By Paul Nazareth
Networking is uncomfortable enough, now the employment sector is obsessed with “personal branding”. I just want to do my job and live my life, is this all necessary?!
Bad news, it is.
Good news, it’s not going to be as terrible as you think.
Most people don’t realize they already have a person brand, it’s what people say when someone asks someone you know “tell me about your peer [insert your name here]”. Yes that still happens.
But y’know what happens more often? They just Google you. Phil does this, your potential boss does this, fundraisers, your donors do this. Google yourself right now, I’ll wait…………like what you see? Does it say you’re a professional? Is it easy to find your phone number, email to reach you right now?
Here are 3 tips to better networking, in person and digitally for your career:
- Find your style of networking. Are you an extrovert? An Introvert? An Ambivert? Know how you connect with others, what brings and takes away your energy and create your annual networking plan around it. Nothing too formal but be ready for the busy seasons of spring, fall and holiday events. Know how long you’ll spend preparing, at them and following up.
- Make personal and digital networking a habit. I’m a strong supporter of digital networking for fundraising professionals, but human face time is still very important. Make it habit, once a month or once a week. Just make sure you spend time with mentors, helping others and peers. Maybe take that coffee to go and embrace netwalking (networking while walking) before work or at lunch. Digitally, notice I didn’t say social media, make sure to control that time, this is not Facebook. These days digital is more about listening then tweeting. Like an event, know how much time you’ll spend on LinkedIn or Twitter each week, get in, get out. Here are some resources for better professional personal networking and digital connecting.
- We used to say “have a great mentor”. These days in business you’ll often hear about creating sponsors who will advocate and vouch for you in your company and in the sector you work. Having both means creating a personal board. People who are ahead of you to pull you forward, behind you to push you ahead and people beside you to help through challenges. Watch this great video on creating a personal board of directors!
Personal branding is not about bragging or creating an artificial version of yourself. It’s about making sure people know who you are, what you do and how you can help them on the job and in any other context you want. The resume is dead, LinkedIn killed it. Google is your new business card. Your network is only as good as it is in touch.
Are you ready to represent yourself in 2015?
Phil is here to help. Thanks for helping me Phil and for the chance to share with others here on your blog.
Paul Nazareth has spent fourteen years in the social-profit sector. As Vice President of Community Engagement with CanadaHelps. Paul’s team works directly with thousands of Canadians as they support their most beloved charities and many Canadian charities as they fundraise to change the world. Most recently working in the financial sector as a philanthropic advisor with the Scotiabank Group, Paul previously spent 11 years with charities like the University of Toronto and the Catholic Church of Greater Toronto. He teaches the Planned Giving course with the postgraduate fundraising program at Georgian College, is Chair of the Advisory Committee at the Humber College postgraduate fundraising program and a national instructor with CAGP. Paul speaks nationally on the topics of planned giving, social media for business and charity, networking and career development. Find him online at http://about.me/paulnazareth or Twitter at @UinvitedU