additional areas that would be specific to the company, such as objectives, strengths and weaknesses, opportunities, current strategies, career paths and expected requirements for employees such as you.  By the end of the interview, you should have a great deal of information about the company.  After the interview, write to all the people you saw and thank them for the time and information they gave you.
        6.    Evaluate the information you have and decide whether you are interested in the company.  If you are, call them and try to arrange a regular job interview.  If you prefer, write them.  See the following section for suggestions about the structure of the letter.

    13.  The Broadcast Letter

        A broadcast letter gives you access to the many job openings that are not advertised or given to recruiters or headhunters.  However, do not send out a broadcast letter if you are employed and you are concerned that you might be penalized if your employer hears about your efforts.    
        A broadcast letter should be sent to the highest ranking person in the department or division of interest to you because the highest ranking person is the one most likely to know about all the openings that you might be suitable for.
        Send out 100 letters to people in companies that you might want to work for.  Your broadcast letter should have four parts:
        1.    Opening paragraph to grab attention.  Cite a major relevant accomplishment.
        2.    Second paragraph:  "Your company may need a (job title) and therefore you may be interested in what I have accomplished as a (job title).
        3.    Next three to eight paragraphs are lifted from your AF.  List specific accomplishments.  This section proves to the recipients that they must invite you for an interview.
        4.    The last paragraph suggests specific action they should take:  "I would be glad to discuss further details of my business experience in a personal interview."
        Do not enclose a résumé with your letter!   If you do, your letter will be sent to the personnel department and your chances of being invited for an interview are diminished.  Also do not state salary requirements because you do not know enough about the job to be able to estimate its worth.
        If you don't get responses, rewrite your letter and try again with the same list of names.  Do not use a letterhead, so that recipients are less likely to remember that you have written them previously.    
        In addition to sending out the broadcast letter, you should also answer "Help Wanted" advertisements.  Use a letter similar to the broadcast letter.  Again, do not send  a résumé or state salary requirements.

    14.  Using Headhunters and Employment Agencies

        Think of headhunters and employment agencies as people who expand your network of connections to potential employers.  They may know about desirable job openings that you could not discover on your own.  Consult these directories:  "Directory of Members of the Association of Executive Search Consultants," published by the association and "Directory of Recruiters," Kennedy Publications, Fitzwilliam, NH.
        Headhunters' fees are paid by employers.  Contact them to explore your opportunities because it costs you nothing and they are discreet.  
        Because they receive thousands of résumés, write them concisely and to the point.  Your letter should answer the following questions:
        1.    Are you working now?
        2.    Are you looking, or just staying in touch?
        3.    What do you want to do?
        4.    What parts of the country (world) would you consider working in?
        5.    How much money do you expect to make?
        You must send a résumé with the letter.  Make it as persuasive as you can in support of the position you specified in point 3 of the covering letter.

    15.  The Internet

        The World Wide Web on the Internet provides a wealth of opportunities to obtain advice on how to market your services and a multitude of job leads.  Use search engines, such as Google, Excite, Lycos, Yahoo, Web Crawler, and AltaVista to find the Web sites that are of greatest interest to you.  
        The Internet also offers many sources of information on entrepreneuring and raising money for new ventures.

    16. Conduct Interviews

        Accept every invitation.  You need the practice.  Do your best to get a job offer every time.  Make the interviewer feel that he (she) works for a fine company, one that you are really interested in.  Be positive and enthusiastic.  Get the interviewer to do most of the talking.  Keep asking short, pertinent and informed questions.  Do as much research before the interview as you can and bring your notes with you.  It's acceptable to refer to your notes.  Formulate your questions on the basis of the notes.  Ask about their business: How do they promote their products?  How do they distribute them?  Keep the questions focused within the range of your specialty.  Ask about their objectives.  Demonstrate your depth of understanding, but keep the interviewer talking.  He (she) will reveal some problems eventually.  Probe tactfully about strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.  Ask about current strategies.
        Defer all questions about salary until after it has been established that you are a strong candidate for the position.
        The first interview is the opening round in your effort to influence the company to make you a great offer.  You establish rapport and you get information about the company and their objectives and problems.  Follow the 14 "commandments of interviewing:"
        You don't know enough yet about their objectives and problems.  Therefore:
        1.    You do not have a customized résumé, so don't give them any résumé.
        2.    Don't talk too much.  Instead, ask questions.
        3.    Don't "sell" yourself.
        4.    Don't tell them what you will do for them.
        5.    Don't interview or discuss salary on the phone or send a résumé in answer to a telephone request because you can't customize the résumé until you have interviewed the company.
        You need to establish credibility.  Avoid antagonizing anyone.  Therefore:
        6.    Don't criticize the interviewer or tell him (her) that he (she) is wrong.
        7.    Don't argue.  You can't win.
        8.    Don't lose your temper, no matter what.
        9.    Don't suggest that you can do everything.  Suggesting that you are a "jack-of-all-trades" reduces your credibility and value.
        10.    Don't brag about the influential people you have met.
        11.    Don't discuss religion, politics or  personalities in your previous company.
        12.    Don't write a flowery thank you letter.  Instead, review the highlights of your visit.  Suggest that you can help them to achieve their goals or solve their problem(s) or identify new business opportunities.  
        13.    Don't discuss salary until they have made an offer.  Then decide whether to ask for more now or a commitment to a salary review in six months.
            You should not "wear out" your references.  Therefore:
        14.    Don't name references until you and the employer have reached an
            agreement.  Prepare a customized résumé after the first interview.  Show how you, with your accomplishments will be able to help this company to achieve its goals or solve its problems better than anyone else.  Send the résumé and the covering letter described above in commandment #12 to the person who interviewed you.

17.  Prepare to Network for Your Entire Professional Life

        This networking experience was oriented toward your career.  For this purpose networking is extremely useful.  However, networking is a powerful technique for many other purposes as well.  Examples were listed on the first page of this chapter.  Three realistic situations are developed in some detail below:
        Save Time and Improve Quality. -- You have (or just got) a desirable job.  Your boss gives you an important assignment that has many new aspects.  Networking with experienced people may help you discover ways to save time and improve the quality of your work in performing this assignment.     
        Hire a Competent Assistant. --  Some time later you need a competent assistant.  Networking may help you to locate such a person.  
        Enrich Your Job.--  Your career is in good shape and at the moment you do not have any novel challenging assignments, nor do you have any need for additional assistants.  This might be a good time for you to think about expanding your responsibilities.  Networking with people outside your usual circle of acquaintances may reveal some new activities or techniques that are not well known in your company or industry.  You may  discover practices in other fields that will help you or your company.  
        The advantages of networking continue as long as you are active.  The future is unpredictable and you will always be ready for whatever happens if you are an active networker.  Maximize your opportunities and defend against the possible threats.  Make networking a way of life:
        1.  Review your progress and set new goals.
        2.  Plan next steps: the many uses of networking.
        3.  Plan specific projects, with a timetable for achieving your networking goals.
        4.  Write up your networking experiences, following the outlines shown at the end of this chapter.  Review your experiences and learn from them.
        5.  As a dedicated networker, help others at least as much as others help you.   Stay well-informed, write articles, present papers, share your contacts with other people.

Ideas for Improving Your Networking

        1.  Maintain a log of all your networking activities.        
        2.  Regarding business cards:         
            a)    Have business cards printed.  Carry them with you.    
            b)    Ask people you meet for their cards.  Make notes on the back.  Keep them in a file.    
        3.  After each networking encounter, make a record using cards as shown in Exhibit 4 or use an appropriate computer program.        
        4.  Realize how valuable you are.        
        5.  Be persistent.        
        6.  Think positively - consider every idea.        
        7.  All meetings and conversations are potentially important:        
            a)  Any contact may lead to an important connection.        
            b)  Any conversation may lead to a valuable action.        
        8.  Make no enemies, no matter what.        
        9.  People in high places are often very helpful.  Network with them.        
        10.  Network informally in different places: company gym, lunch room, library.    
        11.  Make friends in other departments, besides your own.                
        12.  Network with former co-workers.  They can give a genuine recommendation.    
        13.  Consider letting your immediate boss know your goals.            
        14.  Attend workshops: learn and network.                
        15.  Prepare and update your Career Marketing Plan (CMP).  See the Appendix of this chapter for a suggested outline for your CMP.
        16.  Improve your networking, influencing and negotiating skills.  Attend seminars and read books.  See the list of books at the end of this chapter.  Visit bookstores and browse in the "Careers" section.  Also visit the and the Barnes and Noble web sites.

How to Report Your Networking Experience

    For the Progress Report, prepare a 2 to 3 page paper covering these topics:
            1.    Your Accomplishments File (outline format).
            2.    Your Mini-SCAN:  TRO and SWOTs (outline format).
            3.    Evaluations by friends and relatives (summary).
            4.    Time-table for your networking experience.  What you will do and when,
                between now and the due date for the final report (an "activity:" would be a
                meeting, an interview, a session on the internet, etc.)
                1st activity    completed by (date)
                2nd activity    completed by (date)
                3rd activity    completed by (date)
                . . . . . . . .     . . . . . . . .
                9th activity    completed by (date)
Follow this outline for the Final Report of your networking experience:
            1.    Objectives of your networking experience.
            2.    List of completed interviews, meetings and other networking activities.
            3.    List the most important things you have learned:
                a) About networking,
                b) Directly relevant to your objectives.
            4.    List the most important personal connections you have made.
            5.    Whom have you helped in the course of this project and in what ways?
            6.    Your plans for future networking.
            7.    What advice would you give to future students about maximizing the
                effectiveness of their networking?

    Appendix.  Career Marketing Plan Outline

        I.  Your objective:  What position do you want to have 7 years from now?
        II. Based on your networking and other research, what do you need to do to achieve this objective?
            A.    What is the first step up in your career ladder?
            B.     What is the second step up in your career ladder?
        III.      Your SWOTs.
        IV.      Planned strategies and programs, including:
            A.  Self-development programs.
                1.  Knowledge to be acquired.
                2.  Skills to be developed.
                3.  Experiences to be gained.
                    a)    Global.
                    b)    Innovation and entrepreneurship.
            B.  Promotion and public relations programs.
                1.  Planned expansion of your personal network.
                    a)    Professional organization memberships.
                    b)    Committees and offices in professional organizations.
                    c)    Other networking activities.
                2.  Professional presentations.
                    a)    Topics.
                    b)    To be presented where.
                3.  Papers to be written.
                    a)    Topics.
                    b)    To be published where.
                4.  Internet usage
                5.  Headhunter contacts.
                6.  Letter writing.
            C.  Other programs tailored to individual objectives and SWOT.
        V.      Expected career outcomes:  Titles, responsibilities and dates.
        VI.      Contingency plans.

    Skill-Building Books

        Karl Albrecht and Steve Albrecht, Added Value Negotiating, Irwin, 1993
        Harry Beckwith, Selling the Invisible, Warner Books, 1997
        Richard Nelson Bolles, What Color Is Your Parachute?  Ten Speed Press, 1997
        Lee Boyan, Successful Cold Call Selling, 2nd ed., AMACOM, 1989
        Rick Brinkman & Rick Kirschner, Dealing with People You Can't Stand, McGraw-Hill, 1994
        Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People, Simon and Schuster, 1981
        Peter Economy, Business Negotiating Basics, Irwin, 1993
        Roger Fisher and William Ury, Getting to Yes, Penguin USA, 1991
        Paul S. Goldner, Red-Hot Cold Call Selling,  AMACOM, 1995
        Ford Harding, Rain Making, the Professional's Guide to Attracting New Clients, Adams Media Corp., 1994.  Excellent chapter on Networking
        Frank Jefkins, Public Relations Techniques, Butterworth-Heinemann, 1994
        George N. Kahn, The 36 Biggest Mistakes Salesmen Make, Prentice-Hall, Inc, 1963
        Chester L. Karrass, Give and Take, Harpercollins, 1995
        R. L. Krannich and C. R. Krannich, Dynamite Networking for Dynamite Jobs, Impact Publ. 1996
        Michael Kublin, International Negotiating, International Business Press, 1995
        Tom E. Lambert, The Power of Influence, Nicholas Brealey, 1996
        Harvey Mackay, Swim with the Sharks, Ivy Books, 1988
        Gerard Nierenberg, The Art of Negotiating, Pocket Books, 1991
        David F. Ramacitti, Do It Yourself Publicity, AMACOM, 1990
        Douglas B. Richardson, Networking, John Wiley & Sons, 1994
        Susan RoAne, How to Work A Room, Shapolsky, 1988  
        Carl Sewell and Paul B. Brown, Customers for Life, Doubleday Currency, 1990
        Betsy Sheldon and Joyce Hadley, The Smart Woman's Guide to Networking  Career Press, 1995
        Raymond Simon and Joseph M. Zappala,  Public Relations Workbook, NTC Publications, 1996
        Philip Zimbardo, Shyness, What It Is, What to Do About It, Addison-Wesley, 1977

Note:  Libraries and book stores have lots of books on networking, career development and job hunting.


This Page was last update: Wednesday, September 28, 2005 at 4:17:32 PM
This page was originally posted: 8/17/2005; 2:13:32 PM.
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