Shift Your Networking Game
|I volunteer at this incredible organization in Orange County called WHW (www.whw.org). Their mission is to help empower employment success by teaching people the variety of mindsets and skills necessary to get and keep an amazing job. I see people walk in their doors confused, disheartened, and scared – and walk out of their doors inspired, empowered, and educated. All for free. It’s amazing. |
Anyway – I digress. One of the classes I teach is around crafting an elevator pitch. This damn elevator pitch causes so much unnecessary anxiety. And, of course, the elephant in the room is needing to actually use the elevator pitch while networking. Their faces go from bad to worse. Gasp. Sigh. Yuck.
I have seen people shift from fear to freedom in their job search process with a subtle reframing of how to “show up” to the game of networking. While this is a topic of many books and resources and not one I claim to be an expert in, I feel compelled to share my best tips. None of us should be nervous or anxious or avoidant when networking because that defeats the whole purpose of showing up fully ourselves!
So – here you go… get your mindset recalibrated and get out in the world proclaiming who you are!
Stop thinking of networking as selling yourself. If you’re not a self-proclaimed
Speaking of which way you’re heading – one of the best ways I’ve heard authentic networking described is asking for directions. You are on a journey from here to there and stop along the way to check-in with others on the path, pick up some clues, and course-correct
After you get more comfortable asking for directions, stop categorizing yourself as your job. This is counter-intuitive to every course taught on elevator pitches but I promise it works. By saying “I’m a lawyer”, “I’m a VP of Sales at Amazon”, “I run a digital agency” – you give all your power away in the first 5 seconds. Why? Because the person receiving the information is
|“The currency of real networking is not greed but generosity.”–Keith Ferrazzi|
|From Theory to Action|
Whether you are in a job that you hope lasts a lifetime or are itching to figure out what’s next, networking is the oxygen of professional progress. Stop stressing about it and overthinking it. Instead, try sharing, asking for directions, and compelling through emotion. I challenge you to take a new approach to networking this summer. Lighten up, share a little more of yourself, and notice how your elevator pitch flows with ease rather than angst. They’d be lucky to have you as part of their network, I promise.