How To Network Like A Pro

Networking is a crucial pillar to building a successful career, but it often gets a bad rep as being this smarmy, glad-handing way of getting new business. Fear and shyness can cripple some people to the point that networking feels like a terrible chore and is avoided at all costs.

Learning this important soft skill can mean the difference between you reaching your career goals or staying in the same place the rest of your career.

Let’s talk about some ways to network correctly and how to build your sphere of influence like a pro.

Networking is about building relationships

First of all, networking is not about putting on a cheesy smile, slipping your business card into a handshake, exchanging a few surface greetings, and then hoping that person decides they want to do business with you. Networking is about building relationships and getting to know people.

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Four Ways to Uncover A Company’s Culture Before You Accept A Job

It’s never too early to uncover the culture at an organization. Doing so before accepting a job can be a wise move. You may find that either you’re not a good fit for that company, or that company is not a good fit for your values and work style. 

It’s important to find out what you can about policies, the organization’s leaders and stakeholders, the work environment, and the numbers. How is its stock doing? How does it compare to competitors? Doing your due diligence will help fill in some of those crucial planks, and it can help you get a feel for the company before you walk in the door for your first interview.

Here are four ways you can get the real scoop on a company’s culture:

1. Look to social and traditional media

See what people are saying on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook about the company, it’s products, employees, and services. Check out sites like Glassdoor to see what former employees have to say. Investigate what business media are saying about this organization and its key stakeholders.

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Why You Need A Life Board of Directors

What is a Life Board of Directors?

There is a lot that goes into managing a career. One invaluable tool that can make all the difference is having a Life Board of Directors. This board should be made up of people who can give you honest, blunt feedback and seasoned advice on all aspects of life. Look at it as a round table of experts you can glean from. Surrounding yourself with a network like this can be a crucial part of your growth as a professional.

Why you need one

networking

Having only one mentor isn’t bad, but consulting with a group of mentors is more effective. Instead of learning from one person and their experiences, you are learning from the expertise of multiple people. The outcome is the ability to make informed decisions. This sphere of influence fosters growth and improvement, setting you up for success.

Who to put on your board

When it comes to choosing people to be on your life board, look for a variety of expertise and experience. Depending on your career path, find colleagues, clients, industry peers, supervisors, and so on. Find people who have more experience than you and have the skills you’re still needing to develop. You can also choose people you don’t know personally, but you are studying their practices or career moves. Maybe you read their books, listen to their speeches, or follow them on social media. You also need to make sure the members you pick can contribute in different ways and they’re not just a fan club singing your praises.

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