Friday, February 29, 2008

LinkedIn: What Are You Working On?

What are you working on?

LinkedIn seems to be rolling out its new user interface. Initial reviews are good, I think. "It looks just like Facebook," says my high school-aged daughter, which I think is a good thing in her mind. There are several new features, but one I urge you to take immediate advantage of is to answer the question, "What are you working on?"

One of the nicer features of LinkedIn is that it can keep your contacts up-to-date with your activities by putting a short message on their LinkedIn home pages. When you answer a question, join a group, or post a new photo, your connections are kept informed. Same for you, when your connections do something. Yes, it is a good way to find out about events, groups, or questions that you should know about. More importantly, it is an excellent way to keep yourself top of mind with your connections. Top of mind recall means that they will remember you tomorrow when the recruiter calls looking for someone with your background, or that they meant to call you to do lunch, etc.

The new question, "What are you working on?" allows you to control your messages to your connections. No longer do you have to send them InMails, or update the Summary section of your profile with your latest activities (still a good idea, actually, so start doing it and keep doing it). Now you can answer the question and get right in front of your connections.

I've noticed that my connections seem to have chosen two paths: Steve Mann at SAP went for an update that supported his long-term goals -- he "is developing a social media strategy for SAP Global Marketing." Steve Lubetkin went for something more near-term but still equally noteworthy -- he "is seeking corporate/org sponsors for podcasts at the IAOC Conference in Reykjavik in June."

Sunday, February 24, 2008

This Week in Philadelphia (TWIP) for 2-24

Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce events

I've added a whole bunch of interesting events from the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce into the FunWithNetworking google calendar. I note that they tend to sell out (sorry, I mean, "to be sold out") by the time I would mention them in This Week in Philadelphia, so I suggest you try looking a couple of weeks ahead for these events, either in the FunWithNetworking calendar or, better yet, the Greater Philadelphia Chamber's excellent calendar.

On a related note, I try to post events that are only open to the general public. I figure that networking groups already have good communications channels in place to their current members, but that events that are open to a general audience need as much publicity as they can get. Occasionally, a members-only event will sneak onto the calendar (it is hard to tell from the descriptions sometimes, plus some of them are too fun to ignore). That means that an excellent event like the YPN's Unplugged with Michael Nutter won't be mentioned here because it is for members only. Join and grow.

Sunday, 24-Feb

White Horse Chamber of Commerce -- 1st Anniversary Celebration
3pm - LaMartinque Lanes
Monday, 25-Feb

Wayne Presbyterian Church -- Career Networking Program
7:30pm - Wayne Presbyterian Church, 125 E. Lancaster Ave, Wayne

Tuesday, 26-Feb
11:30am - Dave and Buster's 325 North Columbus Boulevard Philadelphia

Center City Proprietors Association -- Lunch with the CITY's LEADERS
11:45am - Brasserie Perrier 1619 Walnut Street

Center City Proprietors Association -- Speed Biz Networking
5:30pm - The Mexican Post
6pm - Irvine Auditorium, Green Room, University of Pennsylvania

Wednesday, 27-Feb

Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce -- Delaware County Breakfast
8am - Harrah's Chester Casino & Racetrack, Chester
11:30am - Maggiano's Little Italy, 205 Mall Blvd., King of Prussia, PA 19406

Gloucester Township Chamber of Commerce -- Gloucester Township Connection
5:30pm - Filomena's Cucina Italiana, Clementon, NJ 08021
6pm - Di Bruno Brothers, Upstairs, 1730 Chestnut Street
6pm - Lincoln Financial Field

Philly IGDA -- Meeting
7pm - University of Pennsylvania in Levine Hall room 307

Thursday, 28-Feb

Philadelphia Business Journal -- Power Breakfast: Hank Mullany, Wal-Mart
7:45am - Morton's Steakhouse

Center City Proprietor's Association -- Internet Marketing in an Evolving Marketplace
8am - Radisson Plaza, Warwick Hotel

Associated Builders and Contractors -- 2008 Construction Expo
12pm - Valley Forge Convention Center

Penn Humanities Forum -- Googlization of Everything
5pm - Rainey Auditorium, Penn Museum
5:30pm - The Sole Food Lounge, Loews Philadelphia Hotel

Saturday, 1-Mar
9am - Nonprofit Technology Resources (NTR)

Friday, February 22, 2008

Transformative Networking

Sunflower center variation II uploaded by fdecomite

At last night's Philadelphia LinkedIn Live event, I was having a great conversation with Bob Dean of Dean Consulting, an established merger and acquisition (M&A) consultant, and Carol Heiberger, a long-time consultant in product turnarounds. Carol, Bob, and I all agreed that there were some fundamental economic shifts at work in the U.S. today that are forcing us to reshape ourselves professionally. Industries that had been strong were seeing weakness, and industries that had been weak were seeing signs of strength and vitality. We all saw networking as a key part of our efforts to reshape ourselves and move our professional lives into new industries.

That was when we came up with the idea of "Transformative Networking."

How is Transformative Networking different than regular networking? Well, I would imagine that the process is much the same. You could go to the same networking events, make the same phone calls, meet the same people, and still not have a transformative experience.

I've written before about how successful networking involves three things, working together: people, ideas, and goals. Let me now change that statement to say Transformative Networking involves three things: people, ideas, and goals. It is the ideas and the goals that make it a transformative experience.

People. Obviously, you can't network without connecting with people. Breakthroughs are a social act, after all. So talking to people is the absolute foundation of networking. But what do you talk to them about? Toll collectors talk to people all day long, but nobody would consider that networking. That's where ideas and goals come in.

Ideas. Ideas bring energy to your networking, and they bring a way to connect with people. A great idea will open doors for you. It transforms you from ordinary "Fred Jones who just wants to talk" to "Fred Jones who has an idea that could change the world and who is asking for guidance to make it happen." People love to hear about great ideas, and they feel honored when you ask for their advice and guidance.

Let me say that again:

People will feel honored when you ask for their advice and guidance on making your great idea a reality.

The secret is passion. Come up with an idea you are passionate about, one that you think other people will feel passionate about as well. Start talking to people about it and asking for their help to make it happen, and watch what happens.

Note also that it doesn't have to be a "change the world" idea. It could be a "learn about this new methodology that everybody is talking about using in our industry" idea. Talk to enough people about how they are using this methodology in their company, and pretty soon you will become the industry expert on the methodology, because you know what every company in the industry is doing with this methodology! Talk about transformative.

Goals. Goals bring focus to your networking. Where do you want to go? What do you want to accomplish? Who do you need to know to do it? What do you need to know? Goals shouldn't be vague. "I want to have a job" is too vague to be useful. "I want to learn how to help executives, professionals, and smaller businesses make themselves more visible and able to attract more business through their social media networks " is more to the point. You can tell whether or not your networking is moving you towards that goal. Goals and ideas are inter-related. Think of ideas as the key that will help open the door to achieving your goal. Well, that's not quite right, because a really great idea will transform your goals.

Gothic uploaded by fdecomite

Finding Networking Advice in a Fortune Cookie

I got this Fortune Cookie over lunch, and I just had to share it, as I think it offers excellent guidance for all of us as we are networking: Don't be selfish when you talk to people. Ask how you can help them, and then help them. You will be amazed how doors will open to you when you offer to help someone.

I love serendipity, that sense of positive randomness (good things happen when you shuffle the deck), and I've always liked that purely American invention -- the Fortune Cookie -- as one of the purest examples of how people like to find order in chaos. Commercialized mini-destinies. It was fate that led me to open that Fortune Cookie...

Sunday, February 17, 2008

This Week in Philadelphia (TWIP) for 2-17

Happy Hercules Day!

Hercules was President George Washington's celebrated chef, and he was Washington's slave. He escaped to freedom on Washington's last day in office. It seems appropriate that the day before Presidents' Day should be given over to remembrance of the millions of Americans who were born, lived, and died enslaved. Hercules, enslaved by our first President and perhaps given a face in this portrait by Gilbert Stuart, seems an appropriate symbol.

Washington brought Hercules and a handful of his other 315 slaves with him to the President's Mansion in Philadelphia. A recent archaeological dig uncovered evidence of Washington's slave quarters at the President's Mansion. I think Washington one of the greatest men who has ever lived, but his treatment of Hercules and other people he held enslaved deserves every bit of the scrutiny and criticism it provokes today.

Keep posterity in mind in your everyday activities. How will what you do today be remembered 200 years from now? What can you do today that will have lasting impact?
This is a very active week for networking in Philadelphia. Good networking!

Sunday, 17-Feb

MakePhilly -- Fab @ Home
3pm - University of the Arts (Industrial Design department)

Monday, 18-Feb

GVFHRA -- Transformational Leadership: Is Your Leadership Development Program Preparing 21st Century Leaders?
5:30pm - Sheraton-King of Prussia

Wayne Presbyterian Church -- Career Networking Program
7:30pm - Wayne Presbyterian Church, 125 E. Lancaster Ave, Wayne

Tuesday, 19-Feb

Center City Proprietors Association -- Lunch with the CITY's LEADERS
11:45am - Brasserie Perrier 1619 Walnut Street

BOMA Philadelphia -- BOMA International President Brenna Walraven
12pm - The Downtown Club, Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia Human Resources Planning Society (PHRPS) -- INNOVATION
4:30pm - Pyramid Club

Wednesday, 20-Feb

Center City Proprietor's Association -- 2008 REAL Small Business Economic Forecast
8am - Montgomery McCracken, Justice Roberts Room, 123 South Broad Street, 28th Floor

Entrepreneurs Forum of Southern New Jersey -- Alternative Financing
8am - RiverWinds Community Room

Society of Marketing Professional Services (SMPS) -- GSA/Design Excellence
11:30am - Chart House, Philadelphia

Penn Alumni Club of Philadelphia -- Origins of Obesity Talks with Rexford Ahima, MD Endocrinologist
5pm - Rainey Auditorium, Museum of Archeology and Anthropology, 3260 South Street

Associated Builders and Contractors -- February Chapter Dinner
5pm - Sheraton Park Ridge

PAMPI -- Bosses' Night: "Great Baseball, Great Meetings and Measuring Success"
5pm - Citizens Bank Park

SHRM Career Management Forum -- Performance Reviews: What Works, What Doesn't
5:30pm - DBM, 1835 Market Street, Suite 1120

Party of One: a Survival Guide for the Independent Business Owner -- Spare Room Tycoon
6:30pm - Free Library of Philadelphia, Room 108

Womens Business Forum -- How Do I Choose? Let Me Count the Ways
7:30pm - James Lorah House, Doylestown

Thursday, 21-Feb

Bagels & Business, Cabrini College -- Business Technology Innovations That Will Change The Way You Work
7:30am - The Mansion, Cabrini College

Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) Philadelphia -- Getting Deals Done: Credit Market Impact on Deal Terms
7:30am - Philadelphia Country Club, 1601 Spring Mill Road, Gladwyne, PA

Career Potential -- Salary Negotiation: The Rules Of The Game
9am - Radnor Financial Center, 150 N. Radnor-Chester Road

Independence Business Alliance -- LGBT Business Brown Bag
12pm - William Way Community Center, 1315 Spruce Street

CFA Society of Philadelphia -- Starting and Running an Investment Firm
5pm - Racquet Club of Philadelphia

Philadelphia LinkedIn Live
5pm - Rock Bottom Brew Pub, King of Prussia

White Horse Pike Chamber of Commerce Connection
5:30pm - The Pufferbelly, Lindenwold, NJ

ASTD E-Learning SIG -- Anonymity in Online Education: Should You be Concerned?
6pm - Penn State Great Valley

Sustainable Business Network -- Building a Green Economy with Van Jones
6pm - Main Auditorium, Academy of Natural Sciences

PANMA -- February Educational Event: Video on the Web
6:30pm - Holiday Inn, 1305 Walnut Street

Friday, 22-Feb

GPSEG NJ Chapter -- Web 2.0: Using the Internet to Advance Your Business
8am - Doubletree Guest Suites, Mt. Laurel

La Salle Nonprofit Center -- Putting Theory into Practice: a Working Session on Public Speaking
8:30am - United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania

GPSEG CIO Roundtable Lehigh Valley -- Marketing Change and Transitions to Your Internal and External Audiences
11:30am - Lehigh Country Club

Saturday, 23-Feb

IMC-Philly -- Why Do Sales Fail To Close?
8am - ACE Conference Center

PACS -- Apple's Apple's New Leopard OS
8am - Upper Moreland Middle School

The Hacktory -- Microcontroller experiments for artists and makers
9am - Nonprofit Technology Resources (NTR)

Sunday, 24-Feb

White Horse Chamber of Commerce -- 1st Anniversary Celebration
3pm - LaMartinque Lanes

Friday, February 15, 2008

Don't Underestimate the Strength of Weak Ties

The kick-off Career Networking Event at the Wayne Presbyterian Church (WPC) this past Monday was a great success. As is often the case in these events, they had an exercise that got you circulating from table to table. As is often the case when you get shuffled randomly with people, I ended up at a really fantastic table. James Barnes, who has been working with the WPC career group for some time and teaches innovation (excuse me, that's Innovation) at Villanova, was our facilitator, and he led us through some great exercises that got us thinking about our goals and our career paths in a whole new way.

I love brainstorming, and I love networking. Combining the two is a powerful experience.

One of the handouts at the meeting was a great two-pager called "Taking the Fear and Misconception Out of Networking." I asked around to see who wrote it, and I met Brian Clapp, a Career Management and Human Resource Consultant who happens to be in a career transition himself. Brian said he wrote it a few years ago and that he was happy to share it.

Here's what Brian says about "Don’t Underestimate the Strength of Weak Ties:"

Networking is more productive through casual acquaintances (weak ties) than through close friends (strong ties) because these more distant relationships provide much more diversity of knowledge, background, and connections than those that you are already well associated with. By definition you share a lot of commonality with friends, family, and colleagues. Distant acquaintances on the other hand are likely to be part of a very different network and are likely to know different people and have different ideas. Acquaintances represent a source of social power. In theory, the more acquaintances you have the more powerful you are.

An interesting perspective, and one that got me thinking. I definitely agree that diversity is the key to a strong and effective network. Lots of different ideas and perspectives blending together to form something new and unexpected. And, now that I think about it, I can see that close friends are less likely to be the source of your breakthrough event -- you have fewer of them, which means less opportunity for randomness and synchronicity.

You make your own luck. Get out there, create weak ties, and be open to the power of the random shuffle.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Creating a Better LinkedIn Profile: Start at the Top

One of the most important elements of an effective LinkedIn profile is the "Professional Headline" -- the short description appears immediately under your name in search results, in contact lists, and in your own profile. After your name, it is probably the first thing that people see about you in LinkedIn, so if you are interested in building a better LinkedIn profile you should "start at the top" and choose a headline that has just the right impact.

A lot of people on LinkedIn go for the "Widget Quality Manager at Amalgamated Widgets" style headlines. I think that's fine, as far as it goes. It's specific and functional, very nicely targeted at people in the widget industry, in the quality control function, and among those interested in Amalgamated Widgets. But maybe the person with this headline is trying to connect with people outside of those three groups. Is it still a headline that has "just the right impact?"

I wrote yesterday about how your activities on LinkedIn should all flow from your answer to that one key question: Why Are You on LinkedIn? That leads to other questions: What are your goals? What audience do you want to reach? What do you want them to know about you? Without a good answer to these questions, you will find yourself floundering on LinkedIn, never quite getting it to perform the way you think you should.

So, the headline that has the "right impact" for you will be the one that will get you noticed by your target audience and help you accomplish your goals.

I looked through my connections and a few of the "Professional Headlines" jumped out at me as being noticeably different, and I thought I would share them with you as examples of what you can with your own LinkedIn professional headlines.

The first is from James Chan of Asia Marketing Management, who you may remember from my blog posts about Spare Room Tycoon and the Mid-Atlantic Consultants Network. Note that the lead phrase is not about what he does but rather about the value he brings – forging business relationships in China! If I was looking to do business in China, James' headline would certainly hook me.

The second comes from Mike O'Neil of Integrated Alliances. I found Mike through his networking on LinkedIn and his activities on the Web and in face-to-face networking. I "pitched" him on connecting with me, and he went for it. Mike packs a lot of information about himself into a very small space. I like his use of symbol characters to make his headline easier to read. Mike's target audience is people who want to do more networking and get more out of LinkedIn. Every word in his headline is targeted at that specific audience.

My final example is Todd Cohen of Sales Leader LLC. Todd insists that anyone who is networking should know their "personal value proposition," so it's not surprising that Todd's headline hits hard on his own value proposition. You get an excellent sense of Todd as a person when you read this, and you can bet that it will be noticed by Todd's target audience of CEOs and senior executives.

How do you develop a personal value proposition? Well, that's a subject best left for a future post.

(I have to admit that my own professional headline looks a little prosaic by comparison. I'm going to have to rework my profile.)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Secret of Your Success on LinkedIn

Why Are You on LinkedIn? I don't mean, "why are you using LinkedIn rather than (insert your favorite social media site here)?" I'm asking, "What do you want to achieve in your professional life, and how can using LinkedIn help you do it?" Your activities on LinkedIn should all flow from your answer to that one key question: Why Are You on LinkedIn?

That naturally leads to other questions:

  • What are your goals?
  • What audience do you want to reach?
  • What do you want them to know about you?

If you can answer these questions, you are halfway to making LinkedIn "work" for you.

Without a good answer to these questions, you will find yourself floundering on LinkedIn, never quite getting it to perform the way you think you should.

Floundering, uploaded by lsgcp

For example, let's say you want to get noticed by recruiters. Your LinkedIn profile should therefore be "tuned" with the sort of information that recruiters are looking for, with lots of "handles" and keywords that will help them find you. Your LinkedIn contacts should comprise people who connect you to the recruiters you want. You might even want to connect to recruiters. When someone asks to connect with you on LinkedIn, think to yourself, "How will this person connect me with recruiters?"

Well, maybe that last bit is a little extreme, but you should always judge what you do on LinkedIn against how it helps you achieve your goals.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Five Things NOT to Do on LinkedIn (Humor)

We had a capacity crowd at yesterday's Career Transitions meeting, where I spoke on "Effective Use of LinkedIn for Personal Branding and Networking." There was not an empty seat in the room, which is either a testament to my marketing skills or to the popularity of LinkedIn. Or both.

The turnout might also reflect how confused people get when they look at LinkedIn and say to themselves, "Am I really getting all I can from LinkedIn?" I would say around 90 percent of the people at the meeting had a LinkedIn profile (I asked for a show of hands), and almost all of them (including me) had this nagging suspicion that there was something, somewhere that they could be doing just a little bit better.

In doing research for my presentation, I've discovered that, while there are many wrong ways to use LinkedIn, there is no single RIGHT way to use it. I'll do a few postings over the next few days that highlight some of the best practices for using LinkedIn, but for today I thought I would take a humorous look at five things you shouldn't do on LinkedIn.

1. Use it as a platform to sell your get-rich-quick scheme. I've seen people use the Summary section of their LinkedIn profile to do a relatively soft pitch on their business, and it's usually done very effectively with a sense of "here's what I do, if you are interested in learning more about it then let's connect."

This gentleman used every word in his profile to hawk his wares, even to the point of listing it in his Education section. He was complaining to me that people refused to connect with him. I tried to break it to him gently...

2. Who needs a name when you can increase your search ranking? I wanted to test out some of the ideas I had for optimizing keyword searches. The first two pages of results for "public relations" were profiles that had no names but instead said "Public Relations pro" for both first and last name! Note that they have relatively few connections, so I suspect these are people who created a profile "just to try things out" and never got back to it. So, we'll forgive them. Still, it looks strange.

3. Movie pitch: "College Alumni Group Crashers." I see people who belong to dozens and dozens of different LinkedIn groups, which always seems a little overwhelming to me. One gentleman in particular belonged to the alumni groups of several dozen colleges and universities. Not quite like lying on your resume, I suppose, but I still feel he was misrepresenting himself. I suppose it is possible that he spent 20 years as a professional college student.

(I was unable to relocate the profile to get a screen grab of it.
If I find it again, I'll post an update.)

4. Trolling for LinkedIn Answers. The postings I see in LinkedIn Answers are generally on-topic, but occasionally I'll see someone post something that is clearly a "troll," intended to generate a lot of responses. I'm not sure what the Phillies have to with Business Development, though I guess he is asking for suggestions for t-shirt slogans, and I do like the response.

5. Some of the 17 million members you can connect with. I'm not sure which is funnier: that Fred Flintstone is in the software business, or that he's a third-degree connection for me. There are also at least 16 other Fred Flintstones in the world. Some parents have a lot to answer for...

OK, all kidding aside, I did learn some good tips for how to use LinkedIn, which I will pass on to you in the next few days. I plan on using some of them to punch up my own LinkedIn experience.

This Week in Philadelphia (TWIP) for 2/10

Photo uploaded by Sister72
Happy Valentines Day! Lots of networking-event love for you this week here in the City of Brotherly Love. Speaking metaphorically, of course.
Monday, 11-Feb
Mid-Atlantic Consultants Network -- Monthly Meeting
7:30am - Merrill Lynch, 724 West Lancaster Avenue, Wayne, PA 19087
Wayne Presbyterian Church -- Career Networking Program
7:30pm - Wayne Presbyterian Church, 125 E. Lancaster Ave, Wayne
Tuesday, 12-Feb
7:30am - Devereaux Foundation
Sales and Marketing Executives (SMEI) of Philadelphia -- Find Prospects in Places You've Never Thought of Before
7:30am - Plymouth Country Club
La Salle Nonprofit Center -- Secrets to Healthy Program Budgeting
9:30am - Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll, LLP
11:30am - The Down Town Club
Flaster/Greenberg 2007-2008 Entrepreneur Series -- Human Resources Tips on Hiring and Retaining Employees
11:30am - Flaster/Greenberg P.C. Conference Room
Cherry Hill Regional Chamber of Commerce -- Power Networking Luncheon
12noon - Coastline Restaurant, 1240 Brace Road, Cherry Hill, NJ 08034
Entrepreneurs Forum of Greater Philadelphia -- INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY - TAKING YOUR IDEA INTO A BUSINESS
5:30pm - Federal Reserve Bank
Penn Alumni Club of Philadelphia -- Penn v. Princeton Basketball Game and Alumni Reception
5:30pm - Sweeten Alumni House and the Palestra
Wednesday, 13-Feb
7:30am - Desmond Hotel
7:45am - Unknown location
La Salle Nonprofit Center -- Fundamentals of HR
9:30am - The Pew Charitable Trusts
11am - Union League
12noon - The Philadelphia Country Club, Gladwyne, PA
Society of Marketing Professional Services (SMPS) -- Facility Tour: Harrah's Casino
5pm - Harrah's Casino, Chester
6pm - Rowan University, Rowan Hall Auditorium
Philadelphia Black Public Relations Society -- Celebrity Crisis Communication Seminar
6pm - Clear Channel Radio, Bala Cynwyd, PA
Thursday, 14-Feb
NIRI Philadelphia/IABC -- “Influencing Your Audience: How to Craft Messages that Motivate People to Say Yes”
7am - The Desmond Hotel
7:30am - Doubletree Guest Suites
Womens Business Forum -- Become Accountable for Your Success
8am - James Lorah House
La Salle Nonprofit Center -- Effective Workplace Communication
9:30am - WHYY
5:45pm - Kaffa Crossing Coffee House, 4423 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia
Friday, 15-Feb
MAC Alliance -- Entrepreneur Event
7:30am - Loews Philadelphia Hotel
Likemind -- Likemind meet up
8am - Old City Coffee, 221 Church Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
ASTD Professional Publishing SIG -- How to Make Money by Publishing
9:30am - Strayer University, King of Prussia
6pm - Annenberg Center, 3680 Walnut Street
Saturday, 16-Feb
ASTD Organizational Development SIG -- Organic Organizational Assessment: A Case Study
9:30am - Strayer University, King of Prussia
Sunday, 17-Feb
MakePhilly -- Fab @ Home
3pm - University of the Arts (Industrial Design department)

Sunday, February 3, 2008

This Week in Philadelphia (TWIP) for 2/3

It's Groundhog Day! No, wait, that was yesterday, wasn't it? Well, I do know we're coming up on the Year of the Rat, and the Philadelphia chapter of the National Association of Asian American Professionals is holding a fundraising dinner at the Sang Kee Peking Duck House.

This also happens to be International Networking Week, an initiative of BNI. Meetings are being held around the globe to raise the visibility of professional networking as a key imperative for success in today's world. Held around the globe, that is, but NOT in Philadelphia.

I'm also speaking on Saturday at the Career Transitions meeting on Effective Use of LinkedIn. I've had fun doing the research, but I'm at that point where I'm feeling a little nervous about the presentation. Come join us, if you would like to know more about LinkedIn.

Monday 4-Feb

GVFHRA -- Career Networking Group
5:30pm - Right Management, Berwyn PA

Tuesday 5-Feb

MAC Alliance -- The Philadelphia Metro Quarterly MoneyTree Report Series
7:30am - PWC Offices, Two Commerce Square, Suite 1700

La Salle Nonprofit Center -- Guide to Finding and Getting Grants
9:30am- United Way of Burlington County

LeTip of Center City Philadelphia -- Weekly Meeting
11:30am - Dave and Buster's 325 North Columbus Boulevard Philadelphia

Philly AMA -- 6th Annual Super Bowl Smackdown: Brand vs. Beauty
5:45pm - Dave & Busters

Wednesday 6-Feb

ExecuNet -- Using LinkedIn
7:15am - Sheraton Park Ridge Hotel, King of Prussia

Womens Business Forum -- Build Your Business Through Volunteerism
8am - James Lorah House, Doylestown

ExecuNet -- Philadelphia Senior Executive Roundtable
9:30am - Sheraton Park Ridge Hotel, King of Prussia

La Salle Nonprofit Center -- The Pragmatist's Guide to Nonprofit Marketing
9:30am - Buchanan, Ingersoll & Rooney

Camden Chamber, Cherry Hill Regional Chamber of Commerce -- 5th Annual Camden Business Showcase & Award Luncheon
12noon - Pub Restaurant, Pennsauken

National Association of Asian American Professionals -- Lunar New Year Celebration: Year of the Rat
8:30pm - Sang Kee Peking Duck House

Thursday 7-Feb

NIRI Philadelphia -- Chapter social
Time and location unknown

Eastern Technology Council -- Secrets of Success
7:30am - Penn State Great Valley, Musser Auditorium

GVFHRA -- Creating Relational Capital
8am - Desmond Great Valley

LaSalle Nonprofit Center -- The Care and Feeding of Quality Board Members
9:30am - La Salle University Student Union, Music Room

Philly Ad Club -- Hearing is Believing: What We Hear and Its Impact on What We Believe
11:30am - Millennium Ballroom, Loews Hotel

Baiada Center's Entrepreneurial Skills Workshop -- The Skilled Negotiator
6pm - Baiada Center 3225 Arch Street Philadelphia, PA 19104

Friday 8-Feb

Penn Humanities Forum -- THE CLERKS' GROUP
7:30pm - Bodek Lounge, Houston Hall

Saturday 9-Feb

Career Transitions -- Effective Use of LinkedIn for Personal Branding and Networking
9:45am - Strayer University, 234 Mall Blvd. King of Prusssia

Baiada Center -- Business Plan Development Workshop: "Risk, Legal Issues, and Putting It All Together
10am - Baiada Center, 3225 Arch Street

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Career Networking Program Launches at Wayne Presbyterian Church

Soon after I began networking, I starting hearing over and over and over again about this great job counseling program run by the Wayne Presbyterian Church. The program has great buzz, lots of resources, and the people I know who have been to it rave about it. The program was originally intended for those who were unemployed and looking for support during a difficult transition. Lately, the folks at Wayne Presbyterian noticed that many of the people attending the weekly 7:30 pm Monday meetings had jobs and wanted to learn how to better manage their careers for the long-term.

On February 11th at 7:30, Wayne Presbyterian launches its new Career Networking Program, which takes its well-known job counseling program in a whole new direction. The meetings are meant to support anybody and everybody who is interested in networking and proactive career management.

Recession Survival Tip: Don't Work Harder. Network Smarter

I was struck by a comment in Jane M. Von Bergen's story in Saturday's Philadelphia Inquirer on how the shaky economy makes networking more important than ever:
"When things become unstable, people hunker down and work really hard, versus looking outside their organization and connecting with other professionals who do what they do," said career counselor Beth Ann Wilson, of Media....

"People think if they work really hard, they'll be able to keep their jobs," she said. "That may be so, but sometimes decisions are made not based on how someone works, but on a strategic plan or budget....

"If you are not out talking to people, you won't know about opportunities or what other people are doing."
Amen to that. It is so tempting to withdraw into your "safety zone" and work harder than ever. But you have to be careful that you are not working hard just simply rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic, as the expression goes. You've got to pay attention to the bigger picture.

Financial planners tell people to "pay yourself first." That is, if you are trying to save, the best way to do it is to put what you want to save into your savings account the moment you get your paycheck. If you wait until after you pay all your bills and then save what you have left, well, surprise! You won't have anything left. So pick how much you want to save each paycheck and "pay yourself first."

The same holds true with networking. If you are going to try to fit "time to network" into your schedule after all your other commitments are done, then, surprise! You will never have time to network. So, make your commitment to networking your top priority. Make your other commitments fall into place around your networking.

In Two Weeks to a Breakthrough, management consultant Lisa Haneberg describes something she calls the "daily practice." Every day, tell two people about your goal, take two actions towards your goal, and make two requests that will help make your goal happen. Make a commitment to a daily practice, and you will amazed at what you can achieve in a very short time. Breakthroughs are a social act.

By the by, the Philadelphia Inquirer seems to have a thing for publishing stories about networking on Saturdays. That's cool. There's something very nice about reading the Saturday Inquirer -- it's small, focused, includes some unusual stories with a lot of perspective, and is generally underestimated. Sunday's edition tries to be Important. Saturday just is what it is.