Wednesday, October 1, 2008

3 lessons learned from 'Recession proof your career'- Networking event by Jo Miller

Phew! I finally found some time to type this post. The first day of GHC was an amazing experience and I'm looking forward to the rest of the conference.

The networking event was an eye-opener for me. The community volunteers have done a great job in updating the wiki and you can find the post for this session here. I'd like to bring your attention to three things that I had not thought of before and helped me see things from a different perspective.

- Work less! Upon hearing this, most of the members of my table (including me :)!) said "huh?". But, after I heard Jo's logic, I was like "that totally makes sense!". Hard work attracts more hard work. However, it doesn't really make you visible. Instead, taking 5-10% time off of your work and networking and building meaningful and synergistic relationships would really make you more visible.

- Create a networking plan. This was something I never thought about previously. Her idea was to create a table with two columns. The left-side column denotes "who" of your networks (who will you build relationships with). The right-side column denotes "how" of your networks (how will you build those relationships). By brainstorming and coming up with possible techniques, you have a plan to network and hence are more prepared to build the relationship in a proactive manner.

- Practice the 30-second commercial. I heard about the 'elevator' talk long before and had actually mentally prepared a few sentences about myself before coming here. Jo had a structured networking event soon after her talk where the participants practiced their commercial (in pairs). I was surprised to know that what I mentally rehearsed was not what was coming out of my mouth! It was nice that we had quite a good number of practice trials. I'm more confident of my elevator speech now than I had been half a day earlier.

To summarize - work less (work smartly, and spend the rest of time networking), create a networking plan and practice your 30-second commercial to build a great network and become more visible!

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