Remember this tagline from those old Head & Shoulders commercials? Well, despite the fact that they were selling dandruff shampoo, the mantra does apply to all facets of life - especially the job search. (Lesson #1) If you're in transition, you never know who you're going to meet, nor what opportunity will present itself to you. That's the first of three important lessons I'll give you about how to be an opportunistic job seeker.
However, sometimes you do know who you'll meet. For instance, I'm going to be spending the majority of the next day and a half with some of the brightest and best minds in forward-thinking HR (in and out of social media) at the HRevolution un-conference here in Chicago. As such, I should probably take the shampoo people's advice and make sure I've got my ducks in a row. I'm in transition, so I want to make the most of every networking opportunity. I want to show these 100+ people the best Jonathan Krass there is, in hopes of creating a long-standing, collaborative partnership. Sure, I'd like to network with the right people, hopeful that a potential employment opportunity will arise, but at the same time, I'd like to be a resource for the people I meet. So I have to bring my A-game this weekend.
See, networking is a two-way street. Sure, there are people who will give and give until they're blue in the face, but those are few and far between. A good networking relationship is give and take. You have to have something to offer those you're networking with (or with whom you're networking, mom.) If you’re always taking, you won’t be seen as a good networker. (Lesson #2)
So back to my A-game. High confidence level, big smile, good sense of humor, good questions, and good suggestions. Oh, and lots of business cards. (Lesson #3) Personally, I’ve been offering to be a local resource for the out-of-towners, so I’ll also need to be the best Ambassador of Chicago that I can be. That should be easy, because I love this city, and you should too. As I’ve been writing this, the rain stopped, and the sun came out. You’re welcome.
So what did we learn today, children?
- Lesson #1: You never get a second chance to make a first impression.
- Lesson #2: Networking is a two-way street. Give and take.
- Lesson #3: Confidence, smile, humor, good questions & suggestions, and business cards.
If you apply these three lessons to your job search, you’ll find that your network grows quickly and with the right people. You’ll make good connections, and your search will be more fruitful.
For me, following these lessons will ensure I have a great weekend at HRevolution. I’m very excited about this event, and I’m confident it will lead to great things for all of those in attendance. Welcome to Chicago, HRevolution! I’m glad you’re here.