Learning to network

January 31, 2007

Let’s be honest – I am looking for work!

Filed under: career, Manage my network — Arthur M. Gallagher @ 3:14 pm

Well, I’m not sure if its obvious, but a major reason for me starting on my current drive into the world of Networking was to increase my chances of finding work in the future. Career Management is becoming a more common focus of my reading at the moment, because I am increasingly interested in finding a new contract (yep, you’ve guess it, my current contract is up for renewal fairly soon). I guess its remiss of me not to have tagged more posts in this blog as “career” releated, but better late than never.

I rate the advice that David Perry gives in his Guerrilla Job Hunting blog, and so I was pleased to see his review of online social networking tools from a jobseekers point of view (Guerrilla Job Hunting: the Key to Networking).

Nestling towards the end of his article is a link to Liz Ryan’s article The Social Networking Weblog: For Job-Hunters: How to Find a Contact Name Inside a Target Company. So now all you need to do is work out what job you want, which company you want to do it for, and you know how to do the rest. ๐Ÿ˜€

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Writing copy is starting to come more naturally

Filed under: Manage my network, Self-marketing — Arthur M. Gallagher @ 10:53 am

Having completed the latest rework of my CV (feels more like painting the Forth Bridge than writing a Resume) I decided it was time to fill out my Xing Profile better, and start exploring this alternative networking tool. I have filled in more of the useful sections of my XING profile, although I do not yet have a suitable business portrait to upload.

Whilst browsing around I came across the Freelance Projects Exchange forum, and decided to post myself in the “searching for projects” board. Now I have no idea what the chances are of this post being found, but the most fascinating thing for me was the way I wrote the post. Perhaps all of the tips on copywriting (like putting yourself in the other persons shoes) are finally starting to pay off

And this time it didn’t feel like “plucking up the courage to sell myself”, it was more the case of “what would I want to know, if I was looking for someone like me”. I looked at “My 12 step approach to delivering excellent systems”, and just started writing a short dialogue off the top of my head. Here’s what I came up with… (more…)

January 25, 2007

Networking profiles – the cigarette cards of the 21st Century?

Filed under: Manage my network, Social Media — Arthur M. Gallagher @ 1:13 am

Intrigued by what I saw on a couple of Jobster profiles, I was happy to find out a little more. They seemed quite different to what I have seen on LinkedIn, more focussed on fun ideas and web 2.0 hot topics like tag clouds and instant visibility of your connections. This was quite a contrast from the crisp practicality of core business features in LinkedIn, which somehow seemed less vibrant. This is why I was interested when I came across Gautam Ghosh’s article Comparing Linkedin and Jobster profiles.

This post demonstrates quite clearly some key differences in what you can do with profiles in each but it does have the provocative conclusion “why not create one in both”. This is an idea that troubles me slightly, as I know I have not yet found time to develop my Xing (OpenBC) profile, so I’m not sure why I am considering Jobster too. Still, as commented on Gautam’s post, you cannot tell the true value of a networking profile based pure on looks and content – until you have used it and gained value from it, or from connections you find, or who find you, its futile to argue which is the best.

This is starting to look almost like networking profiles are a new form of trading cards – everybody is keen to get as many different ones as they can, and start furiously exchanging them with people they know, hoping one day to have the whole book filled in. I’m not sure that this is reasonable however, as wikipedia gives a list of nearly a hundred social networking services. That’s way too many to be practicable, and its no wonder that the pundits have been earmarking this as the year of the shakedown in the social networking market. But how to back a winner at this stage in the race??

January 24, 2007

You can be too busy to learn, but should never be too busy to network

Filed under: career, Manage my network, Self-marketing, Social Media — Arthur M. Gallagher @ 9:19 pm

This channel has been quiet recently, as I have spent more time executing than learning. Executing work for clients, executing the enrichment of my network, and executing steps towards my next career move. All very sensible things to do, and they allow one learning curve to flatten out, consolidating into experience, before the next curve launches upwards.

I have actually been doing some family networking, which is quite enjoyable, as I rarely get the opportunity to spend time with my myriad cousins, aunts and uncles. This is how come the family forums we set up have been most refreshing.

The subject for this post, however, is one of those jolts that periodically remind us what are the more important things to focus on. Its all well and good to perform well, keeping our current managers and customers happy with the services we give them, but it critical to keep an eye on that future supply line. Jason Alba talks about how few of the 60 layoffs were actively promoting their own career which might not have been surprising, were they not at at the career management social networking service Jobster.

Virtually all of us – every person employed by, partnered with or serving almost any company – are actually in very similar positions. Any of us could have see our contract to serve withdrawn, or even an entire client company disolve, in the blink of an eye. We would be most likely to have no prior warning at all, and would be powerless to prevent it. However the one thing we can all be doing, even whilst faithfully serving our current masters to best of our ability, is making sure that we are always ready to make our next career move, whether its of our own choosing or not.

  • Know where you most want your career to take you
  • Keep your resume and online career profiles up to date
  • Nurture your network, by being there when your friends need you, so they can be there the day you need them

Some of us are lucky, and major career jolts can turn into great opportunities. Just in case, though, its best to ensure you create your own luck, rather than leaving things too much to chance.

January 10, 2007

Happy memories for the unhappy event

Filed under: CRM, Manage my network, think positive — Arthur M. Gallagher @ 11:11 am

Jason Alba, founder and CEO of the excellent job seekers’ and networkers’ companion Jibber Jobber is celebrating the first anniversary of the event that started it all – being fired! You can read his story in JibberJobber Blog ยป Happy Anniversary!

His is a great example of how something that seems like a cataclysmic death at the time, is actually a rebirth leading to previously unimaginable opportunity. The great thing in Jason’s case is not only that he came out stronger, happier and more satisfied, but that he has also given something very valuable to everybody else who finds themselves in the same (apparently unfortunate) situation. His advice, as with many networking experts, is start using the tools before you need them. Networking and career management take time, and in the circus of life its better to have the safety net ready before some clown pushes you off the tightrope ๐Ÿ™‚

January 9, 2007

Introvert networkers do it unpretentiously

Filed under: Manage my network, think positive — Arthur M. Gallagher @ 9:10 pm

Robert May explains that introversion has not prevent him from successful networking in his Businesspundit article How To Network: For Introverts, it has just avoided him boring some other poor person senseless with meaningless chitter-chatter.

He proposes some simple and sensible tips for the more restrained amongst us, so that we can still benefit from knowing the right people, without having to suffer unbearable egos at repeated mass social functions.

January 7, 2007

More LinkedIn tips from innumerate experts

Filed under: Blogroll, LinkedIn, Manage my network, Technologies — Arthur M. Gallagher @ 2:07 am

Yet again the promise of ten top tips includes an 11th “bonus” item – and this time its from a blogger who’s name you might actually have heard.

Actually I will applaud these recommendations because they are about getting MORE out of LinkedIn, rather that merely getting started with it like so many I’ve come across (and in some cases mentioned here).

So have a look at Guy Kawasaki’s list How to Change the World: Ten Ways to Use LinkedIn, and whilst you’re there check out some of the categories on his blog – there’s a reason you’ve likely heard his name.

January 6, 2007

Work groups versus family forums?

Filed under: Manage my network, Technologies — Arthur M. Gallagher @ 5:55 pm

I am a part of a rather large, and very extended family. I haven’t lived in my birthplace since I was 10 so after the initial wave of weddings and birthday reunions during my teens, I haven’t had much opportunity to keep in touch with my cousins, second cousins, aunts and uncles.

This is why I was very grateful recently that a cousin suggested keeping in touch over the web. Having had plenty of recent experience with membership of Yahoo Groups I suggested this as a format, but another cousin beat me to it (I guess thats the risk when you have over 30 of them!) by creating a set of forums for our family.

The “disruptive innovator” in me is actually quite glad to have to face this subtly different means of exchanging news and ideas, because it will be a great way to compare and contrast the features and advantages of the two alternate technology structures. Goodness, I’m such a geek, even in my personal life ๐Ÿ˜‰

January 4, 2007

You won’t suceed unless you can be yourself!

Filed under: podcasting, Publishing, think positive — Arthur M. Gallagher @ 7:17 am

Many bloggers have used “The Year is Dead. Long Live the Year!” to review successes, aspirations and predictions, and produce new ones. I guess it must be the only healthy pastime associated with this festive period.

Julien Smith has posted his list of tips for success in How to succeed in 2007 and they are required reading for any blogger who is uncertain about their own abilities.

The point is that you will not excel if you try to be someone else, so you may as well let your personality shine through. And you might be surprised about how many people out there are actually interested in what you have to offer, especially if it comes from the heart.

You might be taking a risk by sticking your neck out, but on the other hand you are guaranteed that no-one will appreciate you, or even notice you, if you just sit at home on the sofa in silence.

January 1, 2007

Autodiscovery? – so I have to tell someone my Feeds are Burned!

Filed under: Publishing, Social Media, Technologies — Arthur M. Gallagher @ 4:39 am

Proudly sporting my new Bloglines account, I though I would try sampling a little of my own dogfood, and see how my own blog appears to their users. Just as well I did, because all was not as automatic as I had hoped. When I added other blogs’ URLs in as new feeds, I was often presented with a whole host of choices of which feed I wanted to drink from.

I was disappointed to see that this blog did not offer me the same depth of choice, and that my Feedburner alternative was nowhere to be seen!

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