Dear Sean and Fellow New Beginners,
Yes, career searching is daunting. But give yourself some credit! Congratulate yourself for pinpointing the industry. Then, deepen the focus.
Here’s how. Adopt these three rules I’ve borrowed and reinterpreted from Peter Shankman, PR expert and founder of HARO (Help a Reporter Out)
1. Be Transparent (authentic): this means be totally you—online or in person—and let people know what’s going on. People are tired of schmoozes and “promise me everything” advertisement. Simple and honest is best.
2. Be Relevant & Brief: I talk about the elevator speech in the book, but there’s more. Get curious about what others need—and tie your passions into theirs. And as my friend Russ would say, be simple, clear, precise and graceful.
3. Be Top of Mind: Keep in close touch with the people who can vouch for you, and know your abilities, passion and potential. Make yourself TOP of MIND to everyone in your network.
Here’s what I mean. About a month ago, three great opportunities fell in my lap all at once. Then came the desert. Yuck. Not feeling the love. That’s when I took on the TOP of MIND approach. Hey, I KNEW this approach, but I wasn’t DOING it. What we know is not always (or often) what we do!
Rather than just send emails, I made old-fashioned phone calls—putting all three rules into play. I reach maybe twenty percent of the people I’m calling—but, oh those twenty percent! Sometimes I get an “atta girl” and sometimes the calls reap potential opportunities. Either way, the “atta girls” keep my head up, and the potential opportunities move my business ahead.
It just happened to me last week, reconnecting with my old friend Jane. Before I knew it, she was stirring up opportunities to connect my work to her new executive recruiting business. Hmmm—just getting TOP of MIND for others makes things happen.
Who haven’t you talked to in a while that would take a personal interest in your success? Make a list and call some of these people every week. And when you’ve gone through the list, start over. That’s staying TOP of MIND! It helps enormously when you’re coming up empty. Whether it’s an “atta boy” you get, or a lead, either way you’ll be in a better frame of mind to keep moving forward.