[05.06.11]
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How To Educate And Enable A Passive Social Network

    social network, job leads, code words, job search, social networking, conversation, identify, search, educate, passive, ignite, specific, enable Everyone seems to want to help during job search.

Check that.

Not everybody.  Some want to appear to help. So you’ll stop asking.  Yes, it’s true.

And some just give up too easy.  Because you’ve allowed them to give up.  And they are already leaning toward a passive approach.

And you’ve enabled this.

By not providing the tools and specific information they need to help you.

So you need to learn some code words. To recognize those in your network who are asking for more.

Even if they don’t realize it.

These are pretty common code words.  I’m guessing you hear them a lot.  And have probably used them when the shoe was on the other foot.

The code words?

“I’ll keep my ears open for you.”

For those looking for a passive conversation-ender, this is a great one.  It indicates a willingness to help.  Even if incredibly passive.  People feel good when they say it.  The problem is that very few job leads or new connections come as a result of these passive code words.

So stop using them.  And stop allowing your social network to use them.

Because here’s what they really mean:

“You haven’t given me anything to go on”

“I don’t know anything about your industry”

“I feel kind of sorry for you and wish I could help”

Instead of accepting this type of passive conversation-ender, turn it into an active conversation starter.  See it as an alarm bell:

“Whoops!  This person needs more from me.  I need to help them feel more able to help!”

So start a new conversation.  That begins with you providing your social network with specific and tangible job search objectives.  Including a nice long list of target companies.  Both verbally and via your marketing materials.

And ask: “What else could I tell you that would help you know my objectives?”

They also need to see strength and confidence in you.  Not sadness or frustration.  That just leads to pity.  Which is a waste of your time and theirs.

They need to see you proactively asking for specific help.  Why?  People like to help people who are ready to help themselves.  They want to see you play a leadership role in your own search.  To have a confident and positive attitude.

Looks more like a winning team.

So next time you hear those code words (or something similar), let the alarm bells ring.

And re-start the conversation.

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Written by: Tim Tyrell-Smith
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Categories: Career Networking

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