Helping Professionals Stay Connected in their Career

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Actively Networking

Are You Actively Networking?

    Many executives I meet enter career transition with a limited network. they never needed one in the past and they desperately need one now. So from the very beginning (even if you’re presently employed) make a commitment to grow your network and to grow it fast. Often, executives believe networking is simply about showing up; but going through the motions nets you little. When you are active in networking your eyes are wide open, you are driven to meeting new people and rekindling old connections… all to gain new opportunities. Brilliant networkers look to give value first because they understand the power of reciprocity and they see every interaction as a place of possibility. Active networking means meeting new people, keeping your relationships fresh, planning who you want to meet, where they might be and what to say once you meet them. Look for ways to create a powerful and positive first impression so everyone is drawn in to see the value of getting to know you better. Be keenly aware that a phone call is more powerful than an email and a face-to-face conversation is always the best. When you attend group meetings make it a habit to book a one-on-one session prior to and/or just after, to get to know a few of the attendees that much better. Finally, be wary of joining “victim” groups because all of your energy will be sucked out through their negative way of seeing the world.



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** List of UPCOMING NETWORKING MEETINGS ** Click Here


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Check out http://www.thenetworker.ca to catch up with some local business networking events.

 

NETWORKING TIPS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER

  1. Arrive early.  It's much easier to make connections and get into your rhythm when there are few people and the conversations are just starting.
  2. Plan out 3-5 things you want to learn/take away from the event.  This can be introductions to people, answers to questions you have or an opportuity to build your brand.
  3. Collect more business cards then you give out.  The power is in having control to re-initiate discussions at a future time.  Nobody really cares to have your card but you really care to have theirs!
  4. Follow up!  The number of executives who make connections and do nothing with them is staggering.  Commit to follow up on all your promises, leads, referrals and  introductions the same day or at the latest the very next one.  You will be rewarded for consistent, prompt follow up.
  5. Stay real.  Be authentic, genuine and professional.  This is NOT a popularity contest.  Spend more time make others feel interesting and they will instantly find you more interesting.
  6. Accept that most contacts won't turn into overnight success stories.  Nurture and grow your network slowly. Shooting for a home-run will often get you no run!
  7. Take a leadership position.  The power belongs to the person who is "sought out" not the one seeking.  Be visible, be compelling and create a presence and brand that encourages others to seek you out.
  8. Smile.

 

Here is what you should look for in any Career Transition Group you join.

  1. They are open and sharing.
  2. They offer a source of new contacts.
  3. They offer an opportunity to learn and grow.
  4. They are a positive and supportive group.
  5. They offer discipline and structure so you can be accountable.
  6. They actively share best practices.

 

Here is an interesting article I read on the 7 Pillars to Networking Success!
from Christopher Hall via Photoxpress

“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” - Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People

I don’t care what your goals, industry or interests are, there’s no getting around it: Personal relationships run the world. But why is it that some people seem to build instant rapport with most anyone they come across, while others are left with a network of one?

Over the past few years, I’ve conducted a study of exactly what sets these people apart. Turns out, the results are more simple, and more powerful, than you’d think. And they led me to interactions and connections with world-class CEOs, best-selling authors, professional athletes and other seemingly untouchable folks, including Tony Robbins and Warren Buffett.

Regardless of status or fame, people are people. And the 7 pillars of making a connection with another person are always the same — whether applied to your next-door neighbor, one of the world’s biggest celebrities or even the cute girl sitting at the bar:

Be genuine. The only connections that work will be the ones that you truly care about; the world will see through anything short of that. If you don’t have a genuine interest in the person with whom you’re trying to connect, then stop trying.

Provide massive help. Even the biggest and most powerful people in the world have something they’d like help with. Too many people never reach out to those above them due to the fear that they wouldn’t be able to offer anything in return. But you have more to offer than you realize: write an article or blog post about them, share their project with your community, offer to spread their message through a video interview with them. Give real thought to who you could connect them with to benefit their goals. If it turns out you can’t be that helpful, the gesture alone will stand out.

Pay ridiculous attention. It’s nearly impossible to genuinely offer help if you don’t pay attention — I mean real attention, not just to what business they started or what sport they like! Do your research by reading blog posts, books and articles about the connection beforehand. Learn about their backgrounds and passions. Invest genuine time in learning what really matters to them and how you can help.

Connect with people close to them. Most job openings are filled through networking and referrals, and making connections is no different. You automatically arrive with credibility when referred to someone you want to meet by a mutual friend. For example, I recently wanted to meet a best-selling author, and it turned out we had the same personal trainer. In reality, that fact means nothing, but in the world of social dynamics, it’s gold! Spend more time connecting with your current network of friends and colleagues and see where it leads.

Persistence wins most battles. If you can’t get a direct referral, simply click send on that email or leave a message after the beep. But do not stop there, as most the world tends to. The first attempt is just the very beginning. Realize that the first try may get you nowhere, but the fifth or the tenth tries are the ones that start to yield results. An unreturned email or voicemail doesn’t mean they don’t want to connect with you. It’s your job to be persistent! I sometimes get hundreds of requests in a day from readers who want to connect, but only about 2 percent ever follow up. Don’t be in a hurry, but don’t be invisible either.

Make real friends. Think about how you’ve made the friends you have. That’s all this is. You only make friends with people you genuinely want in your life. The same rule should go for bigger-name connections. Don’t over-think it. Be human, be helpful and most humans will happily be human in return, regardless of who they are.

Remain unforgettable. All of the above are simple — yet sadly underused — ways of standing out. Send birthday cards. Mail your favorite book with a signed personal note from you on the inside flap. Send them your family Christmas card. Be genuinely helpful. You’d be surprised how the simplest things actually never get done. Being memorable isn’t as hard as some think!

It all comes back to helping others. If you spent 100 percent of your waking hours thinking about how you can help absolutely everyone you come in contact with — from the woman who makes your latte, to the top authority in your industry — you will find everything else tends to take care of itself. The world will suddenly be in your corner.

 

WHAT OTHER EXECUTIVES HAVE TO SAY

Meet two new people everyday - at least ten per week. Or else all of your other efforts are for nothing.

You will meet some of the best people while networking that will try and help you – maybe more so then your friends and existing network.

 

UPCOMING NETWORKING MEETINGS (Please Note: these change frequently)

100 Women Who Care

This sounds like an awesome idea.  There should be one for guys too.

Association of Independent Consultants
If you are a consultant looking for support and community, you’ve come to the right place. The best and brightest minds in Canada run their own consulting businesses. But even the best and brightest need support, education and comradeship. Click Here

Burlington IT Coffee Group

CPG ExecNet

Meetings are held bi-weekly and run for approximately 2 hours with guest speakers booked to make pertinent presentations as agreed to by the group.

Contact: Ken McCormack

Meeting Location
A consulting firm - TMG donates a boardroom for our meetings.
Meetings are held at 10 Four Seasons Place, Etobicoke
Meetings are held every two weeks on Monday.

Time
Start time is 9:30 and usually last 2 hours

CPG ExecNet is a professional networking group dedicated to assisting a group of Senior CPG Executives (Director level and above) in career transition by sharing information, experiences, network contacts, job leads and search techniques that will lead to new employment. Our target is to have 15-20 active members, a number we have found most conducive to good meeting dynamics. We maintain a waiting list of potential new members to backfill our numbers and maintain a healthy alumni network.  (total 0f 79 members)
 

Entrepreneur Group

Karen Tulk

Financial Executives International
Website:http://www.feicanada.org

Financial Executives Networking Group
Website: http://www.thefeng.org

George Szewchuk's Breakfast Networking Group

Second Friday of every month
Macy's Diner at 2257 Royal Windsor Drive, Mississauga, Ontario
Tel: (905) 822-2260

Happen
Mississauga - Tuesday  9:00am - 12:00pm
Burlington - Wednesday 9:00am - 12:00pm
Contact: Jim Geraghty
Telephone: 905-339-0268

In2Win! Networking Eve

Second Tuesday of every month
Vic Johnson Community Centre

Contact: Curt Skene
Telephone: 905-814-1776

Event Website 

Logistics and Supply Chain

MASTERS (Sales and Marketing Professionals)
Every other Monday - Oakville 9:30 - 12:00
Timothy's Coffee - 321 Lakeshore Road East (Second Floor)
Contact:
 

Oakville Networking Executive (The ONE Group)
Every other Thursday - Oakville 10:00am - 12:00pm
Oakville Chamber of Commerce
Contact:
Telephone:

Phoenix Executive Network
(By Invitation Only)

Each week, up to 20 Executives representing all functional areas (Finance, Sales, Marketing, Human Resources, Legal, Operations, IT and General Management ) meet to share networking ideas, contacts and most importantly referrals.

Members are able to increase their capacity to connect to meaningful employment through shared resources and networks.  The on-line network of Alumni and Associate members provides an extensive network of C-level executives.  Additionally, Guest speakers attend regularly to share insights on advancing career search.

Contact: Phoenix Executive Network

PREP

Mississauga - Tuesday 1:00pm (By Invitation only)

The Hit Squad
One Thursday a month (7pm - 9pm) (Date determined in advance)

Goal
To support each other:
During the execution of the job search process
-  During a business initiatives search

After landing employment and /or while developing business initiatives, the Squad provides an opportunity to share successes in the workplace and solicit support and recommendations for dealing with workplace challenges.

While the starting focus of the Holistic IT Squad (Hit Squad) is the use of all forms of Information Technology in the enterprise, our members have transitioned into rewarding careers and business initiatives beyond the IT arena.

Value
Each member is expected to give of their experience, knowledge and contacts for the benefit of others. Value is what the receiving member does with this contribution.

MEETING LOCATION
Origin Evergreen
820 Scollard Court
Mississauga ON L5V0A3
Contact: Brian Patton
Telephone: 905-866-2514

The Wellington Group (formerly The A-Team)

Toronto Davisville Coffee Meeting

Toronto Finance Network (TFN)
Last Tuesday of the month
Contact: Larry Cooper
Telephone: 416-818-4217

Toronto Talks
We want to give you the opportunity to expand your universe and hear first hand what business leaders in and around the Toronto area are doing. And we welcome you to come out and hear from our top quality speakers and learn with the experts.  But don't just take our word for it, read our testimonial section and find out what people really think! Click Here

Weekend Coffee Hunters

Second Saturday 9:15 - 11:30
Sheridan Mall
Contact: Murray Etherington

York Region Networking

Every Friday 9:45 - 12:00
Richmond Hill Library
Contact: Franca Marroccoli
 




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