Tired of hearing it yet? The best jobs come from successful executive networking.
Networking is the single most effective method for landing your six figure executive job. You know the majority of management positions are filled through referrals and you want people to recognize and remember you when they are chartered with finding top management. Invest in your occupational future now. Get to the right people and engage in a highly targeted job search when the time comes, make time now and change your lifestyle. Learn business networking beyond the typical social networking opportunities.
Focus on Your Golf game (or go skiing). Join the most prestigious country club you can afford and spend time there. Consider the expense of membership an investment in your career. Bring your significant other, be part of the community. Participate in planning and organizing for hosted competitions. No need to debate the stereotypes of executives and golf. Just accept that many highly placed notables play golf. There is instant rapport and kinship among members and as long as folks know what you do when you don’t play golf, they will remember you the next time a position opens. Don’t solicit job leads. You will quickly become persona non grata at the clubhouse.
Do meet people at the nineteenth hole and encourage conversations. Don’t over indulge. Remember, you are conducting a “pre-interview.” Come prepared with interesting topics beyond, “How about those Seahawks.” Listen well, ask appropriate questions and leave them laughing. Keep business cards available but don’t push them. If you meet someone you like and want to know better, follow up in a week or so for lunch.
Do good works. Volunteerism is so important to corporate America that each year many companies furlough chosen executives to work full time on behalf of various charities. Red Cross, United Way, American Cancer Society to name a few have a corporate presence and encourage senior executives to participate in outreach. Google 200 largest charities to discover who best suits your geographic needs and temperament.
Get involved. Get known for something outside your profession and people from your profession will take notice. Attending that photography club or classic car event just may be the best way to meet the CEO of your target company.
Think Charity. It is easier to get known to Board Members or “C” level executives when the purpose is to discuss giving. Remember, you are building a Rolodex for the future, so don’t lose focus on the charitable mission.
Cultural events lure execs. Every city with cultural venues needs locals to support their fund raising activities. Many of the Museum and Symphony organizations are run by wealthy volunteers; volunteers with spouses and connections who can help in your quest. Don’t be shy about encouraging your significant other to join you as you spend quality time working the upcoming auction or black and white ball. The camaraderie built pursuing a shared mission often results in long term associations. Wrestle some free time from your schedule to work with a children’s organization or sports team. Not only will you enjoy it, you may find kindred spirits who can introduce you to their network. All outreach is good outreach.
Live in a nice neighborhood? Kids go to a private school? Participate in the home owner’s association and school committees. Even if the execs you want to meet don’t go to meetings, their spouses probably do.
On-line networking is still networking. Tap into the book review section of Amazon and other book vendors. Read and comment on the business books appropriate to your specialty. You may be surprised to see whom else is reading/commenting. Now you have something in common and a reason to connect. And don’t get me started on all the ways LinkedIn can be used to get connected to senior executives. That’s a whole book in itself.