[08.31.10]
69 great comments!

Career Networking Without A Purpose Is Just Socializing

career networking, saddleback church, psychology, job search, socializingLast night I shared one of my favorite presentations.  With one of the best career networking resource groups in Orange County and likely one of the best in the world.

Saddleback Church is well known for its popular pastor, Rick Warren.  His huge bestselling book called “The Purpose Driven Life”.  And their their newest site called The Peace Plan.

But its career ministry might be the hidden gem.  A huge group of volunteers ready to support people who really need help in this economy.

And last night, over 250 people showed up to hear me share a few ideas.  My presentation was called:

“It’s All In Your Head” – The Psychology Of Successful Job Search

It was an amazing event.  And I took the opportunity – for the first time – to get it professionally videotaped.  So I could share portions of it with you.  We’ll get that video uploaded to the site as soon as it is ready.  And if you were there last night, thank you for coming!  What did you think?

After the event, I spoke to a ton of people and learned their stories.  We talked a lot about career networking.  And how to be productive while doing it.

And as I was speaking with someone, these words came out:

Networking Without A Purpose Is Just Socializing

I spoke last night about having a purpose in every thing you do.  And networking is no exception.

If you’ve been out of work for a while, you’ve probably come to enjoy seeing your new friends at each networking event.  Sharing war stories and laughing (later, of course) about strange things that have happened along the way.

And some of that is important.  To connect with your friends and networking community.

But if this is the extent of your career networking effort, you might just be spinning your wheels.  Making very loose connections with a lot of nice people.  When you should be working with a purpose.

And there are many more purposeful things you can target while networking.  Every event you attend.  Every one-on-one coffee you organize.  All should include a purpose.  One that you identify on Monday AM when you plan your week.

Need help in planning?  Here’s a simple tool you can use each week:

 

planning, strategy, ideas, this week, job search, goals

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So what are some examples of purpose-driven goals in career networking?  So you can add them to your list.

1.  To find a key contact at a target company

2.  To secure an informational interview with an influencer in your industry

3.  To help others get leads and meet key people in your circle of friends

4.  To get your resume into the system of a key recruiter in the area

5.  To find a career expert who can help create great marketing tools for you.

That way, you are acting against a plan.  A plan that will lift you up, build your confidence and help structure the hours you spend away from the house.  That way you are not acting impulsively.

And you are certainly not just socializing.

Photo Credit


Written by: Tim Tyrell-Smith
Tags: | | |
Categories: Career Networking
  • Glad to hear your presentation went well & that it was professionally recorded this time, am looking forward to seeing that!

    I think that there’s an appealing symmetry with what you’re saying and the larger concept that job search must have a strategy & focus.

  • Glad to hear your presentation went well & that it was professionally recorded this time, am looking forward to seeing that!

    I think that there’s an appealing symmetry with what you’re saying and the larger concept that job search must have a strategy & focus.

  • Thanks Ed. Agree re: the symmetry – it is an important theme for job search, career and life!

  • Thanks Ed. Agree re: the symmetry – it is an important theme for job search, career and life!

  • Tim
    Congrats on what must have been a great presentation to a super group of people. Would have loved to have been a fly on the wall. You know, you should consider Ustreaming one of these talks! It would rock!

  • Tim
    Congrats on what must have been a great presentation to a super group of people. Would have loved to have been a fly on the wall. You know, you should consider Ustreaming one of these talks! It would rock!

  • Matt

    Tim, I wish we were able to make it to Saddleback on Monday but we’re looking forward to the video. We too are a part of the Saddleback Family. Love the weekly planning tool above. I think we all have “unwritten” to-do lists in our head, but a written plan-of-action with a purpose is an awesome idea and will be helpful to jobseekers.

  • Thanks Hannah – Got the Ustream suggestion from a few others as well. Will plan to do it for an upcoming event, for sure.

  • Thanks Hannah – Got the Ustream suggestion from a few others as well. Will plan to do it for an upcoming event, for sure.

  • Hey Matt – Hope to meet you at an upcoming event. Would love to learn more about Reference Sure at the same time. Sounds interesting.

  • Hi Tim:

    I’ve been rooting for the concept “Network Purposefullytm” and making presentations on this for the past ten years and even have devoted a section of my website to explain the process http://www.jobwhiz.com/process.php.

    I really like your statement that networking without purpose is just socializing. Indeed,not only is carefully selecting who to connect with more effective, it is also more efficient making it possible to be more productive in less time with less effort than a sloppy hit and miss approach of hoping that anyone you contact may have some potential leads or good advice that will accelerate your job search results.
    It’s also really important to look for ways to give back and to help your contacts, not just be making contacts for selfish reasons. The more you give, the more you get. So we might extend the concept of networking purposefully to include looking for opportunities to help others succeed- that is you network or connect for the purpose not of furthering yourself but because you have found a way to be helpful. This creates a positive experience, cultivates relationships. makes you memorable and more likely to be the one that others want to help.

  • Hi Tim:

    I’ve been rooting for the concept “Network Purposefullytm” and making presentations on this for the past ten years and even have devoted a section of my website to explain the process http://www.jobwhiz.com/process.php.

    I really like your statement that networking without purpose is just socializing. Indeed,not only is carefully selecting who to connect with more effective, it is also more efficient making it possible to be more productive in less time with less effort than a sloppy hit and miss approach of hoping that anyone you contact may have some potential leads or good advice that will accelerate your job search results.
    It’s also really important to look for ways to give back and to help your contacts, not just be making contacts for selfish reasons. The more you give, the more you get. So we might extend the concept of networking purposefully to include looking for opportunities to help others succeed- that is you network or connect for the purpose not of furthering yourself but because you have found a way to be helpful. This creates a positive experience, cultivates relationships. makes you memorable and more likely to be the one that others want to help.

  • Matt

    Tim, I wish we were able to make it to Saddleback on Monday but we’re looking forward to the video. We too are a part of the Saddleback Family. Love the weekly planning tool above. I think we all have “unwritten” to-do lists in our head, but a written plan-of-action with a purpose is an awesome idea and will be helpful to jobseekers.

  • Hey Matt – Hope to meet you at an upcoming event. Would love to learn more about Reference Sure at the same time. Sounds interesting.

  • Richard Blackburn

    Tim – how do you balance the ‘breadth’ of your network with
    the ‘depth’ of your network? I agree you must keep
    adding to your network, but there’s also a real value
    to knowing good, well-connected people very well.
    That takes multiple meetings and frequent contact to
    stay ‘top of mind’ with them – so that when they’re
    asked by someone for a recommendation, your name comes to mind.
    How do you balance that yourself?

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  • Richard Blackburn

    Tim – how do you balance the ‘breadth’ of your network with
    the ‘depth’ of your network? I agree you must keep
    adding to your network, but there’s also a real value
    to knowing good, well-connected people very well.
    That takes multiple meetings and frequent contact to
    stay ‘top of mind’ with them – so that when they’re
    asked by someone for a recommendation, your name comes to mind.
    How do you balance that yourself?

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  • Richard – That is a great question. The breadth is crucial. The more you expose your brand to a larger audience, the more likely it is that a lead will come. Either that day or a few days down the road. Since we may only meet this part of our network just that one time, being very specific on our needs is crucial. As is having a strong networking one page bio and networking business card as a strong, written leave-behind. Networking with a purpose also means that you know in advance what makes a great contact for you. Someone who can and will recommend you. Once identified, you are actively seeking those people out (via a request in your elevator pitch, for example). And those are the people you have the 2-3 coffees with. For me, those are people that I know really need my help and two, those who have become influencers in or are actively pursuing influencers in my industry or functional area. The balance is hard. I rarely say no because my principal focus is to help and to expose my brand to a larger audience. If my week is really busy, I will schedule 30 minutes vs. an hour. The other thing you can do is a regular e-mail to your influencers – a quick update to remind them of your job search objectives. Simple and effective.

  • Hey Debra – Great – I had not seen that and glad you left a link so that people can see your ideas on this subject. Thanks for that introduction to your content!

  • Hey Debra – Great – I had not seen that and glad you left a link so that people can see your ideas on this subject. Thanks for that introduction to your content!

  • Richard – That is a great question. The breadth is crucial. The more you expose your brand to a larger audience, the more likely it is that a lead will come. Either that day or a few days down the road. Since we may only meet this part of our network just that one time, being very specific on our needs is crucial. As is having a strong networking one page bio and networking business card as a strong, written leave-behind. Networking with a purpose also means that you know in advance what makes a great contact for you. Someone who can and will recommend you. Once identified, you are actively seeking those people out (via a request in your elevator pitch, for example). And those are the people you have the 2-3 coffees with. For me, those are people that I know really need my help and two, those who have become influencers in or are actively pursuing influencers in my industry or functional area. The balance is hard. I rarely say no because my principal focus is to help and to expose my brand to a larger audience. If my week is really busy, I will schedule 30 minutes vs. an hour. The other thing you can do is a regular e-mail to your influencers – a quick update to remind them of your job search objectives. Simple and effective.

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  • I agree about being strategic in networking, but I’m glad that you touched on the need for connecting in a way that is more about sharing and not so laden with strategy. Sharing for the sake of sharing deepens bonds. Plus, the connection then feels more authentic. If you take that out of networking, a person can appear opportunistic.

  • I agree about being strategic in networking, but I’m glad that you touched on the need for connecting in a way that is more about sharing and not so laden with strategy. Sharing for the sake of sharing deepens bonds. Plus, the connection then feels more authentic. If you take that out of networking, a person can appear opportunistic.

  • Rich Wood

    Tim, that was a great presentation. After working for the same company for 16 years and going “into transition” recently, your presentation made me realize that the same strategies and tactics I’ve used to launch new products and technologies over the past decade can be used to market myself into a new career. Thanks for sharing your wisdom and experience with us. I’m now on a “Purpose Driven” job search.

  • Thanks Melissa! The post was focused on strategy over sharing because I notice a lot of job seekers (especially those out for a while) lose their strategic self. They soften to the point that they are no longer effective. They were my target for this article. But your reminder is important for many – especially those new to networking who may fall out of balance the other way!

  • Thanks Melissa! The post was focused on strategy over sharing because I notice a lot of job seekers (especially those out for a while) lose their strategic self. They soften to the point that they are no longer effective. They were my target for this article. But your reminder is important for many – especially those new to networking who may fall out of balance the other way!

  • Thanks Rich – Glad you could be there at Saddleback! Look forward to hearing more about your new job search strategy!

  • Thanks Rich – Glad you could be there at Saddleback! Look forward to hearing more about your new job search strategy!

  • There’s a fantastic webinar coming up on September 15th, 12Nooon Eastern ”

    *
    Networking With A Purpose Via Social Media
    Wednesday, September 15, 2010
    Noon EST | 9:00 am PST
    Please join me and other experts. Chime in with your comments and share your experiences and perspective.
    This is not to be missed. http://bit.ly/bxY7RM

  • There’s a fantastic webinar coming up on September 15th, 12Nooon Eastern ”

    *
    Networking With A Purpose Via Social Media
    Wednesday, September 15, 2010
    Noon EST | 9:00 am PST
    Please join me and other experts. Chime in with your comments and share your experiences and perspective.
    This is not to be missed. http://bit.ly/bxY7RM

  • Karen F.

    I agree with Melissa; while I am all for networking with a purpose or goal in mind, you still have to sound human! 🙂 I think that’s what makes each person unique and stand out, and that is just one of the things that should take them to the next step (job, project, new client/account, what have you).

    Excellent post, as usual!

    Karen, The Resume Chick (on Google or Twitter for questions, comments and violent reactions)

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  • Tim, good stuff! I recently wrote about this phenomenon of socializing vs. networking and I agree with having a purpose! Also, one of the best ways to avoid the socializing trap is to go alone! This way you avoid falling back on someone as a crutch!

  • Tim, good stuff! I recently wrote about this phenomenon of socializing vs. networking and I agree with having a purpose! Also, one of the best ways to avoid the socializing trap is to go alone! This way you avoid falling back on someone as a crutch!

  • Karen F.

    I agree with Melissa; while I am all for networking with a purpose or goal in mind, you still have to sound human! 🙂 I think that’s what makes each person unique and stand out, and that is just one of the things that should take them to the next step (job, project, new client/account, what have you).

    Excellent post, as usual!

    Karen, The Resume Chick (on Google or Twitter for questions, comments and violent reactions)

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  • Hey Dr. Woody – Went and checked out your site – looks good! Yes, going alone is a way to start off right – just need to make sure you also find someone you don’t know (first) to keep things purposeful (vs. finding your pals in the corner). Thanks for stopping by!

  • Hey Dr. Woody – Went and checked out your site – looks good! Yes, going alone is a way to start off right – just need to make sure you also find someone you don’t know (first) to keep things purposeful (vs. finding your pals in the corner). Thanks for stopping by!

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  • Tyler

    I am a university student at BYU and we are trying to understand more about “fakework.”
    This is a short 12 question Survey.
    http://qtrial.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_9ZI32VgYOg7mcL2
    Thank you!!!

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