Written by Susan Lamphiear
Word of mouth is the best possible way to market yourself when you’re in career transition, according to keynote speaker, Jacque Zoccoli (spelled like “broccoli” but with a “Z” she tells us – That’s one way she often introduces herself in networking situations.)
Author of the book Spontaneous Combustion: Developing Profitable Relationships, Jacque created her own business in 1986 by creating thousands of referrals for businesses.
Along the way she soon discovered that job seekers really feared networking, plus neither businesses nor job seekers seemed to know what to do with all those business cards once they collected them!
Her speeches, writings, and consultations all strive to help individuals and companies navigate the treacherous waters of networking, which is really just all about creating relationships and getting people to know, like and trust you.
Jacque recommends the following strategies for approaching networking.
- Buy professional-looking business cards. You can get them online. Also, software is available online for scanning business cards to build a database of your own contacts.
- Be specific in selecting the places where you want to work. Then find out everything you can about the company, starting with an internet search to gain background knowledge.
List people that a potential employer knows into four categories.
- Alliances which would include people who sell to the same target audience as the employer does
- The employer’s customers
- The employer’s vendors
- Employees who already working there
Once you have your lists, you need to get to know these people (obtain their business cards), but where do you find them? What associations do they belong to? Where do they buy supplies? What do they do towards business maintenance? What trade magazines do they read or are they featured in? Additionally, find these people through Meetups and online media like LinkedIn.
Once you’ve found someone in one of the groups, what comes next (after you’ve exchanged business cards)? Relating to the person is the next step. Remember that everyone has expertise and a need. And this brought Jacque to a key point to keep in mind. Going to a networking event has nothing to do with YOU. It’s all about how you can help someone else. Once you’ve researched the NEED the contact person has, you can offer to offer to help them meet that need, perhaps by sharing a contact from your own network.
Always remember that networking is all about what you GIVE, not what you get. It’s about relationship building. After all, Jacque says, “The very next stranger you meet just might turn out to be your best friend.”
Kyla Bonnstetter, President of Top Founder and Talent Consulting, also a certified behavioral analyst, reminded everyone about the benefits of taking and using the DISC assessment, offered free to all in attendance. For the job search, individuals may use the DISC results in several ways:
- Formulate or revise the resume
- Create cover letters
- Prepare a 30-second commercial
- Plan interview responses
- Conduct their own job matching in order to apply to an appropriate company
The DISC can also be used to help job seekers locate and land the ideal job for their personality and work traits.
DISC stands for Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Compliance. Kyla gave examples from the Peanuts cartoon to help remind the audience what each description means. The character Lucy represents dominance with that entrepreneurial spirit. Woodstock, with his big gestures and colorful yellow, represents the trait of influence. Charlie Brown, steady and predictable, best represents the steady, predictable person. Then Snoopy — the thinker, the pilot and writer — represents compliance.
State of Arizona
Jan Plank, Career Center Manager
By 2014, 25% of Arizona state employees will be eligible for retirement, so even more opportunities will soon be available. Job seekers are encouraged to look at the State as 100 smaller agencies, like companies, and not to be afraid to reach out in person, even with a voice message left on a manager’s phone, giving them your name and telling them you’re applying. To apply, go to their website.
Roy Paloma, Recruiting Manager
Although HotFoot Recruiters is located in Gilbert, the company works with clients all over the Valley. Started in 2009, the company settled on their catchy name so that people would ask questions about their company. Manufacturing, engineering and ITT jobs are their specialties. Note that construction jobs are on the rise. And in just the past few months, the company has needed to triple its own staff. The company places people in fulltime jobs in Phoenix and even other states including California, Colorado, Nevada, Kansas and the Northwest. For more information, visit their website.
Shannon Grimes, Talent Attraction Advisor
The company is constantly seeking service-focused employees. In return for their service, Charles Schwab provides excellent training and benefits and employees tend to stay. To apply, go to their website where you will fill out an application and take an assessment. Their website features a number of “hot jobs” that are available with the company, and note that not all the jobs require expertise in finance.
Next meeting of Career Connectors will be Tuesday, June 11, 2013, 9:00 AM to noon in Gilbert. Keynote speaker Dave Sherman will speak on the topic Landing your Dream Job. For more details and registration for the event, go to the website.
As Sandi reminded everyone during the opening, during career transition, many of us are gripped by fear. Always remember, she stressed, not to look at your value only as reflected in a job. “Let who you are define your worth. Each human being possesses a unique value.”
And as the keynote speaker Jacque Zoccoli stressed in her message, the networking process is not so very different than her childhood lesson about life that she was taught: That everyone you meet has something great, something to offer. Networking is about finding out what someone else’s passion is, what their expertise is, and what they need.
And as we keep learning over and over at Career Connectors, people like to work with people, know people, and hire people who are likeable. To know if we like someone, we have to first meet them. In the future, if networking and life were reduced to a book, its title might be “Lessons in life and work: It’s all about the people.”