As I mentioned in my last blog post, lots of things have changed since the last time I looked for a job. But then again, Al Gore had just discovered the Internet.
The thing that has changed first and foremost is the tool that is used to find a job. Back then it was the Classified Ads in the Sunday newspaper. Today it’s all about networks - your collection of friends, family, and acquaintances.
Back in February, I wrote a little about networking. And I got to it. I started attending networking groups. Went out to coffee. Lunch. Got to know people. And promptly wasted a lot of time. If you look, you will find a bunch of networking groups in your local area (If you are having trouble finding some, start with LinkedIn, go to a local networking group, and ask around). People will point you in the right direction to other groups in your local area. Now you have a list of groups to attend. And, like me, you will meet a bunch of great people, drink a lot of coffee and have very little to show for it.
Now, you’re probably asking, “So what does this have to do with running?” Well – here’s the tie in. How do we approach a race? 90% of the blogs I read say the following: “My A goal is hh:mm:ss, my B goal is…”. Why is it that we approach a race with metrics but don’t approach our livelihood the same way?
Well, it all became clear one day over coffee with a person that I met at a networking group. I was talking to her about suggestions for other groups when I let it slip about my frustration with the fact that my network was taking me no where. That’s when she give me her words of wisdom – metrics. Have in your mind what you are looking for in a networking session that would signify success. For me that became:
- Meeting 1 to 3 people with a similar background to mine who are on the same career track (i.e, looking for the same opportunities) as me. This gives us something to share and a reason to develop a relationship past the initial meeting.
- If I am unable to achieve this metric in two meetings of the group, then I cross them off my list.
This little gem helped me get focused on what I needed to get accomplished when networking. It’s not just about meeting people - it’s about meeting people who can help each other. And just like that, things started getting unstuck. To be continued….