“Pulling a good network together takes effort, sincerity and time.” ~Alan Collins, Author of “Unwritten HR Rules”
There are a variety of ways that you can network for your next career promotion, industry contact, or new professional resource. You can attend an online networking event, a lunch chat, or an after hours networking event. You can also host your own networking event at your home, a local venue, or a restaurant. Invite respected professional peers, mentors, and industry influencers you would like to reconnect and connect with.
Get creative with planning your networking event. Your event should display a festive and upbeat theme with coordinating decor and edible treats that represents excellence. Develop an event schedule that is time sensitive and easy to administer with a smile. Take time to identify intriguing conversation starters and industry relevant current events and trends to candidly discuss. After your networking event, skip the email and send a handwritten thank you note. A hand written thank you can leave a notable lasting impression that can connect you to the career shift that you are seeking.
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“The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.” ~ Vince Lombardi
During your career search, keeping your industry skills current and relevant should be a constant and consistent focus throughout your search. It is important for you to practice your craft daily and not let excessive time pass to the point that your skills only read well on your resume. Take the time to ensure that your skills remain test ready through conversation or an assessment. Your ultimate goal is to get a return on your education and training investment that you are proud of and feel well compensated for. Keeping your skills sharp is a factor to being interview ready. The future of you career is worthy of your skills refresh time and can potentially lead you in successful salary negotiation if warranted.
Have fun and get creative with your practice and review sessions to keep your skills industry relevant and current.
One of the most powerful tools you can create and promote during your career search other than your resume is a career portfolio. Your portfolio is a great opportunity for you to display your professional accomplishments and awards. When developing your career portfolio the presentation format and creative ideas are endless. Your presentation can be produced as a brag book or through an online portfolio source. Your portfolio should be professional and consistently industry relevant. Do not rush the process and have fun formatting your portfolio with quality copies and clear pictures. Take a moment to view your great work with pride and confidence. Your portfolio can be an empowering conversation point during your interview that ushers you to opportunities to speak more in-depth about your accomplishments with verifiable data present beyond some interview questions guides. Your portfolio can be the deciding factor for you being considered for a position or a promotion.
Career Portfolio Content Ideas
- Non-confidential metrics
- Letters of Recommendation
- Previous non-confidential industry related project outcomes
- Community outreach projects with pictures if applicable
- Media tears
- Mock industry related projects to show your creativity or plan execution ability