Executive Career Coaching - Job Search Debugged

Networking Debugged (Sneak Peek)

Book: Networking Debugged

Avoid the feeding frenzy, connect with ‘C’ level executives and board members long before you need their ear. 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 career now. Get to the right people and engage in a highly targeted job search before you change jobs. Change your lifestyle now. Personal brand exposure is to job search what publicity is to a celebrity; without it they may as well not exist. Get out there, the more people who know you in a variety of venues, the better chance your name will come up when there is a job.

Focus on your golf game. Join the most prestigious country club [or tennis or other sports 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. 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.


Like what you see? Get over your fear and loathing of networking with scripts, examples and baby steps. Download your copy of Networking Debugged.


Volunteerism is important. Corporate America believes in volunteerism; each year many companies furlough chosen executives to work full time on behalf of various charities. Red Cross, United Way, and 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.

It is easier to become known to board members or ‘C’ level executives when the purpose is to discuss giving. You are building a Rolodex for the future, so don’t lose focus on the charitable mission.

Every city with cultural venues needs locals to support their fundraising 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.

Attend conferences. Assume attending conferences is part of your job description and represent your company at seminars, conferences and trade shows. There is no better hunting ground for new opportunities, sleuthing out companies previously below your radar and making new friends outside your current circle. Offer to speak and absolutely attend sessions that provide a Q/A option. Ask questions that reveal your expertise without sounding like you are lecturing.


Like what you see? Get over your fear and loathing of networking with scripts, examples and baby steps. Download your copy of Networking Debugged.


Become a mentor. Those less senior than you, especially those who work in other companies, are often the conduit to opportunities. The bond mentoring creates makes the mentoree your personal marketing advocate and you can leverage their contacts. That individual will not only know exactly how to promote you to their contacts, but they have a vested interest in your continued success. You will be expected to return the favor so chose carefully. And don’t forget to join mentor groups and associations of your peers.

Create a personal board of directors. Before you need any job search assistance, enlist three or four professionals as your own mentors. Include the most senior executive you know, a technology executive who has accomplished what you hope to, a recruiter with whom you have a warm relationship and a member of your industry association, for example. Meet with these people periodically to ask for advice, update them on your successes and to gain and share their views on the industry, its future and their role in forming that future.

Send your important champions a New Year’s greeting and open the discussion for your next year’s plan – and theirs as well.

  • Set up first-of-year meetings with each. Give them a review of three important successes or challenges you overcame.
  • If your blog has been updated and you are proud of it, let them know where it is.
  • Learn to describe, not brag. Here was the challenge, the variables, the resources, the solution and the outcome.
  • Ask them what networking or industry events they attend and why. Emulate them.
  • Once you have defined succinctly your career goals for the new year they become a good topic in terms of “when you were in my spot, what did you do to achieve xxx? Any sage advice?”
  • Listening without comment is important. You will know much of what they say, but it is important for them to know you appreciate their answers.
  • Plan to meet with each person at least once a quarter with an agenda and update and also strategic questions.
  • Always leave them with the notion you are eager to return the favor.

Like what you see? Get over your fear and loathing of networking with scripts, examples and baby steps. Download your copy of Networking Debugged.


Be an expert. Become known as an expert speaker or session leader at a conference. Always wear your most professional clothes, keep your business cards handy and make lots of notes on who you met and to whom they introduced you. Even if you contact these people a few months later, you can help them recall the meeting.

Write free white papers and even an e-book on your preferred topic. Get help with viral marketing through your network instead of asking them for help with your job search. You will be surprised at the options that magically appear.

Anyone can blog. But to do it well requires focus. If you create a blog, maintain it, make it topical and always triple check for edits. Nothing is more off putting to would be employers than reading an illiterate blog.

Use other people’s blogs to gain visibility. Answer questions, make comments and always use your full name and your own blog address. Be especially daring and use your personal brand statement as your tag line. Search engines are then more likely to find you and hiring authorities who use Boolean Strings to find people with your credentials will score.

Professional Publications. Not many take the time to submit papers to professional publications or websites. Stay visible. Encourage dialog. Get your name in print as often as possible in reputable publications both on and off line. Don’t neglect to write a letter to the editor if you feel your comments represent you as the real deal.


Like what you see? Get over your fear and loathing of networking with scripts, examples and baby steps. Download your copy of Networking Debugged.


Amazon as your ally. If the name of the game is visibility, then Amazon is your friend. Purchase industry specific and management books from Amazon and other book sellers and write reviews. Always use your full name and contact information, blog location and brand statement. Search engines often find your name or specialty from an Amazon review.

Spend money to make money.One of the first casualties of a job search is money. People are reluctant to spend money when they are not certain when the income will resume. Yet this is no time to be excessively frugal. Your presence at industry event, seminars, conferences and especially trade shows puts you in the sweet spot to meet executives who can help you with your search. Research who will attend and target specific people. Polish up your elevator pitch. Get ready to shoot hiring-authority fish in a barrel.

All the above mentioned activities are time consuming. However, if you work hard to make them part of your lifestyle you will find yourself enriched in many unanticipated ways including a killer Rolodex.


Make networking easier. Get the leads and interviews you want and beat the competition to the hiring authorities. Download your copy of Networking Debugged, Second Edition

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