Number 4 – Network Like BillyHo
Never mind the old boys’ network (although you just have to look at senior posts, including the UK Government to see how well that works), we’re thinking about your network!
Take a few minutes to think about how many people you know and how many areas of influence you have. That doesn’t mean seniority; I’ve been in roles where my influence has far outweighed my actual position in an organisation.
I have to confess that I didn’t actually plan it that way. I’m a naturally gregarious person and enjoy talking to people and finding out about them. However, when preparing When Work Isn’t Working I realised that my career had really started to take off following some key connections I’d made. People then began asking for me by name to work on projects etc, and I was seconded into a role that really helped my career take off.
Social media is networking too
Lots of women I talk to say they don’t have time for too much networking and I do understand. I’ve been through quite a few dreary evenings myself, tepid glass of wine in hand, listening to someone making a sales pitch at me. Yawn.. I’ve also been to a few fabulous ones, usually aimed at business women, where I’ve had great fun and also got some good contacts. I guess you have to try a few ‘frogs’ until you find one that suits you.
But you can network in your dressing gown and jimjams if you get social media savvy. I recommend LinkedIn as a good starting point: it ranks highly in search engines and you get to control what goes on your profile. Most employers these days will Google someone to find out as much as they can about them and an impressive LinkedIn profile that is congruent with your other social media profiles is a real asset.
It is no good being good if no one knows who you are and how to find you. That said, the quality of your actual work in terms of getting ahead is (according to Harvey J Coleman), worth about 10%. The image you present, how you look and how people perceive you, is worth another 30%. Which leaves a whopping 60% based on whether you are out there, if people know about you.
So the message is clear, don’t hang back but get ahead and get out there!
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Posted on October 2nd, 2013 by Jane