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  • Are you sick and tired of depending on other people for your career success? Good! The only person in charge of your success is you.

    If you’re feeling trapped by a job you hate, a bad boss, insulting pay, or all of the above, it’s time you take ownership of your career. But where do you start?

    Here are three things you can do to start taking control of your career today:

    Take Inventory Of Your Skill Sets

    What are you known for? What are your best skills? What accomplishments are you most proud of? What are your best qualities?

    Take some time to list your best skill sets, and how you use those skill sets to add value to a company. Think of all the quantifiable examples of the times your skills have helped previous employers and other examples of your skill sets standing out from everyone else’s.

    Organizing all of this information will help you build your personal brand and organize how you want to market yourself as a business-of-one to employers.

    Start Being Proactive In Your Career

    A young professional has a career conversation with her boss

    If you want to take ownership of your career, you need to stop being reactive and start being proactive. Reactive activities include but aren’t limited to the following: waiting for your boss to give you a promotion, waiting for recruiters to reach out to you with new opportunities, or waiting for employers to email you back about your resume.

    Notice that all of these “job search activities” started with the word “waiting.” Newsflash: Waiting doesn’t get results. Taking action does.

    Instead, set up a meeting with your boss to discuss advancement opportunities or make a bucket list of companies that you want to work at, and then reach out to employees at those companies to connect, and maybe even set up informational interviews.

    It’s also important to submit your cover letter and resume to an actual person when applying for a job, and following up with that hiring staff.

    Build Your Professional Network

    Man on phone and laptop builds his professional network

    The old saying, “It’s who you know,” has never rung more true. Get by with a little help from your career friends! Focus your efforts on building your professional network. Meet new people within your industry and bucket list companies. Start conversations and build relationships with them.

    Even if you’re not ready to find a new job or change careers yet, having these people in the wings as references, mentors, and professional contacts will help you tremendously. They can provide tips and insight, act as a sounding board for ideas, and even hook you up with a job. Just make sure you help them out in return!

    Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone

    Young happy professional stands out in the job market by stepping out of her comfort zone

    Part of your new, proactive approach is to step out of your comfort zone. Many people hold themselves back solely because they are afraid of what people might think. But remember, nothing will change if you don’t!

    Make an effort to put yourself out there and meet new people. Set up informational interviews with like-minded professionals, strike up a conversation with someone at a conference, and attend in-person or virtual networking events.

    If you’re ready to achieve career success, take ownership of your career today by following the tips above. What is your business-of-one capable of?

    Need more help with your career?

    Become a member to learn how to UNLEASH your true potential to get what you want from work!

    This article was originally published at an earlier date.

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  • When there’s a company you really want to work for and you’ve applied and applied and you don’t get any results, the first thing I ask is how many informational interviews have you done with people who work at this company?

    Informational interviews are not job interviews. They are interviews where you are asking that person for guidance or coaching by saying things like…

    • Can you tell me how you got your job?
    • What do you think it took to stand out?
    • What do you think it takes to be successful at the company?
    • What would you advise me to do to better prepare myself for job interviews?

    You’re not asking them to refer you to the hiring manager or help you get the job. You’re asking them to coach you on being the best version of yourself so that you can be a standout candidate to get the job yourself.

    Informational Interviewing Tips

    At the end of each informational interview, say, “This was really helpful. Could you introduce me or recommend one person at this company that you think I could also learn a lot from?” What happens is the person always recommends one person, and that’s how you get your next informational interview. And you do that over and over and over again.

    Now why is this important? Well, they are going to start to give you all the information you need to help you understand what you have to do to stand out and get hired. Also, you’re building up your networking connections so that when a recruiter comes across your LinkedIn profile and sees that you’re connected to all these people, it increases the chances that you’ll actually get a job interview.

    Plus, when you’re in the job interview, you can say, “I’ve had the pleasure of talking with so-and-so who works at your company, and they shared (blank),” or “I talked to so-and-so and they told me (blank).” This shows that you are connected to these people and you’ve listened to what they’ve said, and this can be one of the best ways to get a job with a company you love.

    Let me give you a real-life example. I actually coached a young woman on this. She was a senior in college, and she wanted to work for a very well-known sports company. And so we started this process. We got her her first informational interview, and then she got another one and another one and another one. She graduated from college, applied for jobs, and didn’t get any job offers. Then, out of the blue, while she was home, she got a call and it was from a manager at the sports company she’d never met. And this person said, “Hey, I’d like to interview you over the phone. I had a candidate lined up for a job and the candidate dropped out. I need somebody to start ASAP. So I sent a message out to all the managers saying, ‘I need somebody with these skills ASAP. Can you think of anyone?’ And three different managers messaged me back and recommended you. You clearly made an impression when you were talking to all these people. So I want to interview you.” And that’s how she got a job with them.

    Informational interviewing is so effective when you’re trying to get into a dream employer. At Work It DAILY, we teach the framework for informational interviewing. It is an entire module that is part of our interview prep course. We take you through the interview process from the eyes of the hiring manager so that we can prepare you to do the right things before the interview, during the interview, after the interview, and throughout the whole process. And part of that is also knowing how to do informational interviewing.

    If you would like access to our interview prep course, become a Work It DAILY member today. Sign up for our 7-day FREE trial and see how easy it is to get the results you want and deserve.

    Good luck, and go get ’em!

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  • You just got a new LinkedIn connection—woo-hoo! Okay, now what? How can you start building your professional relationship with this person so you add value to each other’s network?

    Here are some tips for getting a dialogue started with new LinkedIn connections…

    1. Start With Your Subject Line

    If you’re having trouble thinking of what to say in your initial message to your new LinkedIn connection, start with your subject line and then elaborate.

    You can say something as simple as “Thanks for connecting!” or even “It’s great to meet you!” If you enjoyed an article they wrote or shared, you can say something like, “Loved your article!” or “Thanks for sharing your insight!”

    If you met your new LinkedIn connection in person at a networking event, mention something specific like, “It was great to meet you yesterday at the ABC Event!” or “Wanted to continue our conversation from yesterday.”

    2. Introduce (Or Reintroduce) Yourself

    via GIPHY

    Send your new connections a brief message to introduce yourself, or reintroduce yourself if you’ve previously met. This will give them a refresher and will help jog their memory from when you last spoke.

    3. Mention Things You Have In Common

    via GIPHY

    Take a look at your new LinkedIn connection’s profile and see what you have in common. Do you share a similar skill set? Do you volunteer for the same organization?

    Find something you share and start a conversation around it. It will make it easier for you to break into a real dialogue. Plus, it will help build a stronger personal connection between the two of you.

    4. Offer Your Support

    via GIPHY

    In order to have a strong network, you need to constantly offer value to it. When you meet a new connection, make it clear that you’ll be a valuable contributor to his or her network.

    You can say something like, “Please let me know how I can help you achieve your goals,” or “I’d be happy to support you in any way I can.”

    5. Don’t Ask For Favors Just Yet

    via GIPHY

    Don’t ask for anything right off the bat. It makes you look greedy.

    It’s important to build a relationship with this person before you ask for any favors. They’ll be more likely to help you out once they know who you are and that you’ll return the favor.

    Don’t be afraid to start a conversation with a LinkedIn connection ever again. Use these tips, and you’ll successfully grow your professional network.

    Need more help with your career?

    Become a member to learn how to UNLEASH your true potential to get what you want from work!

    This article was originally published at an earlier date.

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  • We are living through the next significant era. The AI Revolution, aka the Fourth Industrial Revolution, is upon us. It is very tempting to believe that AI, like ChatGPT, holds the key to landing your dream job. With promises of crafting impeccable resumes, cover letters, and acing interviews, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that a well-programmed algorithm can do it all. However, the truth remains unaltered: the power of human connection and authentic conversations truly shape your career trajectory.

    Unlocking Career Success: The Role Of AI And Authenticity

    Artificial intelligence (AI) in the job search

    ​Picture this: You’ve meticulously fed an AI with all your achievements, skills, and aspirations, and it spits out the most polished resume you’ve ever seen. This automated process might get your foot in the door, but what happens when you walk through that door? The interview room isn’t where AI shines, and here’s why.

    Beyond Algorithms: The Human Touch In Navigating Interviews

    Man shakes hands with the hiring manager before a job interview

    Firstly, conversations and highlighting what makes you uniquely you is where true compatibility and synergy can be explored on the employer/employee fit. A resume might outline your accomplishments but YOU must convey your personality, values, and passion for the role.

    These intangible qualities are the very things that build connections and make employers remember you. When you rely solely on AI-generated materials, you’re missing a chance to showcase your uniqueness, which sets you apart from other candidates.

    Crafting Uniqueness: Standing Out Beyond AI-Generated Resumes

    Hiring manager reads the job applicant's resume during an interview

    There is a reason a “love letter” to a potential employer has a significant effect on your eligibility for employment. That message, email, or video message can SHOW the recruiter how you align with the company’s mission, vision, and values. Not just that but the hiring manager needs to be sure you will be a fit within the team.

    Don’t believe me? Ask any of the thousands of Work It DAILY members who have utilized the disruptive cover letter and their success in getting an interview or accelerating their interview process.

    Embracing Authenticity: Where AI Falls Short In The Job Hunt

    Man writes a cover letter on his laptop

    Furthermore, utilizing AI to “game the system” by embellishing your resume can have dire consequences comparable to outright lying about your credentials.

    In the information age, it’s becoming increasingly easier for employers to fact-check and verify the authenticity of claims. Imagine the embarrassment of being caught off-guard during an interview when questioned about a skill you don’t possess. Your credibility takes a hit and, suddenly, your AI-generated masterpiece crumbles under scrutiny. Hiring managers may sound a bit like Ariana Grande by saying “Thank U, Next” if you can’t back up what you have presented in your materials.

    Employers are skilled at spotting discrepancies between AI-polished presentations and in-person interactions. Authenticity matters, and when it’s absent, the disconnect is palpable.

    Networking: The Unparalleled Strategy For Job Search Triumph

    Young professionals at a networking event

    So, what’s the secret ingredient to triumph in your job search? It’s the age-old power of genuine connection and networking. While AI can certainly streamline processes, human factors solidify relationships. Whether attending (even virtually!) industry events, participating in seminars, or even engaging on professional social media platforms, these interactions offer an opportunity to showcase your skills, passions, and character in a way that AI simply cannot replicate.

    Success stories of professionals and executives repeatedly highlight the significance of networking. Meeting someone face-to-face, discussing shared interests, and forging a memorable conversation can open doors that no AI-generated cover letter can. It’s about making a lasting impression, demonstrating your expertise through interactive discussions, and leaving behind a memory employers will recall when hiring decisions.

    In conclusion, while AI has its place in optimizing certain aspects of the job search process, it is not a magic bullet that guarantees success. Rather than relying solely on automated tools to craft a perfect presentation, job seekers should recognize the immense value of authentic connection. Your skills, passion, and personality shine brightest in conversations that leave a lasting impact.

    So, the next time you’re tempted to let an AI take the reins of your job search, remember that genuine connections are your most potent weapon. Invest time in networking, engage in meaningful conversations, and let your authenticity drive your career journey.

    Looking for your career network? Check out the 7-day free Work It DAILY community trial and stay for connections, events, courses, and more.

    P.S. Don’t forget to say hi in my DMs when you join and reference this article!

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  • In a world where life’s challenges seem to test us at every turn, I embarked on a transformative journey over five years ago—a journey that has led me to embrace the power of an abundance mindset. As a thirty-something striving to find my way in a fast-paced and demanding world, I’ve learned firsthand that progress is a product of practice, patience (not exactly my forte), and rewiring my thought patterns. Yet, amid this personal evolution, I stumbled upon a game-changer, a hidden gem that propelled my growth to astonishing heights: community.

    I’ve experienced firsthand how building a strong network of like-minded individuals who support and challenge you can elevate both your career and personal trajectory. It’s not just about having the right people in your network, but also knowing how to network effectively. Let’s dive into the key elements that can help you foster a community for your career and personal success.

    Surrounding Yourself With The Right People

    Happy coworkers at work

    I’ve learned the importance of surrounding myself with diverse individuals who share my passions and vision. Seeking out mentors, colleagues, and friends who can offer valuable insights and constructive feedback has been invaluable to my professional growth. Beyond traditional settings, I’ve engaged with people from various industries and backgrounds to gain fresh perspectives.

    Leveraging Social Media

    Man uses social media to try to find the name of a hiring manager

    In today’s digital age, social media platforms have become powerful tools for networking. Platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and even TikTok have connected me with industry leaders, potential employers, and peers who share my interests. Engaging in meaningful conversations, sharing my expertise, and participating in relevant groups have allowed me to expand my reach and connect with like-minded professionals.

    When utilizing social media, I can relate to those who are “over it.” However, branding yourself is imperative in this day and age, even in job search/career management. Here is a quick strategy I use to keep myself in check on my social media usage.

    Think of this strategy like when you go to the grocery store. If you go in with a list, you give yourself guidelines to adhere to: get in, get what you need, get out! If you don’t go with a list, things are forgotten, too many snacks are purchased and you blew your budget, and you may have to go back (eek!).

    Making a simple strategy for leveraging social media will keep you focused on managing your time, protecting your mental and physical health, and keeping your productivity intact. Follow the “get in, get what you need, get out” strategy—it will keep your social media usage under control.

    1.) Get in.

    Lead with your content, expertise, or value-add that you want to share with your network. This provides information to your network about you, your expertise, your experiences, etc.

    2.) Get what you need (networking is about supporting/nurturing others).

    Create a cadence every day or week on how many reach-outs you will make. Whether it’s commenting, liking, or messaging other brands/connections, you are supporting another person’s efforts (also valuable to the trust, connection, and rapport of that individual/brand).

    3.) Get out!

    Log off or immediately swipe away the app on your phone so you aren’t tempted to scroll. Just don’t do it!

    Attending Networking Events

    Group of people at a networking event during the summer

    Despite the digital era, face-to-face interactions remain crucial for building authentic connections. I’ve made it a point to attend conferences, seminars, workshops, and industry events to meet professionals in my field. Approaching these events with an open mind and a genuine interest in learning from others has helped me establish meaningful connections. Following up afterward to solidify those connections is essential.

    Reciprocating And Offering Value

    Manager talks to a colleague at work

    Networking is a two-way street, and I’ve learned the importance of being willing to assist others in their professional pursuits. By offering insights and support, I’ve been able to build genuine relationships based on reciprocity and mutual trust. Giving back and nurturing my connections in my community has grown my confidence and has also strengthened my network.

    Embracing Authenticity And Vulnerability

    Woman talks to a colleague about community in her career

    I have been inspired by so many different people across many industries. Why? Their authenticity and vulnerability. What you think it took to get where they are is only the tip of the iceberg on their true journey. Remember that for EVERY individual you encounter. Embracing my own journey, including the challenges I’ve faced and the lessons I’ve learned, has allowed me to foster genuine connections with others. Sharing my story has not only inspired others but also deepened the sense of community we share.

    Adopting A Growth Mindset

    Happy man at work adopts a growth mindset

    Approaching networking with a growth mindset has been crucial for my development. Being open to new experiences, challenges, and opportunities and viewing setbacks as learning experiences rather than failures has helped me adapt and grow in my career. Can we just get rid of the word “failure”? (Asking for a friend!)

    Elevating My Online Presence

    Woman sends a message to a LinkedIn connection with her phone

    I’ve taken steps to ensure that my online presence reflects my professional brand. Crafting a well-designed LinkedIn profile and curating content, practicing being on video (I prefer behind the camera but oh well), and maintaining consistent social media activity have enhanced my credibility and given me even more opportunities to connect with others.

    Listening And Learning

    Diverse group of professionals/coworkers listen and talk to each other during a work meeting

    I’ve come to understand that effective networking involves active listening. STOP! Read that again! Taking the time to understand the perspectives and experiences of others and learning from their successes and challenges has enriched my own knowledge and understanding.

    In conclusion, building a community for your career is about more than just collecting contacts; it’s about creating meaningful connections that support your growth and elevate your trajectory. Surrounding myself with the right people, being authentic and vulnerable, and contributing value to my community has been the key to growth. I now understand that success is not a solitary journey but a collective effort toward mutual growth and prosperity.

    Ready to take your career to new heights? Start by building a community that fuels your success. Connect with like-minded individuals, embrace authenticity, and make a difference.

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  • Whether you’re an entrepreneur, professional, or aspiring leader, learning how to manage business relationships is an important skill that can drive success in your career. By elevating your networking and communication skills, building meaningful connections, and nurturing partnerships, you can foster long-lasting relationships in the dynamic business world.

    We recently asked our leading executives for their best tips on how to manage business relationships.

    Here are their responses…

    John Schembari, Senior Education Academic And Operations Executive

    Managing business relationships is key to any organization but especially for independent service providers/consultants such as myself. While working with business partners on a project, provide your relationships with the opportunity to give ongoing feedback on your services so that any pivots can be made early on to better support your partners’ goals. Keep partners informed of project progress.

    However, the key is not “just” to think of business partners/relationships when you need them. It is important to keep business ties current through ongoing albeit brief follow-up communication, after project completion, where you can offer your relationships something of value for free. Remind them of your value here and through social media—even better if, in highlighting your own gravitas on social media, you can promote the work of your business partners/clients at the same time.

    And, if you can’t support your business relationships/partners on a project, be open to providing names of other service providers who can. Your clients will see that you have their interests in mind and your colleagues to whom you provide business leads might one day return the favor.

    John Schembari is a current K-12 teacher/school leader academic improvement coach and former school building and district administrator. He loves to draw, travel, swing dance, and read nonfiction.

    Ana Smith, Leadership Development & Learning Strategist

    Executive/leader/business partner talks in a meeting and manages his business relationships

    Managing business relationships is a critical skill for any expert in the business world. Effective relationship management is essential for building strong partnerships, fostering trust, and achieving long-term success. Here are some key strategies for managing business relationships:

    1. Communication: Open and transparent communication is the foundation of successful business relationships. Regularly engage with your partners, clients, and stakeholders to understand their needs, concerns, and expectations. Actively listen and respond promptly to their inquiries, ensuring that all parties are on the same page.
    2. Establish clear objectives: Clearly define the purpose and goals of the business relationship. This includes setting mutual expectations, defining roles and responsibilities, and outlining the desired outcomes. Having well-defined objectives helps maintain focus and alignment throughout the partnership.
    3. Build trust: Trust is the cornerstone of any successful business relationship. Demonstrate reliability, competence, and integrity in all your interactions. Be honest about potential challenges and limitations, and work towards finding mutually beneficial solutions.
    4. Be proactive: Anticipate your partner’s needs and address potential issues before they arise. Proactively share relevant information, updates, and insights that can add value to the relationship. Taking initiative showcases your commitment to the partnership’s success.
    5. Respect and empathy: Treat your business partners with respect and empathy. Understand their perspectives and show genuine interest in their concerns. Empathy helps create a positive and collaborative environment, fostering strong bonds.
    6. Deliver on promises: Honor commitments and follow through on your promises. Consistently delivering on your obligations builds credibility and strengthens the trust between parties.
    7. Flexibility and adaptability: Business landscapes are ever-changing, so be prepared to adapt and adjust to new circumstances. Be flexible in finding solutions to challenges, and be open to evolving the relationship as needed.
    8. Handle conflicts constructively: Conflicts are inevitable in any business relationship. When they arise, address them promptly and constructively. Focus on finding resolutions that benefit both parties rather than trying to “win” the argument.
    9. Celebrate successes: Acknowledge and celebrate achievements together. Recognizing milestones and successes fosters a positive atmosphere and reinforces the value of the relationship.
    10. Regular evaluation: Periodically assess the progress of the partnership and the satisfaction of all involved parties. Solicit feedback and use it to improve and strengthen the relationship.

    Remember, managing business relationships is an ongoing process that requires dedication, patience, and a genuine interest in building lasting connections. By investing in these strategies, you can cultivate mutually beneficial relationships that contribute to your overall business success.

    Ana Smith helps people & organizations achieve their full talent potential by developing and co-creating people strategies and customized solutions, and turning them into impactful outcomes and collaborative relationships, using coaching as the “red thread.”

    Lisa Perry, Global Marketing Executive

    Female executive leads a meeting and manages her business relationships

    In the dynamic business world, relationships are pivotal in driving success. Whether it’s with customers, suppliers, partners, or employees, effective communication stands out as the single most significant factor that can make or break these connections. When managing business relationships, focusing on effective communication can yield a significant impact. Here are several communication strategies to consider:

    • Active Listening: Active listening is an essential aspect of effective communication. By actively listening and giving stakeholders your undivided attention, you build trust and accurately grasp their needs and expectations while understanding their message effectively.
    • Clarity & Simplicity: In the fast-paced business world, simplicity is key. Clear and concise communication eliminates ambiguity and misunderstandings.
    • Empathy & Emotional Intelligence: Empathy and emotional intelligence play a vital role in building strong, authentic relationships. Understanding and acknowledging stakeholders’ emotions through empathetic communication fosters trust, strengthens connections, and cultivates genuine connections.
    • Timeliness & Responsiveness: In today’s digital age, speed is of the essence. Timeliness and responsiveness are critical elements of effective communication. Responding promptly shows respect and maintains engagement.

    In conclusion, effective communication is the foundation of successful business relationships. It is the catalyst that drives growth and fosters enduring connections. By prioritizing effective communication as a core value, businesses can navigate the complexities of the business landscape and thrive in a world where strong relationships are the key to lasting success.

    Lisa Perry helps companies build leadership brands, driving loyal customers & delivering profitability. She does this through a process that builds brands consumers love. Her goal is to help companies develop, monetize, and grow their brands.

    How do you manage business relationships? Join the conversation inside Work It Daily’s Executive Program.

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  • Summer is in the air and all you want to do is sprawl yourself out on a beach chair, slurp a fruity, refreshing beverage, and soak up some rays. Your career is the last thing on your mind.

    While it’s important to take some time for yourself and enjoy life outside the workplace, it’s also important to stay on your game. You never know when that life-changing opportunity will present itself.

    Here are a few ways you can network over summer vacation (and still enjoy your time off!):

    Always Keep Business Cards Handy

    It’s important to always have a few business cards with you—no matter where you are or what you’re doing. If you happen to meet someone at the tiki bar who you think would be an asset to your network, you want to be prepared. Even in the smallest of gatherings, you never know when you may meet someone that could end up being a valuable connection.

    If you’re a job seeker or your company doesn’t offer business cards, you may want to consider getting your own printed with your basic information, especially a link to your LinkedIn profile, where you can continue your networking efforts with the new connection.

    If you’re not comfortable giving out business cards, you could exchange emails or LinkedIn information. The important thing is to establish a means of communication.

    Plan A Family Trip

    A group of young professionals take a road trip

    If you’re considering relocating or just want to start building a network in a particular area, consider taking a family trip to that location. Get to know the area, attend local events, and make an effort to meet new people. Don’t go into it with an “all-business” mindset though.

    Remember, you’re on vacation with your family. The focus is on spending your time with them, not making lots of connections. If you can meet one or two locals and build a causal relationship with them, that’s a great start.

    Take 30 Minutes Each Week To Network Online

    Young professional takes part in an online networking event while on summer vacation

    Even if your summer may be jam-packed with fun activities, it’s likely you will have a half hour each week to spare. Make time each week to attend a virtual networking event for at least 30 minutes. It’s not a major time commitment, and the reward could be huge. Not to mention, you can do it while you’re sipping on a refreshing cocktail on your patio.

    That’s one of the great things about virtual networking—you can do it virtually anywhere!

    The truth is, virtual networking is the future, so it’s important to become good at it! Between remote work and the sheer convenience of it, virtual networking events will be in the majority.

    Building your professional network over summer vacation is easier than you think. Follow the networking tips above so you can develop your career while enjoying the summer!

    Need more help with your career?

    Become a member to learn how to UNLEASH your true potential to get what you want from work!

    This article was originally published at an earlier date.

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  • It’s that time of year again when job seekers think they should stop looking for a job throughout the holiday season. No one will be hiring anyway, so you may as well take the rest of the year off, right? Not true, according to HR and job search experts.

    Although some companies may have no budget left for hiring, others still have openings they need to fill by the end of the fiscal year. That means it’s unwise to assume a company won’t be bringing on new candidates unless they announce a hiring freeze.

    The savvy job hunter maintains job search momentum throughout the holiday season and finds fresh ways to leverage networking to open doors with hiring employers. After all, there are increased opportunities to network offline throughout this period, and each event you attend offers the gift of connecting with people you haven’t met or haven’t seen in a while.

    Also, since the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual networking has become an essential part of your career, allowing you to continue to grow your professional network from the comfort of your own home. Over the holidays, attending a few virtual networking events will be easy, since you should already be familiar with them from your experience working from home or attending some in the past.

    As you launch your own holiday networking campaign, make sure you avoid these “naughty” tactics and follow the “nice” holiday networking tips instead.

    “Naughty” Holiday Networking Strategies To Avoid

    Two professionals network at a holiday office party

    1. Focusing only on your search needs. Leverage a give-to-get strategy instead by cultivating your relationship with the people you encounter in your holiday merrymaking. Ask them astute questions about their workplace needs, and look for ways you can help.

    2. Asking for jobs, information, or leads without offering to give one or more of the same first. Above all else, the holiday season is a time to connect in meaningful ways with people you already know and those you don’t. You can’t do this if your sole focus is on you.

    3. Pushing your job search agenda on influential contacts. If you focus on proving your usefulness first, you won’t have to push your agenda at all.

    4. Sending out networking requests disguised as holiday greetings. Remember: you don’t have to ask for something each time you connect with your network. Focus on giving something every time instead.

    5. Expecting quick responses from anyone about anything. The closer we get to Christmas and New Year’s, the more delay you can expect in any job-search-related communication. Accept this and move on.

    Focus your holiday energies on leveraging these “nice” door-opening strategies even Santa would love…

    “Nice” Holiday Networking Strategies To Try

    Group of professionals at a holiday networking event

    1. Attending a wide variety of holiday events and being prepared to make connections. Whether you’re going to parties or open houses, joining a friend for a company event, or enjoying dinner with one or more friends, use every outing to gather insight and information. Replace your usual holiday networking outings with virtual networking events if you have safety concerns (or just like the convenience of it).

    2. Preparing a two-sided business card for on-the-spot networking. Present your personal branding statement on side one, and showcase your experience, credentials, and impacts briefly on side two. If a two-sided card is too small, try a fold-over card that allows you to print text inside and out. If this is still too small, why not try a postcard instead?

    3. Building a holiday list. Like Santa, you need to know what everyone on your target list is seeking. Ask the contacts and job seekers you meet how you can help them, and keep a record of their responses for immediate follow-up. Look for ways to refer job seekers to recruiters and companies, and suggest recruiters and companies to job seekers.

    4. Proactively referring potential candidates to recruiters, companies, and hiring managers. Be the star in your network by preparing a brief intro about job seekers you know and feel comfortable recommending, then offer their contact information (with permission, of course) to recruiters and companies that match the job seekers’ search targets.

    5. Following up promptly. Don’t let those holiday connections go to waste! Make sure you follow up with new members of your network soon after meeting them, to let them know how nice it was connecting with them, and to keep the communication lines open.

    6. Using the period between Christmas and New Year’s to re-contact all previous interviewers. Let your past interviewers know that you’re still available. I’ve known more than one candidate who reopened an opportunity by proactively reaching out during an otherwise slow period.

    7. Sending out New Year’s greetings to influential contacts in your network. Include a short, brand-driven message about your value proposition, assuming that you have previously sent a holiday message with zero branding included. This strategy allows you to refresh the memories of your influential contacts with your candidacy as they put the holidays behind them and return to work in the new year.

    Remember persistence and assertiveness are always in season. When paired with smart search strategies, your holiday networking can yield a bounty of new gifts in the new year.

    Need Some Help With Your Networking Strategy?

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    Networking is something most professionals struggle with. But the truth is, your network is your net worth.

    If you don’t have a strong network, your career will suffer. It will also make your job search more difficult than it needs to be.

    Need help building your professional network? We can help!

    We’d love it if you signed up for Work It Daily’s Event Subscription! Get your career questions answered in our next live event!

    This article was originally published at an earlier date.

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  • So, you know it is important to have the two Qs as you build out your network: quality and quantity. But have you considered the importance of having a well-rounded network?

    In this labor market, having a strong network is critical to your career success. There are plenty of tips and articles on where to find people, how and when to connect with them, and even what you need to say to attract and maintain your network. This article focuses on who should be in your network.

    Here are the top 10 people that should be in your network, no matter if you’re looking for a job or happy in your current position—because every job is temporary!

    Who Should Be Part Of Your Network?

    There are 10 types of people you should have in your network:

    1. The mentor
    2. The coach
    3. The industry insider
    4. The trendsetter
    5. The connector
    6. The idealist
    7. The realist
    8. The visionary
    9. The partner
    10. The wanna-be

    1. The Mentor

    Mentor talks to someone in his network

    This is the person who has reached the level of success you aspire to have. You can learn from their successes as well as their mistakes. Heed their wisdom and experience. This relationship offers a unique perspective because they have known you through several peaks and valleys in your life and watched you evolve.

    2. The Coach

    Man talks with people in his network

    The coach is someone who comes in at different times in your life. They help with critical decisions and transitions and offer an objective perspective with no strings attached.

    3. The Industry Insider

    Man shows an article to someone in his network

    This is someone in your chosen field who has expert-level information or access to it. This person will keep you informed on what’s happening now and what the next big thing is. Invite them to be a sounding board for your next innovative idea.

    4. The Trendsetter

    Professionals network at work

    This is someone outside of your chosen industry that always has the latest buzz. It can be on any topic you find interesting. The goal in having this person in your network is to look for those connections that spark innovation via the unconventional. It will also help you keep your conversations interesting.

    5. The Connector

    Professionals network during a meeting

    This is a person who has access to people, resources, and information. As soon as they come across something related to you, they are sending you an email or picking up the phone. Connectors are great at uncovering unique ways to make connections, finding resources and opportunities most people would over look.

    6. The Idealist

    Woman talks with someone in her network

    This is the person in your network you can dream with. No matter how “out there” your latest idea is, this is the person that will help you brainstorm ways to make it happen. Without judgment, they are focused on helping you flesh out your dreams in high definition, even if you don’t have a solid plan yet on how to make it happen.

    7. The Realist

    Two professionals discuss their careers

    On the flip side, you still need the person who will help you keep it real. This is the person who will give you the raised eyebrow when your expectations are a little to unrealistic and need some grounding. These are not people who knock down your dreams; rather, they challenge you to actively make your dreams happen.

    8. The Visionary

    Woman works with two people in her network

    Visionary people inspire you by their journey. They are similar to the Idealist, but the visionary can help you envision an actual plan to reach your goal. One personal encounter with this type of person can powerfully change the direction of your thinking and life.

    9. The Partner

    Two people network together

    You need to have someone who is in a similar place and on a similar path to share with. In fact, partners do a lot of sharing. This is a person you can share the wins and woes with. Partners will also share resources, opportunities, and information.

    10. The Wanna-Be

    Young professional gets help from her mentor at work

    This is someone you can serve as a mentor. Someone you can help shape and guide based on your experiences. One of the best ways to tell you understand something is to be able to explain it to someone else. And sometimes, one of the best motivators for pushing through obstacles and hardship is knowing someone is watching.

    Obviously, you will want to have more than 10 people in your network. The trick is to make sure you are building a diverse network by adding people from different industries, backgrounds, age groups, ethnic groups, and so on that fit into the roles listed above.

    Building a deep network by only including people from your current profession or business focus leaves too many stones unturned, limiting potential opportunities. Serious about building a strong professional network that can actually provide the leverage you need to make progress at work and the connections to land your dream job? Evaluate your current network and get started filling in the gaps. Happy networking!

    Need more help with your career?

    We’d love it if you signed up for Work It Daily’s Event Subscription! Get your career questions answered in our next live event!

    This article was originally published at an earlier date.

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  • If you’re conducting an active job search, you’ve probably realized the traditional methods used to obtain employment are no longer effective. If you only apply for job opportunities using job boards and wait for calls to roll in, it won’t get you very far these days. So, we’ve developed eight tips for conducting an effective job search that will make a noticeable difference.

    Here are the basics:

    ​1. Get To Know Yourself

    Before starting a job search, getting to know more about who you are and what you’re looking for is critical. Write down what your hobbies and interest are, take a self-assessment, and be sure to utilize aides like these affordable career resources.

    2. Ensure Your Job Application Is Professional & Highlights Your Skills

    Man writes an effective job search strategy

    Your job application includes your resume, cover letter, portfolio (if applicable), and LinkedIn profile. All of these materials are very important to your job search.

    Your Resume

    This must be well written and organized in a way that a potential reader can quickly see what sets you apart from other candidates. Identify what skills you have, quantify those skills and accomplishments on your resume, and customize your resume for each position you are applying for. By doing these few things, you’ll show employers a glimpse of the value you could bring to their organization, and your resume will be more likely to get past the ATS (applicant tracking systems).

    Your Cover Letter

    It’s not enough to write a cookie-cutter cover letter anymore. For an effective job search, write a disruptive cover letter for every job application you send out. It should tell a story and demonstrate why you would be a good fit for the organization.

    Your Portfolio

    Not everyone will need a portfolio, but if you are in a field that requires examples of your work, a portfolio is crucial to your job search. Include a digital portfolio of your best work. Employers want to pre-screen your work before they decide to call you in for an interview.

    Your LinkedIn Profile

    If you are not on LinkedIn you don’t exist in the employment world. The vast majority of employers use LinkedIn to recruit new employees. Make sure that your LinkedIn profile is optimized and the information listed matches what you have on your resume.

    ​3. Establish A Brand

    Man establishes a brand for an effective job search on his phone

    Your brand is formed in various ways including in person, on social media (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), and on personal websites and correspondence. You always want to leave a good impression on others, no matter if it happens in person or online.

    That’s why tip number one is so important to personal branding. You must know what you are good at. You also need to know what skills and expertise you possess that you want to leave with people. This will become your brand.

    If you perfect the art of personal branding, employers will initiate contact with you.

    4. Network Frequently

    Woman networks on her laptop for an effective job search

    The first place to start when searching for employment is your personal network (former co-workers, family, friends, church members, and even friends on social media). These are the people who know you the best and will be more willing to refer you for an open position.

    You must make networking a regular part of your activities, though, not just something you do during a job search. Join organizations related to your field of choice, attend networking events, and become active on LinkedIn and other social media platforms. Do what works best for you and be sure to have balance.

    ​5. Target Desired Companies & Positions

    Man on laptop targets companies for an effective job search

    Target positions that you would like to have and companies that offer those types of positions, then see if you have any connections to company insiders (referrals are the leading source for obtaining interviews).

    How do you figure out which companies to target? Create an interview bucket list—a list of 10 to 20 companies that you would love to work for that also hire for your skill sets.

    Be proactive and contact hiring managers, even when there aren’t open positions posted on their company websites. Introduce yourself and see if you can obtain an informational interview to find out more about the company and what they look for in candidates.

    ​6. Create Job Search Plans & Strategies

    Woman on phone executes an effective job search strategy

    After you’ve targeted the companies that you feel passionate about working for, put together a plan that will help you get hired at one of them.

    Regularly evaluate your plans and strategies and stick with things that have had positive results. If what you are doing is not bringing results, it’s time to try a new approach.

    ​7. Follow Up With Employers

    Man on phone follows up with employers during his job search

    Once you have taken the steps to apply or inquire about a position, follow up with employers. Send a quick note that reiterates your passion for the company and desire to work there, and share an interesting article or video that you think they would find interesting. It’s about providing value in the little ways that you can to strengthen the connection.

    The goal is to stay at the forefront of the hiring manager’s mind so when they need to fill an open position, you’ll be at the top of their list to contact first.

    ​8. Increase Your Marketability While You Search

    Woman on laptop researches effective job search tips

    Don’t get comfortable with your accomplishments. Continue to develop your skills and gain more experience while you are conducting your job search—and even when you are employed.

    In your career, if you’re not growing, you’re dying. Seek professional development opportunities to make yourself more marketable to employers. Work on your career every day. To truly stand out in a competitive job market, you can’t afford to think you have what it takes to get hired. You need to prove it.

    Always be looking for opportunities to grow your career!

    In order to conduct an effective job search, it’s important to follow the tips above.

    School doesn’t teach us how to get the job. So, don’t be so hard on yourself! You can (and will!) find a job. Give these steps a try and see how much of a difference it makes in your job search.

    Need more help with your job search?

    We’d love it if you signed up for Work It Daily’s Event Subscription! Get your career questions answered in our next live event!

    This article was originally published at an earlier date.

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  • If you’ve never used an on the internet networking site, LinkedIn may seem to be a little daunting at first. Looking acquainted with other social mass media sites, you’ll still would like to take the period to learn to navigate the way around LinkedIn.

    LinkedIn is the world’s biggest professional networking platform and something of the most important social media networks.

    With over 830 million members in a lot more than 200 countries and even territories, you’ll want in order to utilize this tool to be able to market yourself as the business-of-one.

    Members use the internet site to network or retain in touch with fellow workers, co-workers, clients, friends, together with family. But it could do so much more—build awareness of your brand name, enhance your profile, connect along with professionals, find job possibilities, etc.

    This training will assist you:

    • Better understand how for you to navigate the LinkedIn system
    • Learn precisely how to search for particular topics on LinkedIn
    • Manage your own personal personal profile and accounts settings
    • Determine ways to market your self to your network

    Sign up for our CEO, J. To. O’Donnell, and Director to help train Development & Training, Christina Burgio, for this specific live event on Wed, August 31st at twelve pm ET.

    CAN’T GO TO LIVE? Which okay. You will have access towards the recording and typically the workbook after the program!

    Sign-up button

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  • After a long day at work, sometimes all you want to do is sit on the couch, eat a bag of chips, and zone out watching television. The thought of attending a networking event seems so daunting. Not only do you have to give up free time, but you also may have to talk with strangers.

    With this type of mindset, it’s easy to see why so many people are apprehensive about the concept of networking. However, when you avoid networking, you miss out on so many great opportunities.

    While networking can feel uncomfortable at first, it’s actually a huge investment in yourself. Many people avoid networking simply because they’re not used it, but like anything, practice makes perfect.

    Here are the top reasons why you should embrace networking:

    Take Networking As A Challenge

    Building networking skills not only builds confidence but it also plays an important role in professional development, career planning, and potential job searches down the line.

    The best way to build these skills is to embrace networking as a challenge. Like going to the gym to reach a fitness goal or taking online courses to further a career, you take on this challenge in order to achieve a long-term goal.

    Flex Your Networking Muscle

    Young woman networks with colleagues at work

    When you’re working out at the gym you don’t see instant results. You have to put the work in. Networking is the same way. The results won’t be instant but every step you take puts you in a better position.

    Make networking a habit. Try to attend some sort of social function each week to keep those networking “muscles” flexin’.

    Make Networking Part Of Your Routine

    Man networking on LinkedIn

    A simple change of attitude could go a long ways in changing your outlook about networking. The hardest part is getting started!

    Put Yourself Out There

    Man at a networking event

    Start by putting yourself out there and attending local networking events reach out to a well-connected colleague to help introduce you to other professionals both in and outside your field.

    The more this is done, the easier it becomes. Soon, you’ll see your network slowly grow. Having a large professional network can lead to new friendships and mentorships.

    Most importantly, this network could eventually turn into future job references, LinkedIn endorsements, and job opportunities.

    You never know when you’ll be looking for a new job. So, get off the couch, meet some new people, and see where your network takes you.

    Rethink Your Networking Strategy

    Woman networking on LinkedIn

    Don’t be a selfish networker. While networking can work to your advantage, remember that it’s important to help others, too. This is especially true when connecting with someone on LinkedIn. Don’t ask for favors right away. Show your value as a connection first.

    How’s Your Networking Etiquette?

    Man networks with people at work

    Take inventory of your networking habits. There may be simple ways to improve.

    No matter where you are in your career, you shouldn’t pass up networking opportunities. We hope these tips help you embrace networking, instead of fearing or dreading it.

    Need more help with your career?

    We’d love it if you signed up for Work It Daily’s Power Hour Event Subscription! Get your career questions answered in our next live event!

    This article was originally published at an earlier date.

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