Monthly Archive for January, 2013

How To Network Without Annoying People

A jobseeker asked: It seems that everyone has caught on to networking. I can almost feel people cringe when I ask them if they know someone who can help me find a job. With so many people on the market and everyone networking, how can you still network without annoying your contacts?

Don’t ask for a job or imply anything close when you network. It puts the person on the defensive. It’s intrusive. It’s annoying.

But absolutely keep networking. Networking is critical to the jobseeker. Most jobs are filled via referrals, not ads. Getting inside is especially important in a slow economy, when companies cut recruiting costs. Here are some tips to network without being annoying:

Make a reasonable case for why you are networking. I recruited for a firm that only placed senior strategy consultants. We received countless inquiries from people with no background or interest in consulting. Do your homework, and only ask for things that are relevant to the people you approach.

If you approach someone repeatedly, say something different each time. Your first approach might be an informational interview. Your second approach might be a personalized thank you for the interview. Your third approach might be an interesting insight about what you discussed. Each time, new information is shared.

Use the information you are collecting. In the above example, information gleaned from the first interview is useful at least two more times. It is also useful when networking with other people in the field. You appear knowledgeable about the industry when you share insights from one insider with others.

Remember to maintain the network. When your search is over, circle back to the people who helped you along the way. Get into the habit of not only calling people for help, but of building genuine relationships.

This is a guest post contributed by the Ivy Exec Blog. Ivy Exec is an exclusive site where pre-screened, high caliber professionals find relevant job opportunities with leading companies. To find out more, please connect with them on Facebook <>  or read their company information on CrunchBase <> .

I wish you career success!

Ramon Greenwood, The Career Coach

Common Sense At Work



It’s Not Too Late To Set A Career Plan For 2013

If you haven’t laid out a plan of action for 2013 you’ve missed an opportunity to gain a head start against your competitors for career rewards. Take that critical step today by creating what I call a “Gap Plan.”

Gap Planning is composed of three steps: (1) take an inventory of where you are today; (2) set stretch goals for the coming year; and (3) lay out a plan to close the gap between where you are and where you want to be December 31, 2013.

Step 1: Review 2012

Begin with a detailed review of last year. Back off, take a good objective look at those 12 months; write a comprehensive overview covering at least these seven points:

1.Changes in job responsibilities.

2.Changes in compensation.

3.Your performance, positive and negative, as you see it, and as your employer judges it compared to previous years.

4. Achievement of your stated goals for the year.

5.Progress in education/training related to your career.

6.Status of your on-the-job relationships, with your boss and    your co-workers. Any changes during the year as compared with the past?

7.Business conditions for your employer.

Conclude with a summary of the year as a whole. Build it around these six questions:

1. Are you satisfied with what you accomplished? If not, why not

2. What were your three greatest achievements?

3. What were your three greatest failures or mistakes

4. What impediments, if any, held you back?

5. What did you learn from your experiences?

6. How satisfied were you with your current situation at work as compared with the past?

Step 2: Set Goals For 2013

Spend time carefully reflecting on your review document. Don’t rush it. Then set your goals for 2013.

Make certain your goals are a real stretch, but still attainable with your best effort. Don’t set yourself up for frustration and disappointment.

Step 3: Create A Plan To Fill The Gap

Develop a detailed path of action in writing to bridge the gap between your current situation and your goals for the next 12 months. Include ways to measure progress at specified intervals. Set rewards to be handed to yourself as you reach milestones along the way.

Here are four final thoughts on Gap Planning:

1. Always think of your Gap Plan as a binding contract you have made with yourself.

2. Don’t let the sheer size of the challenges defeat you. Think of each goal as a series of smaller, manageable tasks to be accomplished day to day and plan accordingly.

3. Guard against straying off your path. Do not accept any diversions that hinder your campaign for the achievement of your goals.

4. Start now, this day.  Don’t let another year slip by – lost forever – without measurable progress toward your goals.

It has been said, “He that resolves upon any great and good end has, by that very resolution, scaled the chief barrier to it.”

I wish you career success in 2013 !!!!!

Ramon Greenwood, The Career Coach

Common Sense At Work