Archive: April, 2015

Post from Transformation Tom™- Keep Old Connections Alive: Chapter from “Displacement Day: When My Job was Looking for a Job”

Posted by tomdowd - April 27, 2015 - News
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keep old connections alive

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Although I had revisited older contacts occasionally over the years,
my own job search made it clear how essential it is to keep those older
network contacts alive. In routine networking sessions, I’ve gone back
to past colleagues, for example, to “reinvent” myself if they had a negative
perception of past work. However, the number of contacts I had that I
hadn’t been in contact with, in some cases for over ten years, was a wakeup
call. I realized that merely having names on a list was not a network. I
needed to keep old connections alive, so I started to go back and rebuild
those relationships. I didn’t want a snapshot from over ten years ago—or
even just a couple of years—to be the lasting image we had of each other.
I found rekindling the professional relationship created some great memories
and was an easy transition into getting to know each other again.

How do you go back to someone you haven’t worked with or spoken
to in years and say, “I need you”? First, reframe the question: is it really
about need, or is it about want? I started by thinking I needed to speak to
people to help me in my pursuit of a new job, but quickly realized how
much I wanted to catch up with those people. Even if an old contact is
in a different business field or a different company, the phone call can
still be made. When I was talking with colleagues from the distant past,
I found people had selective memories. The conversations tended to lean
toward the good times or the progress we’d made since we last talked,
versus some potentially rocky times we may have had. By restoring past
professional relationships, I found I was improving personal relationships
and enhancing dormant ones. The process of reinvigorating the network
was a great exercise in reformulating opinions about my former colleagues
and myself, and infusing old relationships with mutual trust and respect.

How do you go about sending that out-of-the-blue email or making
the potentially awkward call? This is no time to be hesitant. It is only as
awkward as you make it. Avoid phrases like, “Sorry to bother you,” or, “I
know we haven’t spoken in over ten years…” It’s important to clearly state
your objectives, and one of them is to reconnect with past colleagues—or
business partners, clients, etc. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable enough to
share what’s happening to you professionally and what you hope to glean
from the networking session. You shouldn’t be looking for sympathy, but
you should be straightforward. A recurring theme throughout this book
is the understanding of the importance of knowing the wants and needs
of others you’ve crossed paths with in the past. If you don’t know, it’s
alright to ask the question directly, “What can I do for you?” In the most
selfish of situations of needing a job, thinking of others can be a mutually
strong tool for long-term success for both of you. You shouldn’t intentionally
be looking for reciprocity. Instead, every conversation should be
a mutually flowing conversation of genuine interest in which these former
colleagues and contacts have been since you last connected. It’s alright
to be a little nervous until you get comfortable. You will find that these
conversations happen each day in business and after a couple of sessions,
you’ll gain confidence.

 

 

Thomas B. Dowd III’s business books available in softcover, eBook, and audiobook (From Fear to Success only):

  • Time Management Manifesto: Expert Strategies to Create an Effective Work/Life Balance
  • Displacement Day: When My Job was Looking for a Job…A Reference Guide to Finding Work received Honorable Mention in the General Non-Fiction Category at the 2014 Paris Book Festival and Honorable Mention in the Business category at the 2014 New York Book Festival
  • The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas: Growing from a Cynic to a Professional in the Corporate World received Honorable Mention in the Business Category at the 2012 New England Book Festival
  • From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide received the Gold Medal at the 2013 Axiom Business Book Awards in Business Reference, Honorable Mention at the 2013 New York Book Festival, and Honorable Mention at the 2013 Paris Book Festival.

See “Products” for details on www.transformationtom.com.  Book and eBook purchase options are also available on Amazon- Please click the link to be re-directed: Amazon.com

Do you know about Avanoo?  Two-to-three minute eLearning programs that can change your life.  Here are my latest projects:

When Your Job is to Find a Job—and Yourself

Manage Your Time–Don’t Let It Manage You

MP3 Downloads of “From Fear to Success:  A Practical Public-speaking Guide” are available at Apple iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, Emusic, Nokia, Xbox Music, Spotify, Omnifone, Google Music Store, Rdio, Muve Music, Bloom.fm, Slacker Radio, MediaNet, 7digital, 24-7, Rumblefish, and Shazam “From Fear to Success” MP3 on CD Baby

Post from Transformation Tom™- Make No Assumptions: Chapter from “Displacement Day: When My Job was Looking for a Job”

Posted by tomdowd - April 13, 2015 - News
0

don't make assumptions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interestingly enough, some people I would have bet my new job’s salary
on as most likely to respond to my request, never sent a note back or returned
my call. I learned not to be surprised, for a variety of reasons: people
may have been scared for their own jobs; people may not have known what
to say, so they used silence; I might have had the wrong contact information
(e.g., I found typos in some of my contact information); people were on
vacation or out of the office; or people didn’t always keep up with updating
their own contact information on social media sites (e.g., LinkedIn). In
all cases, I hold myself fully accountable for not having established a more
predictable relationship during the networking process. I needed to follow
up more often, and maintain stronger ties to ensure contact information
remained current. Networking is not a check-the-box exercise. Like any
strong relationship, it takes ongoing work and maintenance. The work becomes
harder if you are making up for lost time. I stopped being surprised
when I didn’t get return calls, and instead set in motion action plans to get
more creative in my attempts to contact people—meaning I didn’t rely solely
on emails, I tried contacts at different times, and I followed up.

 

It’s important to understand that you are not stalking or annoying
people in your attempt to contact them. However, by holding myself
accountable, I was digging down deep in questioning how accurately I
understood my own network. We get too comfortable, at times, in our
dependence on our network by thinking it truly is a net. It is a net only
if we weave it properly, using people we can depend on. Stop making
assumptions about your own network and start being an active part of it.
You will build mutually stronger and deeper relationships.

 

 

 

Thomas B. Dowd III’s business books available in softcover, eBook, and audiobook (From Fear to Success only):

  • Time Management Manifesto: Expert Strategies to Create an Effective Work/Life Balance
  • Displacement Day: When My Job was Looking for a Job…A Reference Guide to Finding Work received Honorable Mention in the General Non-Fiction Category at the 2014 Paris Book Festival and Honorable Mention in the Business category at the 2014 New York Book Festival
  • The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas: Growing from a Cynic to a Professional in the Corporate World received Honorable Mention in the Business Category at the 2012 New England Book Festival
  • From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide received the Gold Medal at the 2013 Axiom Business Book Awards in Business Reference, Honorable Mention at the 2013 New York Book Festival, and Honorable Mention at the 2013 Paris Book Festival.

See “Products” for details on www.transformationtom.com.  Book and eBook purchase options are also available on Amazon- Please click the link to be re-directed: Amazon.com

Do you know about Avanoo?  Two-to-three minute eLearning programs that can change your life.  Here are my latest projects:

When Your Job is to Find a Job—and Yourself

Manage Your Time–Don’t Let It Manage You

MP3 Downloads of “From Fear to Success:  A Practical Public-speaking Guide” are available at Apple iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, Emusic, Nokia, Xbox Music, Spotify, Omnifone, Google Music Store, Rdio, Muve Music, Bloom.fm, Slacker Radio, MediaNet, 7digital, 24-7, Rumblefish, and Shazam “From Fear to Success” MP3 on CD Baby