057 Keeping Your Network Alive and Incubating Relationships Over Time

Getting your new job is quite an accomplishment. Many of the sacrifices you made and the efforts you took included networking. Now that you are working – what’s next? 

Scott and Andrew share some ideas around keeping your network alive.

Don’t miss these Topics:

  • Overcoming regret of not having networked – The #1 Thing Many Job Seekers Feel
  • Engage with industry associations
  • Consider the value of 30-60-90 plans
  • Adjust your mindset for networking
  • Make small investments of time to get results
  • Dedicate some time to planning your efforts
  • Paying it forward now that you are working
  • Setting and following up with key relationships

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00:00 – 05:06

welcome to job seekers radio. I’m andrew this production. Action is meant to provide meaningful support to find great careers faster whether you’re working or not today on job seekers radio were talking about how to keep your network alive live and incubate relationships over time. I love the word incubation because as we’re thinking about this it is a long term process. You’re we’re not going to build the same kind of relationship in one conversation the same kind as you would build over several conversations over a period of time trust. I is built by being earned. If you approach a networking relationship as something that is going to be incubated when is that going to take and hopefully you have an idea of what that takes both scott ni- have been in several transitions in our career and the biggest learning that we’ve had and those that we’ve coached have had is gosh you know what i wish i would have kept on network alive or kept networking or done this networking things sooner and really. It’s a big question after you get your new job. How are you gonna do that. How are you going to keep that network alive now that you’re working so one of the things thinks that i i have told people in the past is to get involved in industry associations and often the company that you’re working for will pay for your dues us to participate because in essence. You’re going to be representing them. The difficulty comes in when the company says no. They’re not going to sponsor you and that just happened and to me fairly recently where i was working in a job that I’ve been doing for a while. I have the expertise. I can represent well but because it had somebody somebody else representing. They’re not going to pay for my participation so i had to choose whether or not to do it or not for those who can’t afford to go ahead and join the local chapter. I still recommend do it. Get get yourself out there. Because of your company isn’t going to invest in you. Maybe it’s because they we don’t yet see the value if they see you out there and doing this and representing well especially if you’re moving into positions of leadership within these associations now they have a reason and you can come back and say if they say we want you to keep doing this great. Are you going to pay my dues because that’s how you’re going to get me to represent you and obviously you have to nuance that response but your value should be something they’re willing to pay for by all means keep networking. Keep doing it and don’t lose sight of the fact that the people in the associations are going to continue seeing your investment in there <hes> in their efforts and that could also lead to your next position. Let me set the stage. I just got a new job. I’ve been networking like crazy. I’ve been interviewing. I’ve run a course. I’ve run through the the grinder so to speak just and i just crossed the finish line and i’m starting my new job on Monday. It’s just such a relief to have that job. That’s a mindset. The mindset is i now have a job. I’m busy working now. I don’t know when i’m going to have time to carve out for networking right in and as you said associations was a good one. I also think that’s a good one. The first step really is to say you know what i know. This is important and i’m gonna prioritize it in sarai. I’m going to give it added value. I’m gonna put it in my <unk>. Whatever that looks like well. I think about my own experience with that. When i <hes> the last job i took i let them know that i’m moderate job seekers group every other Tuesday morning and that is something that i want to continue and i didn’t have to make it a condition of employment because this organization and had more organizations are doing it where they actually incentivize employees to give back to the community in some fashion so it was immediately. Luckily i got an immediate okay to yes. I can continue doing that but that keeps me in my networking mode so whenever possible if you’re going to regular networking event don’t stop just because you got a job you may not be able to attend as many differences you take a job where you have to travel occasionally or if there is a conflict of some kind keep your commitment to keep networking and that mindset is going to keep you in the game. Don’t overlook the value value of a thirty sixty ninety plan in terms of on boarding it accompany so even if even if they don’t ask for one even if you don’t provide in the interview go ahead and create one so you can say okay in the first thirty days i want to do this this and this inside the company and then i want to do this this and this outside the company doing networking or thanking people that got me to wear a matt or yeah in my journey.

05:07 – 10:12

Whatever that looks like there’s probably a handful the people that were really strategic. <hes> were had a real impact on your candidacy. Whatever that looks like that was influential in support well for those who use linked in or other <hes> social media or or other networking platforms that makes it easier to keep the networking going as long as you don’t forget to get back on and and invest a little bit of time there it really is a small investment needed to keep your hand in play <hes> but for those who don’t use social media or are otherwise disconnected from that venue. There are still things things you can do. It just takes some planning now for those of us. Who style isn’t really geared towards planning. We were more. Doers you know tell me what to do and i could do it but but i’m not as good at setting the stage for my follow up. That will take an effort. It is an effort that has well made. Well placed the idea idea that okay if i’m if i’m starting this job. I know that after the first month i’m going to have some stories to tell so as i approach coach starting my new job i’ll go to my calendar and set aside time to actually restart the conversations with a networking and i say restart because if you’ve been gone for a month you’re restarting them unless this is a monthly meeting and that is the natural cadence. You’re probably going to lose some momentum. Be aware of that and be ready to put on the the gas so that you’re getting back up to speed with. It really takes some planning and effort to make that happen and it will pay off in the end. When you get on that job you have your thirty sixty. Ninety plan set up these simple reminders to keep it in in your calendar so you don’t have to think about it really the approach. We encourage you to take in terms of mindset. Is this as an opportunity for you to pay it forward to to give back to people who have given to you so i’m gonna give back by helping somebody else right and maybe that’s <hes> you know i just wanna stay present with a certain group of people or i want to be a little more strategic and say okay now ellen. I’m here what’s next because we know in the scheme of things. The average tenure in an organization is probably two to three years roughly speaking and that means you should in the next two to three years be needing to find another job because either stale outdated or they’re going to ask you to leave right well and if you think about how you’re giving back you can be giving back to people within your organization to not in the the sense of this is the work that you do but this is the kind of value that you offer them personally. I just had someone although i do work in learning and development so there was a dotted line there but it was faint one and i had an employee come to me and ask about her own professional development and mentorship and how can she get involved with a mentor and i let her know that yes we do have a mentor program within the organization station. She shouldn’t limit herself to those within her organization who can mentor and this is another area where your professional associations can come into play usually at their networking functions. There will be people in a higher position at the event. They are expecting people to come up to them that they don’t know and talk to them. If she were to have approached me at the networking event i could have a different conversation that we’re going to have at work but by the same token at that our networking event i might be able to introduce her to someone at a higher level given the work that she does which was in more of a sales role. I know a lotta sales people well. I am very familiar with those who could be really good mentors for her who could open her <hes> her horizons beyond the company that she’s currently working for now. That doesn’t mean that she would get a job somewhere else. It means that she will be able to provide a richard value to the company. She’s currently working for but it. It really opens the mind win win. Think win win. I always always always so strange. How learnings from years ago come into your mind occasionally. I’ll get covey that comes into my mind and the seven habits and you you know there’s different habits that i remember. I don’t remember them all but they’re still there and they’re still true today. Yeah i would implement those in my networking right begin with the end in mind and why you’re staying yes exactly whereas like all those things matter in networking more than anything and so few the people actually use it <hes> i.

10:12 – 15:00

I’m always interested to observe people’s behavior at networking events because usually everybody comes in with the right i idea they want to do well by everyone else and yet we all fall into the pattern once something intrigues us oh. How is this going to benefit me. That’s human nature right. Those who really make a habit of seeking to understand of going beyond the self are the ones that stand out those the people that others gravitate towards because they’re not talking about themselves. They’re not trying to get their own situation better. They’re really focused on understanding the people around them and if you can take that approach to your networking you’re going to have a different experience. That brings us to a section action here called tactical execution when i started a new job i wanna have some tools some techniques maybe some advice on how to make system out out of this so i don’t have to think about it too much so i would encourage you get onto social media and maybe one of the things you do is just every time you get there have have a list of ten or twelve people and send them a message sir once once a quarter and if if ten people is too much break it up in okay this montana santa ana do five people the next month you do five more people the next five more people find people that that that will probably take three minutes k. but in that quarter you just contacted fifteen people and as you’re working this through i’m thinking about who is it that i’m contacting. Not what can they right. Bring me but what value can i bring. We talk about it in the podcast that we did a link ten about when you send a connection request. Give them a message as to why they should follow through on that. I still continue to get messages. You know i’d i’d like to join your link your network on lincoln and i’ve gotten into the habit of asking why i don’t just connect. I asked them why now. It’s not that i’m not willing to connect but i’d i’d like some some actual interaction because lynton has become so ubiquitous <hes> talk to me me first. Let’s network. I so for those who who actually bring that mindset to it. I’m i’m far more willing to to open up and start the conversation. I just want somebody that’s responsive on social media and i get those messages to and we’ll leave the link to the podcast on linked in that we just did recently in the show notes as well as the seven habits of highly effective people a book by steven covey the other thing i would encourage you to do is maybe have a list of i think the number that’s good for me as twelve. If you have a list of twelve people it breaks neatly into a quarter. Now you only have to contact one person week and people are going to go on the list of people are gonna come off the list but this list is your howard. You say you’re you’re eighteen. The people that you think can be influential not only your future but you can add value to and the nice thing about that. Is you build this relationship over time and win win and if you know it comes to the point where you wanna leave somewhere or they’re asking you believe you’ve got twelve people that you’ve been incubating relationship with with over time that that phone call is really productive. We could call each one of those twelve people and probably have something else lined up within a month. It really does come back to the idea of follow up though i say this in all of the classes that i i- facilitate follow up is the most important step of any process us so if you’re incubating now working relationship. It’s going to happen in the follow up. It’s not happening in the doing it’s in the understanding and doing because of the understanding understanding it really is a different way to approach building that relationship of trust so that social media. That’s a phone call. Maybe we’re also talking occasionally a handwritten note so if you only have twelve people i mean that might be a note twice a year. Maybe on a birthday or yeah yeah and the events that you have and birthday is fine because usually you’ll see when somebody’s birthday is on lake dan or some of the the other social media but if you’ve paid attention to when they’re anniversaries are whether that’s a work anniversary of personal anniversary whatever that is if they posted something thing about their kid graduating from college. Put something on your calendar the following year about a week less than a year to to bend sent a messa person hey.

15:01 – 20:10

How’s your daughter doing his. She’s been a year out of college. What’s going on the fact that you remember. That is really a good thing thing now. We’re not suggesting stock remembering the details. Make someone feel important and again you want to build trust the other alternative and we highly recommend. You do whatever you can to get somebody’s cell phone number. Honestly of course yes honestly not by over for pursuing asian. <hes> get the cinema text message. You know many <hes> generations now today will only only chat via text which they won’t respond to an email they won’t respond to a phone call but lo and behold you send me text message. You get an immediate response so part of this process with social media the phone call the text message or whatever is determining what is their primary method of communication and that they enjoy and where do they hang out on social media. There are the different apps available like slack and some of the others that i <music> i’m by no means am <hes> endorsing any and they all have their liabilities but some people will use these he’s alternate text opportunities rather than using their actual phone number and there’s a privacy issue is sort of that double edged sword thing find out what they prefer and use that whenever possible if you’re the type i admit to being where i’m always skeptical about putting a new app on my phone i would much rather use telephone text messages. You’re going to run into some resistance with that and that’s understandable. Don’t <unk> don’t push it too far do find out what their preference is and see if you can’t keep a conversation going that way not out of bounds if you have a solid relationship to. Maybe we do a facetime or video data if you’re separated in some way you know maybe that’s something to do with the celebration of some kind find your you know you could wrap it around that way. Yeah i definitely agree with you. That needs to be a solid relationship. I would not do a video chat with someone someone that i don’t know unless i set that up in advance <hes> so for example i just had a meeting with a consultant who is going to be working working with a company on lean six sigma and so i was part of that conversation to help keep the alignment between culture and what they’re doing and the efforts involved and he was on video what surprised me was. I was not expecting this to be a video call. I expected to be a conference call. What i liked about his approach was he left his camera on. Even though the others on the call all said they weren’t going to use video he allowed wow this so that we could get to know him and i’ll tell you in subsequent conversations it gets easier to then. Go ahead and turn the camera ron use video chat carefully but don’t don’t avoid it completely. Let’s talk about some systems ways to make this connecting the easy answer. We talked about the recurring calendar event. That’s low stakes. There’s another time there’s another plug in. You might look at four g mail. It’s it’s called boomerang. Boomerang allows you to send email in the future right you could. You’d have to right so if i met with scott today and we were gonna follow up. Maybe in two three months and have a lunch then i would say hey scott remember three months ago. We talked about having lunch or he’s still game and then you could send that <hes> as delayed email right. I i love that that service because i can take care of it while it’s in the moment. All all of my memories are fresh. I don’t have to rely on my memory to follow up two weeks later because by then i moved onto other topics. I love that idea. I believe <hes> outlook offer something similar as well very similar yes. I think it’s a send on. It’s an option in the options menu anyway. You have to have it it open to make it work nice thing about boomerang. It’s on the web at happens whether you’re there or not <hes> so. I think the other thing is if you’re looking to get a little more sophisticated with like a c._r._m. Or something like that you look at something like hub spot <hes>. I think that’s a really it’s free can’t get any better than free. <hes> ah so that allows you to track better than free if you pay for it yeah. I guess it is better than free for hub spot yeah anyway anyway so the idea there is you’d have something that you could manage this with. It’s a little more proactive and for those who don’t use of customer relations sion’s management system for heaven’s sakes a spreadsheet just so you can keep track of the people that you contacted when you contacted him so you can start to watch watch ooh.

20:10 – 25:07

I haven’t talked to that person at three months. I really should send a little message that hey. I was thinking about you but again. This takes a conscious effort to to get out there and say hey. I’m actually going to follow up with people because it’s too easy to just let them follow up with you because if you’re both doing that neither of you got any follow follow him and then you lose the relationship yeah i also know people that use one note or evernote to these kinds of things to keep track of their. They’re networking. We don’t want it to be too sophisticated because a system that takes more time to manage to actually execute. It may not be worth it in writing not use it there there. There are options out there. There’s no reason why we can’t keep on top of it to make it easier for ourselves right then you need to decide. Maybe what are the touch points points that i want to have with this person. How often do i wanna keep in touch with them. Maybe they were. How would you say it a hyper referral source and i’ve run into people like that that they’re they’re like promoting you to. Everybody and you don’t even know it right and staying connected with somebody like that. Maybe on a monthly basis would be a better idea because they’re out in the community. They’re active. They’re always promoting you. You wanna stay. Sir thankful connected grateful and see if they can’t continue to do that on your behalf not only that but how can you pay that forward and make sure that they are aware that you are helping them because if the only thing that i’m doing doing is to say thank you for for helping me and i want you to continue helping me. Where’s the benefit for you on the other hand if i can turn around and and add value to your world than this actually makes for a better. It gives you a chance to do that sure right. The idea is you’d still wanna be in touch with that person. Maybe on a monthly basis versus this is a quarterly basis or semi annual basis whatever that looks like <hes> and then i think it’s important to collect data not in various way but just to my my memories good but it’s not perfect right. I wish it was and there’s things that i wish i would have kept track of when i was working way back win for x._y._z. Company right that would have been great to have so i can put it on my resume. Well formation think about the people that you work with in your past and that at the time you you knew when their anniversaries where you knew where their birthdays were there kids you know the whole thing and then when you see them twenty years later or ten years later and you think oh shoot what was his wife’s name name or oh he had three kids and they were all about to enter college. What were you know. These are things that if you’re keeping records you should be able to find them and and then the next time you speak to him. Hey how’s john marion and ellen doing. You’re gonna blow that mohinder right because you actu burst. You cared enough to track that information and they’re gonna think you’ve just flat remembered it yeah it did. It just happened to be in your spreadsheet career. Well people are thinking oh well. He’s lucky to to be able to remember things well. Luck is good for the prepared does very well for the prepared. The people who actually put the effort into taking those notes generally do better with them. That’s bright that does it for this episode job seekers radio. You can get all the show notes. It’s in resources at job. Seekers radio dot com forward slash zero five seven or there’s a link down below in the show notes. Click that link. Why why you’re clicking that link. There’s also one for our free resource which is the anatomy of a networking conversation. It’s an e book. That internet put together has audio. We want you to be able to use this. <hes> get some benefit from it. If there are or questions that you have you can also give us that feedback. <hes> we love getting questions too so that we can answer specific needs absolutely absolutely and that now anatomy of a networking e book will actually help you build kind of an idea on how you should approach reconnecting with these people over advertiser. Well thank you everybody for joining us for this episode of job seekers radio. We really appreciate your investment of time and attention. We acknowledge it while you’re you’re finishing up here. We want you to head over to itunes and subscribe to get future episodes if you haven’t already and even if you have please go back. Give give us a rate and review. <hes> let us know how we’re doing if they’re as i said before if there are questions that you have some topic you want us to cover. Let us know there where we’re happy to to help you in any way we can well. This is andrew and i’m scott until next time according to debby boone dreams these are the seeds of change nothing ever grows without a scene and nothing ever changes without a dream thanks everybody.

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