This is a free preview of the series: "How to Change or Advance your Career"
When you've tried to either start your new career, whether that's out of college or out of high school or just making a change, one of the most important things you're gonna have to do is start networking. That can be overwhelming. Where do I go? What do I do? Particularly if you live in a big city. If you live in a big city, you can network every night. But I wanna make sure you're not doing that. Think about something here, if you were marketing a product or service, would you market it everywhere? Of course not. You would only market it to the people you think would want to buy that product or service, well you are that product or service. So you wanna think about how you're gonna market yourself when it comes to networking. Alright, there are three reasons why we network, three reasons why you're gonna get out there and look.
One, you want the right connection. Someone who can hire you. I love that, I hope you find that person. But that isn't the only thing, we're also networking so we can find people who have good circles of influence, meaning if I get to meet this person, that person knows people who maybe could hire me. They can get me into the right spot. But the third thing is, we're looking for a resource. To learn about an industry, to learn about something new, what if I'm interested in a world I don't know much about, someone who can teach me, maybe a coach, trainer, a mentor, something like that.
With those three things in mind, where should I network? Great question. Now you wanna think, should I go to place X? Or place you, or place Z? Think to yourself, not is it easy, not do I like it, not will my friends be there, not can I get drunk? Those aren't the reasons why. It's one of those three. Do I believe that there will be people there that can get me a job? Do I believe there will be people there who know people who can get me a job? Or do I believe there's someone there who can help me to understand a new industry, a new idea, a new concept. That's what matters. When you put those three things in your head, it'll change how you start to network.
All right so, what could that be? I'm gonna give you three general rules when it comes to networking. Number one, network at industry associations. Right? If you decide, hey you know what I wanna be? I wanna be in the manufacturing industry. I wanna be in the entertainment industry. I wanna be in the insurance industry. Wherever you wanna go, network at these events. You might say, "Larry, why would I wanna network at these events?" Particularly if say you're a college student or maybe you're currently in a different job or you haven't made a change over yet. It may seem awkward or odd. Yeah, you're right, a little bit but that's okay. I'm gonna tell you how to get through that in a second. If you get into those worlds, you're gonna find people who by default know about their industry. The mentors will be there, but also maybe the people who are gonna hire you will be there. And on top of that, you're gonna find people who know people in the industry who will help you to get the job that you want.
So network in industry associations. No more than two. I'll say that again, no more than two. Otherwise, it'll be confusing, you'll start getting lost, no more than two, I'd rather have just one. There's something else you wanna network in, you are networking in something that allows you to get into a group of people who will like you and know you and trust you and it doesn't matter about their social status. What does that mean? A charity. An ethnic background group, a local civic group, a hobby group. You all like playing Frisbee in the park. It's a wonderful place to network, right? Because people who are high on a social scale, low on a social scale, in the middle, are all gonna be there. You can now talk to those people and they'll like you based upon who you are, deeper connection, better chance to refer you into a place that they wanna refer you into.
Now again, your industry may matter. If you know the industries that you wanna work on, are there common hobbies or common charities in those industries? If so, go there. The two very good ideas for networking. Now, should you go to job fairs? Maybe. We're gonna leave that separately. I'm not a big fan of job fairs, they tend to be like meat markets. I'd rather you not do that. I'd rather you go out there and meet people instead and build your own network of people who you know, like, and trust. Much better idea.
Okay. So, how many should you go to? Good general rule, remember, networking is not about hunting. Networking is farming. When I meet someone, i don't have to close them at that moment, that's not my goal. My goal is to get them to want to see me again in the future so I can start a real relationship, that's my hope. Do I want to be meeting gobs of people every week. Some people will tell you that. If you read books, they'll say, network all the time, network everyday. That's a really bad idea. I don't want you going to any more than two big events per month. No more than two per month. Wait a minute Larry, I'm unemployed, I have time. Okay, you're unemployed, you [inaudible 04:52] plenty of time, that's awesome. But I don't want you meeting all these people at these big events. I want you sitting down for coffee, drinks, lunch, breakfast. Whatever's appropriate, dinner, whatever works. Meet the people again that we met at the big event. If you meet these people at a big event, you meet 10, 20, 30 people. That's awesome.
But now you just got 10, 20, 30 more business cards, that's not helpful. Now you can meet them and have a coffee, drinks, now we're starting to have a relationship. People are gonna tell you, "Larry, what you're looking for now is what's called an informational interview". Please throw that term in the garbage, that is a terrible term. It's not an informational interview, that's not what it is. It's called coffee. You're sitting with somebody, that's what you wanna build on. I hope you understand my concept. When you're gonna go out there and network for a job, for your career, get out there, two big events per month, then start the meetings. If you are currently employed, that goes down to one. If you're not currently employed, two. If you are currently employed, one.
I know you're gonna tell me, "Larry, I'm working. I'm busy. I can't network". Well you better find time. You better find time to network because if you don't, when you do all of a sudden find yourself on the street, you're gonna now be scrambling to find people. All of a sudden, now I'm your best friend? But I wasn't when you had a job? Yeah, you've had that happen to you. All of a sudden you're sitting at your job and you get 17 Linkedin requests from people who are trying to all of a sudden find a job because they got laid off in the last rash of layoffs. Now they love you. Too late. You wanna be the guy who's networking while you have a job. Love me now, this way when you need me later, we can still be friends. That's your overall goal.
What do you do when obviously get there? You decide, "Hey I'm gonna go to an industry association event. I'm gonna go to the United Marketing Worker's My City Event". Clearly I made that up. Anyway, so you go there. Once you go there, you go there and say, "Great. Now I'm here. I see these people. Oh my god. There's lots of them all over the place. I don't know many of them because this is a new industry for me. I don't know much about it. I wanna meet people, that's great. I don't know". Look around. Remember something, there is no such thing as a sea of people. In reality, there are islands of people. There are islands between one and six people everywhere. It's how it works. Let's say someone popular or famous around, you know, someone like me, popular/famous, then there will be lots of people on that person. But if I'm not there, it'll be just between one and six people, that's all it'll be.
Which ones do you go to? Well, as you see it and you can now chop it up a bit and figure out what islands are there, go to the odd-numbered islands. Ones, threes, fives. If you prefer more intimacy, go to ones and threes. If you prefer bigger crowds, go to threes and fives. You pick. Remember, you make it even. The goal is for you to make it even and have a conversation. One thing to remember, if you see someone alone at a networking event, maybe on their phone or looking around, with a drink, whatever the case may be, please don't think to yourself, "Oh, they don't wanna talk". Why are they there? If they didn't wanna talk, they're at home watching Netflix. Right? They're here, they wanna talk. So don't let that be the reason why you don't talk to them. You pick who you wanna go to, but go to them. When you obviously get ... And now you're gonna begin that back and forth conversation with the goal of getting them to like you enough to wanna see you again. And how do you do that? I'll tell you that in the next video.