Perform ‘Networking Magic’

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By Joyce Lain Kennedy

Question: I am on shaky ground in my job at age 52. I’m a divorced woman with house payments and few employment opportunities in my field. Can you recommend a headhunter in my city?

Answer: First, always remember that headhunters work for the other guys – the employers, not the job seekers. You might want a career coach. No matter whom you hire or consult, developing your networking skills is vital. More job seekers complain that their resumes are disappearing into black holes of no return, as more employers hold back on hiring regular-status employees opt instead for contingent workers who can be ditched without guilt or fuss. So it’s obvious that you need to include all the positive relationships you can hang onto as a key component in your search toolkit.

Unlocking doors
Who better to shepherd you through the ins and outs of unlocking the right doors than publicity experts Rick Frishman and Jill Lublin?
New Yorker Mr. Frishman and Californian Ms. Lublin tell you how to use normal, everyday friendliness in programmed actions to achieve any objective from work to pleasure in their new book, Networking Magic , published by Adams Media.

Getting to the point
Writing in a casual style that cuts to the chase – “Do you want to find someone who can help get your kid into a good entry-level job?” – the two communications pros cover a lot of material as they flesh out their theme that “networking isn’t just getting.” It’s giving, and that’s a process of building and maintaining relationships. I especially liked the book’s bit on food stylist George DoLese. He was standing in line at a pastry shop when he began chatting up the man behind him, who just happened to be an executive chef. From this accidental contact, Mr. DoLese interviewed at a Donald Trump restaurant and heard the magic words, “You’re hired.” Networking Magic cites another solid strategy that marketing consultant Ken Glickman uses when he meets someone new:

Deliberately shake the person’s hand and repeat the first name several times during their initial conversation. “Joe, it’s nice to meet you. Where are you from, Joe? How long will you be here, Joe?” Or he’ll introduce Joe to someone else and say, “Joe, this is Harry. Harry, Joe is here for the meeting.”
As soon as the new person walks away, within 10 to 15 seconds, Mr. Glickman visualizes the person’s face in his mind and repeats his or her name.
About 30 seconds later, Mr. Glickman looks around the room for the new person. When he spots him or her, he says the person’s name once more.
Comprehensive coverage
Another guide to connections is the second edition of L. Michelle Tullier’s Networking for Job Search and Career Success, from Jist Publishing. It takes a rather academic approach in its organization and comprehensive coverage. If Ms. Tullier were in the military, she’d be a four-star general. A vice president of the career transition firm Right Management Consultants, she’s a former career coach for and was a faculty member in career development at two universities. She covers the waterfront with concepts, techniques, worksheets, conversations and follow-up suggestions.

Overcoming shyness
The book’s standout chapter is “Networking for Introverts: 25 Painless Tips.” People who are not outgoing say they are uncomfortable reaching out. Describing herself as a “recovering introvert,” Ms. Tullier confesses: “After years of struggling to incorporate networking comfortably into my professional life, I have learned that networking is a skill that can be learned. It’s a skill I have developed, and I enjoy showing others how they can develop it, too.”