044 Job Networking From The Trenches: Introductions, The Good and The Bad

Networking for jobs comes with a number of pitfalls. Getting in the trenches with other people, setting up these meetings by introductions requires some finesse.

Scott and Andrew 

Don’t miss these Topics:

  • What makes a good networking introduction.
  • Best practices to improve the number of meetings scheduled with key people.
  • What can go wrong during the introduction process.
  • Managing the expectations of each party involved.
  • Developing your own standards and professional etiquette 
  • Understanding the possible responses and what they mean.
  • The value and occasional inaccuracy of LinkedIn.

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0:00 – 05:06

Job seekers radio. I’m Andrew, and I’m Scott this production is meant to provide you the job seeking listener was support to find great careers faster. And that’s whether you’re working or not today job seekers radio were really going into the trenches by the trenches. I mean getting into the fray with networking, right? There are good and bad. Right. We we have to learn how to roll with bunches. And certainly if you’ve been looking for work for a long time that gets a little tougher you feel like you’re pushing the boulder uphill. So we want to go over a few things just to sort of keep us on track. As we continue in these trenches know that you’re not alone. There are people in the same boat or in the same trench mixing my metaphors here networking works. Even when you have those uncomfortable moments. It doesn’t mean that networking isn’t for you. It just means that. That specific connection may not be a good one for you, Scott. I have both been in the trenches. And we’ve seen the good and we’ve seen the bad at we’re going to share with you some of the things that we’ve learned through a lot of uncomfortable conversations. And also a lot of good conversations. Really? Yeah. What those look like. And and really the thing that you need to focus on a job seeker is I the introductions right? And so what makes a good introduction? And when you approach this think about what are your expectations. Both in terms of how the introduction is made. And how the the person is responding, and the reason why I start with that is generally when we walk into something that with expectations. We are probably going to be disappointed at the point. I try to help people understand that whatever your expectations are be prepared to have them to be disappointed because. Not everyone is going to respond the way we would. And that’s okay. We are going to get a riot of responses. And if we start looking at what might be behind that what may have caused that person’s specific response. We may be able to gain a perspective that gives them the bench for the doubt. It may. Also, give us information that we want to know that would steer away from that person future. And we’ll get to that. I just really think about baggage. We’ve all got baggage or skeletons in the closet, whatever I like to think baggage because at least minus Louis Vitton right down. What’s in? It. Could be a well, we won’t go with the idea being that we all have things that were going through. You know, I think about the top stressors. And there’s been a lot of research done on. What of the hardest things for people to go through all the first one is death of spouse. The next one would probably be something. Divorce? Right. The third one would be something like moving apparent that’s in the hospital or child in a house. Right, right. There are lots of things up there. So we don’t know because we don’t control that side of the question. We can only control the introduction. We may. And having an understanding an empathy when we make that introduction. If I made an introduction for you wanna find out first, what is your interest in meeting that person? So that I can then confidently make an introduction four you. Yes. This is true. Whether we’re talking about an introduction online like Lincoln. It could be you are networking with someone and their friend comes by. So it’s an impersonal thing, but not necessarily an event and even at a networking event. Sometimes people go because they feel obliged or may be there representing a company, and they don’t wanna be there. They’re just sort of going through the motions. And they’re really not putting their best effort into that event. We don’t have any control over any of that as I think about my networking efforts. And my my ability to make introductions for people who asked me to do. So I really try to keep an open mind and think about best practices as I go on and Lincoln. I think is a good example of the online version, we we have Facebook introductions, we have so many other social media options, and each one has its unique little niche Lincoln is primarily for most people that I’ve spoken to about. It is a business networking site. That that it’s a platform to help people to do business networking. I actually asked the question on my Lincoln’s page, how do you use Lincoln? What do you use it for because I’ve talked to people that I’ve known for several years who are tired of Lincoln because the only people contact them or those.

05:06 – 10:05

Who look for jobs. Well, of course, isn’t that the point yet? But they don’t like that. All it’s okay for opportunity, right? It’s just those things that surprised me. I wanted to know how are you using it? And most of the responses that I got from that said, I use it to network with people in my field or looking for work. I feel pretty strongly at least in my circle that and I’ve got a lot of people in that network. So far, I think we’re still on board that Lincoln is a networking platform for professionals or whatever that might look like whether it’s getting sales leads which a couple of my contact said another one was networking for recruiting because they are recruiters and they look for people on Lincoln. These are still best practices there in terms of best practice when I’m introducing say Scott to somebody that I know I make sure that I think this is something I got from. Way back when I Email. I came out. I went through a training program. That said, hey, anytime, you send a correspondence to somebody. You should be copying all the parties that are included in that correspond. If you’re using somebody’s name, it is far more powerful than to copy that person. So they can verify that. Yes. In fact, you know, them that what you’re saying either about them or about their interests or whatever is accurate a year. You’re keeping everybody in the conversation. And I think that speaks well for both the person being introduced and the person who’s making the introduction. This is where it can go really bad, in my opinion, is that every time that I came in from a position of self interest. And demanded something from somebody. I didn’t know that conversation did not last very long, and it wasn’t uncommon that I would go into a conversation. I lay down my resume and expect somebody else to make sense of. Of my career, rancher and debt didn’t work out. Well, for me, I encourage anybody listening to this session is put your self in the shoes of the person, you’re trying to engage right? What do you think is important to them, and that’s actually two fold? If you make a request of contact to introduce you to someone else put yourself in in that person’s shoes. What would it be like to introduce me to someone else? What would the advantage or disadvantages, and how can I keep the respect for that person intact without asking them to do more than I probably should than the the second half of that? What is the person who is receiving the introduction likely to think about this? And so as I as I set that up in my mind, at least, I can have the different perspectives and be able to speak to those potential responses in a respectful and intelligent way as a job seeker. You’ll also have the. The opportunity to facilitate introductions, even though you’re not working. So you may be in front of somebody. And you meet them, you have a great conversation. But you met somebody just last week that you think would be a good connection for them whether your job seeker asking for introductions or giving them I think that’s a great way to build your network. Yes, is by just you know, just being really open and generous with your connections. And to be honest about the strength of the relationship. You have with some sure if I am introducing someone say, for instance, I’m there’s a job seeker who is looking for a job at a company where I have a contact. But at somebody I haven’t contacted in a longtime fact, I might not even remember why we contacted at the time. But I know that we haven’t spoken in a couple of years. I can then reach out to that person. And acknowledge we have not been in contact for a while. But I thought perhaps you might be good person for this one to network with. With and that you might be able to provide some insight on what this person is looking for. And of course, I will have asked that personnel. Kate. What is it that you’re trying to accomplish here and setting it up? Honestly. So I know that we’re not best friends, but I do have the impression based on my memory that you might be a really good person for this other one to me. And I think that that is complementary. I think it is certainly an expectation that I have that. This is okay with anybody who is on Lincoln the difficulty then is meeting those expectations. What if that person doesn’t respond the way I want or maybe the person? I’m introducing doesn’t follow up the way. I’d like there is an aspect that this might reflect on me. I personally choose not to worry about that part. Because as long as I am being genuine and authentic and honest about.

10:06 – 15:10

My motivation in making this introduction. I should be. Okay. It brings up a good point. Because I Sila -tated a lot of these introductions before. And I’ve seen where people have tripped up, and maybe not approached it in the most effective way. So when I give somebody an introduction. I actually send them a list of things that I expect them to do. Oh, that’s a great idea separate from that message. Yeah. So I’ll send him a Lincoln message doing the introduction and then separately. I’ll send them a message saying, hey, here’s the six seven eight ten things that I expect you to do to improve your chances of having success with this interaction. Right. And keep me in engaged in this happy to to walk through. I think that’s a great idea so develop your own list of expectations. If you’re making an introduction and also live by that yourself when someone introduced to you. So that you get set a standard. Oh by all means. Yeah, I think it’s vital. If we’re going to use Lincoln. Well, it’s it’s vital for us to pray. Actes what we preach. If I tell somebody to do something specific I need to be doing the same sorts of things. Otherwise, it’s not offend tick. And people will eventually see through that the good responses that you get feel good when you get them, and they continue to feel good as long as the conversation goes. Now, I am a big believer in using any kind of social media. Whether it’s linked and Facebook, anything get the introduction in person when you can if you are in the same town have a conversation brief conversation may be one or two exchanges on the social media platform. And that second one ought to be how can we get together and actually meet in person because those are the conversations that really matter the difficulty with online introductions is that you you don’t have the same sense of propriety when you’re there. You don’t have to be polite because it feels more anonymous year at a distance. Arm’s length. Yeah. And so again, I try to to behave the same way online that I would in person and still present. Well, just because that’s going to be the reflection on me. I try to stay mindful of that the nice thing is when that goes well through Lincoln, it’s going to lead to that introduction. Most of the time, obviously, that’s not going to be the case of your trying to network in at a different city across the country that that’s a separate conversation. I don’t know if this is ever happened to use got, but have you ever gotten into a back and forth on an Email or social media trying to set up an introduction. But you you just got so deep into the conversation that never went anywhere. Yes. And you feel like wow. This is a total waste of time. Well, it yes. If in the end does feel like a waste of time. It probably was if you’re feeling like you’re about to go there. Here’s your opportunity. Hey, this has been. A great conversation. I would like to continue it in person. These are the times that I’m available. I will say that. If you ask the other person to tell you when they’re available probably gonna come back and say, well, check my calendar. Get back. Yeah. Instead give them several options if they’re interested. They will either pick one or they’ll say those don’t work how about this. Hopefully, anyway, of course, that leads us to the topic of when things don’t go the way, you expect the way you want when I get there. I remind myself if if it’s happening to me, or if it’s happening to somebody else, I remind them this is not about you someone else’s response is never about you. It isn’t they that the other person say, you know, I don’t like people who are have blonde hair that has nothing to do with people with blonde hair that only has to do with their feelings about it. Okay. If someone does not respond to the introduction. Well. It is not about you. It is simply an indication of how they might feel about themselves how they might feel about their situation. Whatever it is. And if they behave badly, well, that’s a reflection on them. Not you start there. What I would consider to you. Don’t know how many other people have screwed it up for you. You know, some Lincoln and these different social platforms are becoming in in some ways. Assessable? There’s a lot of people on there that are not treating the platform with the same level of professionalism, absolute, and we get to pay the price for that. So the response that comes back to us might not be it may be to push us away. Because we haven’t established yet that we’re not the sleazy sure person. Yes. And I think it’s important to remember that if you are the recipient of that pushback, they may be having a bad time with this platform, and again that has nothing to do with you when I’m talking to people who use Lincoln, especially those who use it regularly or who have profiles.

15:10 – 20:00

They’re in high positions. Whatever you’re going to be judged on your responses, whether you like the platform and not if you really don’t like the platform than I recommend you get off the Platte just for the young count because it happened to me recently. I had asked a very well connected. Friend of mine to introduce me to someone else. I was interested in knowing more about the other person’s company about what it’s like to work there. I had some personal reasons for wanting to know, but I was not the only one I realized that the senior vice president of department was connected with my friends. So I asked my friend to introduce me. And her response was I don’t work there anymore if he likes job he should go to their website or something along that. And I thought, wow, if you are someone I would never want to work based on that one response right now is that accurate? She might be otherwise really pleasant person. She set that up she she set the tone for any potential conversation between the two of us that oh, I don’t work there. And I’m not interested in talking. Okay. Well that had nothing to do. With me. I was disappointed that she didn’t extend some professional courtesy have no idea what’s going on in her world. Well, I I now have an impression of her that probably if I were ever to run into her I probably would avoid much conversation with her because I would expect the same thing. The next time with that sad. Maybe she didn’t understand what Lincoln is four and introduction. Yeah. She sound the introduction of purpose. He don’t know. Well. I wanted to know more about what it’s like to work inside the company, and she certainly would have known what it’s like being a senior vice president, but I would also expect a certain amount of professional courtesy from someone in that position. Now, am I making some assumptions, yes, we do that? And so if we are mindful of that when we walk into these introductions whether were the one being introduced where the one doing the introduction more were the one receiving the introduction all of these gives us an opportunity to shine. And we choose whether or not we shine. It’s not that big of an investment of time. It’s not a great deal of effort to put your best foot forward. Even if you’re not feeling really great about that platform. Every response is an opportunity for you to evaluate that company that person based on the type of values that you yourself represent and in that case what I’m hearing is maybe. A little cynicism. Could be based on that response. It made me wonder what she fire. Yeah. Because okay, it’s great that you don’t want to speak poorly of the company if in fact, they let you go. But it also may be that. Wow. You’re just really difficult to work with and they made a good choice by getting rid of. I get to make up the story in my head. Yeah. Right. Because she didn’t give me a chance to tell her story. And what it was like what a great opportunity to show, some empathy. Sure reach out to her. And just say, hey, here’s the situation. I’m not. Yes. I’m interested in the company, but I’m not expecting, you know, of anything it’s still like to get together and have a conversation Siachen support your efforts to get our next gang while I again, I was just wondering if that was her situation. I did send a response to say. Thank you. Thank you at least for responding. And yes, all I wanted to know was what the day in the life inside was like. And so, you know, if in the future, you’d be interested in, of course, never heard anything back. I did not have a good impression of her. I realized that I’m making up the story as I go along because she’s giving me nothing else to go on. But I’m also not putting a lot of effort shoe continuing down that line because I’ve got other honored in my fire. The other thing that made me wonder is if you’re not working there anymore. Why haven’t you updated your Lincoln? Maybe it just happened. I mean, I don’t know there were so many disconnects in that one introduction talk about when things go bad. I just thought. Okay. Well, there there were a lot of things that could have been done better. If I want to build a strong connection, whether it’s through an in-person networking event or through social media. I can look at the strength of the connection and hand the person introducing me to someone the person being introduced whatever that looks like I can be mind. Full of how all of this may play out without taking a whole lot of time to analyze it.

20:01 – 25:02

Put my best foot forward. And then maybe that connection will grow stronger in time. It also validates the idea that you don’t wanna put all your eggs in one basket. Whether that be one company one person. Sure, whatever make sure that you’re actually reaching out to multiple people. So that when you get a response like that, it’s not the door slamming. Yeah. It all you can do is open the door if they choose to close the door, right? That’s up to them. Well, and when you and I talked about it when it happened to me you made a really good point of. Well, what about the CEO? And I happen to know that they haven’t you CEO, which is what made me think while you bye. Fired. I don’t know there were so many things that were wrapped up in that. And you’re absolutely right. If I could network into a conversation with the CEO that would certainly offer additional conversations with others that he wouldn’t feel were a good connection. Unfortunately, I don’t have any connections to him. The idea is here’s an opportunity for me to continue looking if I want to know more about that organization. The one who responded badly is not the only person that I could eventually talk to will you change the people each changed the company, and you change the people you’re talking to you change the conversation and the opportunity may be exactly the idea. Here is the good is the more siege. You plant the more you’ll be able to harvest later on keep reaching out keep making introductions keep asking for introductions until you get to your destination. If you do get a response that doesn’t feel good. Is we talked about this before we started recording? I try to gain a different perspective. You know, what might that person be going through to your point? We carry baggage all the time. And what that might be affected by the moment. We have no idea it could have been, you know, maybe she did get laid off. Maybe she wasn’t feeling well, or maybe she’s dealing with a sick family member there. So many different scenarios that can affect us where we don’t put our best foot forward. The idea of being gracious about that and just saying, well, you know, if there is an opportunity for us to chat, I hope we have the time and wherewithal to have a good and comfortable conversation. If you’re getting cynicism. Don’t return cynicism as satisfying. If you’re getting anger don’t return it with anger, you need to emulate the values that are important to you. And that process will be self selecting. Yes. That that if that person is not a fit great good to know move to the next one. Because if you’re emulating those qualities those attributes that you want in an employer in a person or a leader or team, whatever it looks like, right? Then you’re going to get that. And obviously takes time to find out if the values that they demonstrate in the beginning are truly what they value. And are they consistent through that? I think everyone has been through a situation where they talk a good story, and you believe them, and you’re in and little by little you see the little things that happen that make you realize you been fooled that doesn’t feel good either. We can talk about that in another podcast. But to your point people, generally value, the things that they ask about the things that they measure that things that they respond to and if you’re paying attention to those you can get an idea of where you fit and where you don’t when you get a bad response or one that doesn’t make you feel good. Remember that that’s not about you. That’s about the other person if you can respond well in return showing what you’ve Allieu whether that’s trust. Whether it’s telling the truth, I’m really not going to use Lincoln for this purpose. I’m not here to network. I’m here to find new sales say that let me know because, you know, something if I’m that kind of salesperson to we might do really well together or I may need to know who you’re selling to. So I don’t let you poach, right? Whatever you can be honest in your profiles. If you’re using social media when you’re meeting in person, be honest authentic about what you really? Value people will see that and respond well to one area or way that this can go really bad is if we focus too much on our circumstance circumstances are temporary. That’s right. We should not lean into a circumstance and project that onto another person absolutely cautious. When you’re introducing or or asking for introductions that if you are looking for work that you’re not positioning yourself as a desperate job seeker. That is interested in in getting sense of their life from another person.

25:02 – 26:58

However, if you want a display honesty, and integrity and truth, then you should probably tell them. Yes. On looking for work. But my expectation is something different. That’s the best approach to take. If I don’t say that I’m looking for where can they find out that? I am. No that leads that opens the door for them to wonder whether or not I tell the truth work. But if I come back and say, yes, I’m looking for work. And this is the project I’m working on. That’s totally. Different different topic. This is why wanted to contact you. Then suddenly that opens the doors that I want to open, but it really does come down to empathy and integrity that does it for this up associate job seekers radio. You can get shown oats and resources at seekers radio dot com forward slash zero four four. We also want to point out that we have a free resource the anatomy of networking conversation. It’s an e book that enter and I put together we want you to download it get something out of it. And then get back onto the website and give us feedback about what you’re hearing. Does it work for you? Does it not work for you questions that you have about all of this helps us to give you what you need your investment of time and energy in listening to this broadcast means the world to us? We’d appreciate it. If you take some time there’s a link in the show notes to go over to IT. Tunes and actually leave a rate and review. It’s an opportunity for us to get feedback from you and spread the word on this this particular production. So that other job seekers can get the benefit that you did. So thank you for joining us on this episode of job seekers radio. I’m Scott, I’m Andrew, and we wanna leave you with this thought your value is not diminished. Just because someone else doesn’t see your worth. All right Bye-bye, everybody. Thanks.

Anatomy of a Networking Conversation

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