Skills You Were Not Taught in School – Networking For Career Success

Skills You Were Not Taught in School – Networking For Career Success

By Michael M DeSafey

There are the technical skills you were taught in school: engineering, geology, environmental services. The science and methods (The why). As you start working in the industry though you need to gain more skills and experiences related to real life business activities.

As your career progresses you will earn professional registrations and most likely be promoted to the Project levels. Your responsibilities begin to increase and it’s up to you to meet the deadlines and prepare deliverables. You learn to write reports, interact with clients and manage project teams.

At first you will find it tough going, but with time and experience, it becomes like second nature. Because you know the why, and have learned the how.

One of the most difficult activities engineering and environmental professionals are tasked with is Business development; networking. You understand the technical aspects to your job; the science and engineering (the why), but the how (how to build relationships, how to establish clients, and how network with associates) is beyond your education. This is a skill you most definitely were not taught in school and need to develop as a professional to advance your career. But where do you start?

Here are some tips on how to network

  • It’s important to remember that no one ever died from networking (we checked).
  • Start out by attending an association luncheon. If you choose an event with a speaker or topic that you’re interested in you’ll have something to talk about during the networking session.
  • Bring cards and be prepared with your elevator speech. This is who you are, who you work for, and how your firm relates to the days topic, in 30 seconds. If your marketing department doesn’t have that message crafted, try Google.
  • Have a plan. If the event attendees aren’t listed online, show up to the event early and scan the name tags. Make a mental note of who you’d like to talk to.
  • If you recognize a name of someone you don’t know but would like to meet (a decision maker at a potential client firm, perhaps), hang out at the registration table and see who picks up that name tag.
  • As other attendees show up, it’s OK to make a beeline for a friendly face. Ask your friend to introduce you around. Caveat: don’t hang out with your friend for the entire networking session. Give her time to mingle on her own; make sure you mingle on your own as well.
  • The easiest way to find someone to talk to is locate a person standing by himself, wishing he were anywhere but there. Put your nerves aside, walk up, and say hi.
  • (Speaking of nerves, it’s perfectly normal to be nervous. Many seasoned business development professionals get butterflies before every networking event).
  • The best ice-breaker is to ask your new acquaintance about himself. People love to talk about themselves.
  • Ask open-ended questions. A yes-or-no question is a conversation killer. Lead him with questions that lead to more questions, but don’t interrogate him!
  • It’s OK, even preferable, to talk about topic other than business. Relationships are developed over time by getting to know someone as a person, instead of potential work.
  • Know when to move on. Don’t monopolize one person’s time, or let one person monopolize yours. Once you make an acquaintance, learn about him and exchange information, move on.
  • Make it your goal to meet at least three new people during the networking time. This will keep you moving around and maximize the use of your time.
  • When it’s time to be seated for lunch DO NOT sit with someone you’ve already talked to. This is the time to find one of the people you want to meet and find a seat at, or near, her table. Introduce yourself and chat for just a moment, with a promise to follow-up at a later time.
  • Once everyone is seated, pass a stack of your cards around the table. Everyone else should do the same. Then introduce yourself to the people on either side of you. Keep the conversation light. Now is not the time to set meetings or discuss projects.
  • Please, please, use common sense when making conversation! Politics, religion, sex, or anything controversial is off-limits.
  • Industry gossip, no matter how juicy, is also off-limits. You don’t know who knows who, and the very nature of gossip is negative. Don’t get drawn into it.
  • After the presentation is over, close the loop with your table mates and the other people you talked to. Everyone has to get back to work, so now is not the time to strike up an in-depth conversation.
  • The most important part of any networking event is the follow-up. Send an email to every person you met. Remind them of your conversation, provide any information you promised to share, and ask for a follow-up meeting.

The more often you attend events, the wider your circle of contacts becomes. Keep in touch with your network. Develop relationships, share information, and move forward in your career.

 

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Michael_M_DeSafey/1832732

FOCUS – A Power Word for Every Day

FOCUS – A Power Word for Every Day

Focus-Power-Word

 

In April 2008, I bought a book at the airport as I was boarding a long haul flight. It was entitled, ‘The Power of Focus’ by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen and Les Hewitt. I read it cover to cover on the plane, not realizing how much it was literally going to change my outlook on both my business and personal life.
I learned that,“It’s all about focus. The main reason most people struggle professionally and personally is simply lack of focus.

I learned that, ‘my habits will determine my future’ and that ‘it takes focused action, personal discipline and lots of energy every day to make things happen’.

The word ‘Focus’ became my mantra for 2008 and it guided me through what turned out to be an extremely challenging but rewarding year.  Another best selling author Brian Tracy claims that, ‘Your ability to focus is the most important success skill you can ever develop.’
Over the last 8 years, I have continued my journey both personal and business, learning the power of focus, seeing both successes and failures but all the while learning more and more the fact that much more is achieved when we focus instead of spreading ourselves too thinly or trying to target everyone, ending up targeting no one.

Focus is potent, undiluted and it attracts.

JF Kennedy said, “Effort and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.

It is timely that now for 2016, ‘focus’, meaning having a central point of attention, is one of our key words to drive our business growth across our Business over Breakfast (BoB) Club network in Australia and New Zealand.

Focus clarifies, cuts out the distractions and provides a constant reminder of what you set out to do, who you set out to be and where you set out to go and it is focus that keeps you on the track to get there.
Focus narrows it all down, brings a simplicity and a strength. It un-complicates you and your brand. When you have focus, others can see that and are attracted to the power that brings.

Focus is and will always remain in our list of key words to drive us forward both personally and professionally. If you have not embraced ‘focus’ and its power in your personal and business life, then I strongly encourage you to do so today. We welcome comments and questions.

 

Jayne Albiston
Director
Business over Breakfast (BoB) Clubs Australia & New Zealand

CREATE – A Power Word for Every Day

March 31 , 2016 – Jayne Albiston

BoB_Create_Apr2016(sm)

This year we have 24 key words that we are applying directly to our business. They have particular meaning because we have taken them from our personal collection of words that we use to inspire and drive our lives forward.

 

In no particular order, I am commenting on one of these words every couple of weeks and they appear in our company newsletter each month. These comments are my own and I would welcome any additional insight, inspiration or feedback that you may have on them, including any experiences that you may have had along your business journey so far.

 

The 4th word is: CREATE…

 

There is a reason this word made it to our collection of inspiring words. Create implies there is always an opportunity for something new. It also screams of being proactive rather than reactive.

 

Some people sadly live their lives in reaction – life happens TO them and their time is spent dealing with the consequences.

 

Many years ago I read an article which made so much of an impact on me at the time that I used to share it with every class of students I taught. It was all about choosing to be proactive rather than reactive and to choose to live your life like that.  In other words we have the power to create our lives and if we don’t like the life we have, then we should set about designing another one.

 

Since that time, and since The Secret alerted us all to The Law of Attraction, there have been many people encouraging us all to create Dream Boards, to write up our dreams and turn them into goals – reiterating that thoughts, become words which then become actions. Your habits become your life.

 

The word create for me is potently positive – it is the end of excuses, the motivation to get moving, the wiping clean of whatever slate you have in front of you and the notion that endless possibility does exist if you but take the time to design it, to create and as the dictionary says, ‘To bring something new into existence.’.

 

Jayne Albiston
Director
Business over Breakfast (BoB) Clubs Australia & New Zealand

REALISE – A Power Word for Every Day

March 10 , 2016 – Jayne Albiston

BoB_Realise_Apr2016

This year we have 24 key words that we are applying directly to our business. They have particular meaning because we have taken them from our personal collection of words that we use to inspire and drive our lives forward.
In no particular order, I am commenting on one of these words every couple of weeks and they appear in our company newsletter each month. These comments are my own and I would welcome any additional insight, inspiration or feedback that you may have on them, including any experiences that you may have had along your business journey so far.

 

The 3rd word is: Realise…

When you realise something it becomes clear to you.

Entire courses, books and workshops are written on the meaning of the word realise. People invest hundreds of dollars to seek, to understand and to make change in their lives around the meaning of this word and yet in my opinion, the use of it is often overlooked.

 

Realise is unbelievable powerful and should have its rightful place in every set of top ten words to guide both our business and personal lives.
One of my favourite definitions goes like this: when you realise something it becomes clear to you. These days everyone seems to be looking for clarity in some area of their lives.

 

One expanded definition says that all the meanings of realise amount to making something “real” in some way. If you realise a plan, you make it happen. If you realise a fact, you see its truth. If you realise the seriousness of a situation, you become aware of its dangers.

 

Whether it is gaining clarity on either the positive OR the negative in our business and in our lives, either way, we are not living life to the full or fulfilling our business or personal life potential if we do not begin to realise what is in our current reality and then take steps to realise something different, something more. In other words make it happen.
This week, I am taking the ‘realise’ challenge to look at my personal and business priorities, to gain clarity on them and to take action to make them real in some way.

 

This will most likely include:

  • Seeing a truth
  • Becoming aware of some dangers
  • Making something happen.

There are many tools that we can use to help us record and to be reminded of what we have ‘realised’ so far in our lives and what we yet strive or dream to ‘realise’.

 

One of these tools is a Gratitude Journal which simply involves writing down things we are grateful for, including that which we want to ‘realise’ in the the future. This is proving to be a powerful tool for me personally and I encourage you to try it. You might be surprised at what you are able to realise’ in your business and personal lives.

 

Jayne Albiston
Director
Business over Breakfast (BoB) Clubs Australia & New Zealand