"Spring is nature's way of saying, "Let's party!"
Renior's "luncheon of the boating party"
I love October….. I”m a country girl born in Bendigo, an historic gold-mining town in the heart of central Victoria, Australia. The winters were long and cold and so every year I waited for the kiss of Spring's sunshine and the beauty and socialising that came with it. Flower buds started to burst into bloom, the Plane trees that lined the town’s streets began to redress themselves in fresh foliage and people walked around “literally” with an extra Spring in their Step. Elongated conversations in the warm sun's rays and the appearance of brighter, lighter clothes always inspired me.
The arrival of October signaled the beginning of the down-hill run to Christmas. A lightness in the air appeared and people were generally more active and positive. Coming from a sports oriented family, we would begin to throw ourselves into the summer competitions of tennis, softball, cricket, golf and lawn-bowls. We also got excited about the horse-racing carnivals in Bendigo and Melbourne as a way to have some fun, catch up with friends and enjoy a celebratory glass of bubbles - because we could!!
So to me.... October is a time of rebirth, beauty and socialising.
And from a Career perspective, October is a particularly powerful month in your Career for NETWORKING.
WHY OCTOBER IS A POWER MONTH FOR CONNECTING
As you know, I love to look at things from an Astrological perspective. This month, the Sun is for the large part in the Zodiac Sign of Libra. (Oct 1 - Oct 22)
To best understand Libra, we can first look to it's ruling planet which is Venus. Venus symbolises communication, beauty and money.
Next we look to the element and Libra is an Air sign. Therefore Libra likes to think, articulate and discuss ideas.
The symbol or glyph for Libra is the scales, so balancing, weighing, judging, being fair, and reflecting are all attributes that Libra has become known for.
As a result, Librans are exceptional at being able to see both sides of the story and communicating that!!
ONLY 3 MONTHS UNTIL YEAR END
So, this month there is a strong Astrological push to get out and connect with others, especially in a 1:1 setting. And the timing couldn't be better with 2018 just around the corner. If you're already considering a career change, looking for a promotion opportunity or keen to broaden your industry knowledge to help you grow your business, then you need to be ACTING ON THAT NOW!! Otherwise, before you know it, the new year will start and nothing will have changed for you.
Working as an executive career coach, I meet with many clients who are between roles. Some due to redundancy, some due to having children and getting back into the workplace and some who simply can't stomache where they are working any longer and so come to me for help to find a job/career that is a better fit. I also work with individuals who love what they do but want coaching support to improve performance and foster promotional opportunities.
Regardless of the initial reason clients come to me, once we have established their unique offering and created a career plan, the next step is to start researching options. And Networking is the number one way to identify career opportunities. I remind clients that whatever they read in the Newspaper or online is actually "old news". The only way to stay up to date is to be out and about talking to people running and working in the businesses that they want to connect into.
Networking is also the most potent way to let others know what you're passionate about, what you're achieving and what your career dreams are! Unless you're sharing these things, people have no way of knowing how to help you.
BUT for so many clients the idea of networking scares them to death. They think of it as having to Sell Themselves. And when they haven't come from a sales background they feel very uncomfortable sitting down with people to talk about themselves.
If this is you, I've outlined below 6 simple ways to approach Networking so it doesn't feel like you're selling yourself.
6 STEPS TO NETWORK YOUR WAY TO SUCCESS.
1. Engage the right Mindset
Think of networking as research.....and not as selling yourself.
You're going into the meeting to uncover information about the industry, organisation, structure, culture, desired skillset etc. If an opportunity happens to be available, you'll get the chance to discuss it anyway!
2. Prepare, prepare, prepare....
What questions do you want answers to?
Prepare questions in advance in relation to the industry, company, profits, business challenges right now, people challenges and skills that are hardest to come by.
3. Develop your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
Incorporating your area of expertise, develop your Unique Selling Proposition or Elevator Pitch which summarises your career goals, unique skills and provides examples of 1 - 2 achievements that illustrate the use of your skills.
You can use it towards the end of the meeting when it's your turn to talk!
4. Let them Talk!!
As a general rule, people love to have the opporutnity to talk about things that interest them.
Start the meeting off by creating an Agenda of items you'd like to cover and invite your guest to do so too. Then proceed by asking them questions you created from point 2. Let them do the majority of the talking. In the process, you'll be surprised what you can learn and how much rapport you can build by saying very little!!
5. Share your stories & your USP at the end.
Once you've had an opporutity to pick their brains, it's time to let them know a little bit about you. Look for opporutnities in their story to make an easy connection to you by saying, "That's really interesting, it reminds me of a time when I ....[insert your achievement story here]"
The ideal time to share your Unique Selling Proposition is after you've established rapport through your great questioning skills. I recommend holding back until at least 1/2 way to 3/4 way through the meeting. It might not feel natural, but trust me, it works!!
6. Ask for leads / referrals after every meeting.
This is the most important aspect of Networking as it helps you to expand your list of contacts!!
Finish every meeting with the question, "Is there anyone else that you know who you think may be valuable for me to speak to?"
So, if you're thinking that you'd like to make some changes in your Career, now's the time to get a start on that.
And Networking will be one of your best allies!!
Unsure about how best to network? Don't have your USP worked out? You can always book in for a 30-minute Career Consultation Call with me to get you the clarity you need to move forward.
Book here now. Simply choose a time that suits you on my calendar and I'll give you a call then.
Wishing you a magical week ahead.