Go back to Job Search Prep Syllabus.
The most ironic thing about mastering your ability to network with others is that many people try to learn to do it alone in front of their computers.
The best networkers are those who can quickly and accurately assess other people’s needs and figure out how to address those needs… skills developed by interacting and practicing with others.
(OK, OK. that’s not entirely true. Part of how you improve your dealings with others is to improve your self-awareness and comfort with yourself.)
But in yet another ironic twist, you can probably learn more about yourself, faster by hanging around other people than hanging out alone, meditating. Why? Because people are born self-delusional. Our egos make liars out of all of us. (Proof: study after study confirms the “Lake Woebegon” effect, where about 85% of people see themselves as above average—a statistical and definitional impossibility. For the record, only 50% of any group can be above average.) Hanging out with others will provide you with the feedback you need to pierce your self-delusions and figure out how others see you, which will give you a pretty big clue as to who you are.
But wait! Shouldn’t you not care what others think of you? Ultimately, yes, but since you need them to accept you, it helps to be accepted for who you are. And, so, if their feedback is off, then you know that the image you project does not match the image they have of you. So, you change your behavior. Or acknowledge that maybe you’re self-delusional. Either one is good.
I’ve had clients tell me that implementing this practice makes them worry about becoming politicians. They don’t want to be so attuned to what others think of them. To which I say, that’s right. You don’t care what others think of you. But you care a lot about what you can learn from their feedback about how you are projecting yourself and whether or not your ego is lying to you. (Ever watch American Idol and think to yourself, “Honey, it’s great you believe in yourself, but you really, really should listen to Simon on this one… and get a day job?”) Listening for feedback and processing it will improve your self-awareness, improve your comfort with yourself, align your self-image with the image you project, and help you network more successfully for jobs that are good matches for your abilities.
So get out there and mix it up with folks! You might be surprised at what you learn…
(PS—Yeah, I know you can socialize online. But since you’re considering taking this course, I’m going to assume a level of online aptitude. I want you ready for when you meet your prospective employer face-to-face.)
|If I were…||…people would know it because…|
|-a good consultant||…Clients would not hesitate to write LinkedIn recs when asked.|
|-a good salesman||…people would be buying my services.|
|-a good writer||…people would be recommending my books and blogs to others.|
|-a good husband||…my wife would be completely at ease.|
|If I were…||…people would know it because…||% True|
|-a good consultant||…Clients would not hesitate to write LinkedIn recs when asked.||?% true|
|-a good salesman||…people would be buying my services.||?% true|
|-a good writer||…people would be recommending my books and blogs to others.||?% true|
|-a good husband||…my wife would be completely at ease.||?% true|
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