Thursday, December 10, 2009

Building Alliances

Networking is the key to finding a job. In the broadest sense it is the key to finding any job, but networking is even more important if you are looking for a job that you feel passionate about as in a career related to the green economy or sustainability. If networking is so important, what is it?

  • In the world of computers, networking is sharing data between two devices.
  • In the career world networking includes sharing information. In fact, speed networking could be compared to computer networking. Speed networking can be useful for entrepreneurs who want rapid exposure of their name and product identification. It is one step up from social networking.

The most important way to network is to by building alliances. The Riley Guide describes ways to build alliances for networking, Alliances are not built in a 3-minute connection, although whenever you connect with another person whether at work, a meeting, a community garden or at the grocery store, if you make a connection, you can then build an alliance.

After years of working in my field and learning my personal strengths, I can be fairly comfortable in a speed networking meeting. On the other hand, my niece actually loves it. The last time I went to a speed networking event through my alumni association, I invited my sister and niece to go with me. We spent 3 minutes talking to each person as we moved around the tables. It was a great place for me to practice my elevator speech and meet a dozen or so people in a short period of time. After we made the rounds and I talked with a few people, I was ready to leave. I had stretched myself to the limit. My niece on the other hand was just warming up. She made new friends and talked to people I didn’t even know were there. What makes the difference? Why is it net WORKING for some people and net FUN for others?

We each have different strengths that we bring to our environment. I like to think of my environment as a garden. I have seeds that are my natural strengths that grow naturally in certain environments and seem to wilt in others. Each of us works in our own garden. We may have different strengths and challenges, but we can learn to build character by cultivating seeds that don’t grow naturally in a given environment.

As the gardener, I can take charge of my career development. My career includes my lifetime paid and unpaid work, but "Career Development is the total constellation of psychological, sociological, educational, physical, economic, and chance factors that combine to influence the nature and significance of work in the total lifespan of any given individual.” Career Development: A Policy Statement of the National Career Development Association Board of Directors, (Adopted March 16, 1993; revised 2003)

This website is intended for informational purposes only. For professional personal/ career coaching, call or email Nancy for assistance with consulting, resources, and information to meet your personal needs. See links on the side panel for professional organizations. Copyright LWD © 2005 Nancy Miller

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