Tag Archives: Networking

How do you look for a new role? Do you rely on what is posted out there or are you getting ahead of the competition by sourcing a role that potentially does not even exist yet? And when you identify a “dream role” do you get all disappointed if you cannot have it or once you have it, the role turns out to be less of a paradise than expected?

Have you considered that there is a lot of work for you in the Swiss market but that you will never be matched to the perfect role profile?

Stop waiting for the perfect dream role and start to source work for yourself.

1) Use a new source for job alerts
Forget jobs.ch and indeed.ch. Start looking on XING and LinkedIn. Check out Facebook groups and Twitter. Recruiters are getting increasingly creative and pitch jobs on LinkedIn and Twitter. Maybe there is even a youtube channel where you can look for jobs. Please let me know if you find one. We mention a Facebook group that could be interesting for you.

2) Support your network
You want to find out if your skill set would be useful to your contacts by meeting for coffee but your contacts never take up the offer? In Switzerland, “coffees” are considered break time and in break time you want to discuss fun stuff. Try to meet your contacts when they need to unwind or take a break but not during their “productive” time. Offer to take them for a walk or run during lunch. Ask your buddies if you can organize a hiking or wellness trip for them. Buy them a ticket to the Schauspielhaus or Opera. Help them enjoy life and you will win their hearts.

3) Improve your Elevator Pitch
Practice your offering to the world so you can share it in your sleep and learn to rephrase your pitch into good questions. Ask the question that will catapult you right into the front of mind of your contacts the next time an opening comes up.

4) Brand yourself in a recognizable way
We use a lot of visual clues today to recognize faces. You can make it easier for people if you dare to be a little weird so that people will remember you. Wear a hat, show your curls, feature a man bun or a special color that you will be recognized with. Wear the same look on public occasions. (The same look does not mean the same clothes…). Have a business card that is recognizable.

5) Volunteer
A lot of work in Switzerland comes out of your network, association, and your local soccer club. Volunteer for a cause, support others on a pro-bono basis and paid work might come along in the process.

I hope these tips are helpful and please let me know what you will do next.

Have an inspired week ahead!

Angie

Track
I’m teaching others how to do a two-minute elevator pitch.
I have to admit, I recently went to an event a bit unprepared. I saw the issue coming when more and more other coaches (competition!) entered the hall. It was like a movie scene. The potential clients came streaming towards us as if they had actually put some thought into it. I ended up chatting with one woman. Then the coordinator asked us to pitch. I wanted to use storytelling but it did not fit into her structure and (damn!) I had not even written down what to say. It was a matter of not being prepared because I had no clue what to expect there.
I focussed on being relaxed and present in the moment.
I said, “I’m Angie Weinberger. I work with international professionals in Zurich and Basel and help them find work or start a business. And I recently discovered that I like nerds.”
A few giggles. I managed to make them remember me.
Out of 16 potential clients, I spoke to seven. Many referred to themselves as introverts or nerds. I’m not sure if any of these introverts will work with me but I had a great time. I thought “I will need to walk my talk on networking”. I first of all asked every woman if she had a business card. Only the last one had one.
Then I asked a few questions. Often I found that they needed a piece of information that I could easily send to them. I asked them for their email IDs. In such situations my mobile batteries are flat, so I wrote the email IDs into a notebook. This is old school but it worked. I also took notes on the information they gave about themselves.
I managed to take home six email ID’s and promised different follow-ups. This might not lead to any business but it was a good practice for me and for them. It showed me again how many professionals go to an event unprepared.
You can make an impression at such an event only if you are a helpful resource and if you put your own agenda on hold. You want the new contact to remember you until you follow up with them. I stayed until the end. My feet and back hurt but I smiled on.

Robots, Recruiters, and Rain

I also feel even more empathic with you after this experience. “Selling” yourself is hard work. Most of the times, we do not learn to become a sales person of our own professional package. Not only do we have to develop a great and consistent branding. The message has to be clear to a large target audience too. We will need to go through several filters of robots and recruiters. When we finally managed to land an interview it most certainly is a day with rain (or snow), we spill salad sauce on our freshly ironed shirt and the train is late for once. When you are in such a position, there is only one thing you can do: breathe out, have a glass of still water and speak slow. Most of all: Be present.

Become a “Superstar” in your Niche

In order to get out of the sales position, you want to become a superstar so you are top-of-mind of a potential manager and do not really have to rely on the cumbersome application process. You want to be in a position where you come up in the top ten of the manager’s mind at least. Sheryl Sandberg wrote in “Lean in” that you need to write down your career goal as being #1 in a profession (globally). I am not saying that you have to be #1 globally but you might want to be in a top ten position in your geographical area and your niche. What’s the point of being #1 in Digital Media when you don’t want to move to Abu Dhabi, London or Texas for your next role? Let’s be optimistic and ambitious but stay a bit humble.

Learn to Become a Resource

You have tools, templates, and knowledge to share. You have experiences, tips and contacts you can help others with. Learn to become a resource as if everyone you connect with was a colleague or a friend. If you train your attitude you will learn that helping others as a default gives you satisfaction. And if you feel you have nothing to share you can always encourage the other person. We all need a little appreciation once in a while.

Change your Elevator Pitch Approach from Taker to Giver

My clients practice changing their elevator pitches. One of the key skills you have to learn to become a giver is to ask sensitive questions instead of talking all the time. Another skill is to listen. Check out other blog posts on networking approaches here.

 

If you need help with your elevator pitch or networking please set up a meeting with me.

purpose, preparation...

When we are clear about our contribution to the world we will use all channels available to make that contribution happen.

Leaders with a purpose are ready to tackle any challenge that comes in their way, even their own uncomfortableness. Yesterday, I held a workshop on networking for introverts, nerds and academics. My basic message was that once you know why you are in the game and have developed the right strategy to play it, networking is as easy as ABC. What sounds easy to me though seems a challenge to many of my clients and as you could be one of my clients you might struggle with similar questions.

  • Do you tell yourself that you are not worthy, not good enough or that you will never be as good as Peter, Paul or Mary?
  • Do you tell yourself that you cannot go out there, leave your shell (which is the distance between your eyes and your smartphone) and just be in a crowd of people?
  • Do you get anxiety attacks when you need to speak in public, in front of a larger group or when you have to present to senior management?
  • Do you sometimes wonder how an American presidential candidate can draw large crowd when all his content is based on hate and polarization?
  • Do you wonder how TV-Shows survive where the most intelligent sentence urged is “Hello, my name is Samantha”?

I sometimes do. And there are days when I feel like staying in bed but then true to my inner Hobbit-spirit I get up anyway. Cheerful with cup of coffee and am ready to walk another day towards Mordor with that ring around my neck that weighs heavily on me. My ring is the urge to help international professionals achieve what they would like to achieve in their international work and life. I serve the global people club (would it not be cute to have air hosts and hostesses dressed up as hobbits or characters from movies once in a while?).

Back to you: I think you should step out of your nerd narrative and consider to make contact with the human race. I will hold your hand and teach you a few strategies if you let me.

It’s time to question a basic theory of economics which is the homo oeconomicus because this theory is flawed. It assumes that human beings act rationally most of the time while increasing evidence of neuroscience proves that this is not the case. If you read German you can check out “Die emotionalen Grundlagen des Denkens” by Luc Ciompi. A lighter read is “Give and Take” by Adam Grant where Adam shows that “Givers” are more successful professionals in the long game. “Takers” might win a short race and “Matchers” will survive in organizations but both strategies are limited.

If you are into “game theory” and have worked with prisoner’s dilemma simulations, you have probably understood this principle already but we hardly meet others who feel the same way.

Next to having the right attitude I believe in the four P’s of networking: Purpose, Preparation, Presence and Promises.

1) Purpose:

Your networking purpose is defined by these questions:

  • What is my contribution to the world right now?
  • Which important goal would I like to achieve within the next three month?
  • How can networking help me to achieve this goal?
  • Do I already know who to network with?

2) Preparation

Before larger events but also 1:1 exchanges it helps to prepare yourself with these questions:

  • Who am I going to meet?
  • What have these professionals achieved?
  • What do we share or have in common?
  • What could I offer them as a favor?
  • What could I give them as a gift?

3) Presence

One of the major social barriers in 2016 is lack of attention. If you can learn to be fully present and in the moment and listen to your counterpart your interactions will be deeper and more satisfactory. Withhold your negative judgement for an hour and keep an open heart.

4) Promises

For me the easiest way to network is when I can help someone with a favor. Often, when I attend an event I make a promise for a connection or to send an information to the other person. It’s a great way to ensure the next contact. Then if we want to deepen the relationship I might ask them for lunch or coffee.


As an entrepreneur you constantly despise one topic more than anything else: Networking for the sake of networking. Time wasters. Events with no outcome. Coffee meetings with people who never plan to support you but happily take your advice. Know that feeling? It happens it seems. I try to avoid it. Since 2012 I have constantly reviewed my “networking” strategy and have become very strategic about building connections in a way that suits me but also generates business.

There will be a time in your networking life when you notice that you will only bring an extra benefit to your network when you really do work on the net or as I tend to say in talks “Network your network”. DSCN4689

Stop handing out your business card!

Start helping your contacts to improve their work and life.

Continue to regularly meet like-minded professionals.

1) Connecting those who normally would not meet

A big benefit of being a networking queen or king is that you can organize connections that the members of your network cannot create. Think about who would need to know whom in your network in order to move ahead one step with one of their issues. Maybe a friend needs a new job or a business contact wants a new client or needs to solve an immediate problem at hand. Risk a little discomfort. Set them up for a “blind date”. Trust your judgement and see what happens.

Over the last few years I have made several professional introductions. Mainly I helped my clients to find jobs that they would otherwise not even know of. I also benefit from introductions so I try to keep the karma of connections spinning. (I also seem to make romantic matches without intention but I guess this is post is more about meeting a business connection for a coffee than meeting the love of your life at Angie’s party.)

2) Relationships always require work

As in a good marriage you want to keep the relationship alive by making it beneficial for both parties. Once you know too many people you might just react once you are asked but even a small advice to a junior colleague might help them to move ahead in their career or move out of a job where they have stopped to learn. A lot of professionals I know have lost the ability to trust their managers and colleagues (are you surprised?). So being a mentor for a more junior professional in your industry can be really motivating for this person.

3) Share your knowledge and expertise graciously

There has never been a time where too much knowledge was hurtful. It’s also impossible to shock people with well-written report summaries or other insights you have about your industry. Start posting on LinkedIn. Tell people what you know and how you view the trends. In a worst-case scenario you get a negative comment. I once had developed this simplified method to deal with client issues and got a response like “Dumbo, this method already exists. It’s called DMAIC” or “What a bad example!”

I was offended yes but then I thought that it was actually good to know that I came up with a simplified SIX SIGMA method without going through years of training. Also, I realized that my clients might face issues in Switzerland because of their lack of friends that in other countries would be easy to solve. I also understood that because of the high salary level here it is not always easy to get the support you are used to from your home country. Having a connector like me is really important for my clients.

Most people are actually nice on LinkedIn. Risk it, be bald and bring in your unique perspective to the world.

4) Helping others increases your self-esteem

It sounds like a boy/girl-scout value but “a good deed a day keeps the shrink away”. When you help your contacts then you will feel more self-respect and wake up with a smile on your face. It always makes me so happy when a client tells me they found a job they love or that a connection was really helpful.

It’s even more fun to just support people in your network (for FREE). Give them likes, +1, endorsements, retweets and hearts when you are not paid for it. It’s a great way to give people appreciation and we all could get a bit more of that especially in the corporate world.

5) Challenge yourself and treat networking as a game

I often ask my clients to set a networking target. That includes that they must give before they take. So it could be a small weekly challenge such as meeting a person you never meet for a coffee. You could also offer to connect someone to someone else because you know they share a theme, hobby or interest. These “blind dates” really seem to bring out most amazing collaborations. You obviously want to ask permission before sharing details. You could implement a score card on your whiteboard and whenever you helped a connection you add a smiley there. Imagine how that will make YOU feel.

Let us know in the comments how you scored and why you think you made a difference this week?

 

BTW: Ashley, one of my connections recommended, that I read the book “Give and Take”. It actually proves scientifically that “givers” will win hearts and prosperity in the long-haul. A great read.

 

Have you ever wondered what you are doing there in Shanghai, Pune or Moscow? Is this international assignment really a career step for you or do you feel that the tasks you have are less challenging than in your previous role? Have you felt a bit downgraded even though you might earn more money than ever?

It could be that you are a victim of a corporate strategy that does not really work out the international assignment business case but just sends “talents” abroad to give them “international exposure” or you were sent abroad to fill a gap, to replace a critical key person on a short notice. It was easier to send an assignee than to hire from the local market. Maybe your knowledge, skills and experience also justify that you were selected for the role but still…

You feel you are not working up to your full potential.

Here are five tips how you can improve such a situation:

  • Draft your international assignment business case by showing the business value of your assignment. Show facts and figures about how you can improve sales, research or processes in the new location. Discuss quarterly targets with your host sponsor. Ensure that these are filed and reported back to your home location.
  • Address the issue with your home sponsor on your next home leave. Discuss what you think is lacking for your career development. Make sure that the sponsor sees your development as a responsibility and regularly connect with her or him.
  • Journal your experience as it might be a perception error due to culture shock. Speak with an intercultural career advisor about critical incidents in the host location that give you the feeling that you are “an outsider” or “off track” or “performing badly”.
  • Ensure that your training and development history is updated in your home location regularly and that you keep your profile updated on any skill sites (internally and externally). Update LinkedIn at least every three months.
  • Build your professional network in the host location by attending business networks, industry group events and seminars. You will profit from your connections even when you move to another location.Reizigers 4