Issue 36 / How To Network Like A CEO And Increase Your Net Worth

How To Network Like A CEO And Increase Your Net Worth

Feb 13, 2016


It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.

You’re responsible and reliable with a strong work ethic. You’re organized, likeable and wear crisp, trendy business attire — so why isn’t your career progressing at the rate you want? Why aren’t senior executives praising your talents, offering you a company car and enough bonus money to travel first class?

The answer is simple: we live in a competitive society that’s over-saturated with qualified talent.

Canada’s unemployment rate hit a two-year high this January, with 7.2 per cent of Canadians actively searching for jobs. The unemployment rate in the U.S. hit 4.9 per cent, a dip from December numbers. The U.K is certainly in a better position with lowest unemployment rate since 2006, at 5.1 per cent. India's strong economy also provides a solid backbone for various industries especially those in the IT and tech sector. However, regardless of where you are in the employment scale: whether you're finding your first job, upgrading to a better position or if you are re-entering the job market, landing a job requires more than having appropriate qualifications and a resume that reads well on paper.

That being said, how do you get noticed?

Who you know can often be more important than what you know. Networking has become an extremely powerful career advancement strategy.
 
Here are key tips on how to work your network to increase your net worth.

 

Contact Your Contacts
contact, network, email, cellphone, personal, profile, call, social, media
Study your current network.
Photo Credit: www.minstrylift.ca

 

Are you underestimating the amount of power in who you already know? Take a moment to step back and study your current network. Do you have contacts who work in human resources? Don’t be shy to ask for tips and guidance. If you want to work for a specific company, check if someone on your LinkedIn or Facebook is connected to it. Asking for help is hard but keep in mind the people you already know likely want you to succeed and will help when they can. Internal referrals give you the best chance of ensuring your resume does not get lost in hundreds of candidates. Don’t hesitate to contact your contacts.
 

Engage in the Right Environment

Start with your current network but don’t forget to build new connections. Your time is the most valuable asset you have; use it wisely. Juggling work and life balance can leave you with a tight schedule and minimal opportunity to attend networking events. Approach your selections strategically.

Ensure you’re networking in an environment that will expose you to professionals in your specific field. For example, if you’re in finance, research where some of the biggest financial firms are located in your city and go to after-work socials in their vicinity (a google search of the area is a quick and easy method). Join LinkedIn and browse the interest groups to meet like-minded individuals and follow companies to stay up to speed on events and job opportunities. Another great, free website is www.meetup.com where you can join a variety of corporate and social groups to build your network.  

Social Media Success

Google, search, name, network,
Keep your social media presence professional and appropriate.
Photo Credit: www.istockphoto.com

 

That fun, Facebook picture of you sipping a martini or showcasing your best bhangra moves get smiles from your friends but frowns from potential employers. Unless you’re in the entertainment industry, limit access to your personal pictures. You have the right to a personal life outside of work but remember that social media can impact your reputation and persona. A clear, focused professional headshot with a neutral background should be your LinkedIn profile picture. Adjust your Facebook privacy settings. Don’t let other people see your friends lists. Run a Google search of your own name to ensure there’s nothing too risky that pops up in images; often we don’t realize what’s out there. Don’t let social media hinder your success.

 

Be Brave to Make Big Bucks

 
Being timid will get you nowhere. The South Asian community often appreciates the qualities of being shy and docile. Keep your eyes lowered, don’t seek attention and don’t be bold when communicating with elders. If you want to make big bucks, leave those rules at your in-laws house and go for the gold. You can’t use your network to elevate your boss status if you’re not brave enough to initiate conversations.

Don’t get nervous by overcomplicating the process. Start with a simple "Hi, how are you?" If you try too hard and push your way into conversations, listing all your work experience right away, people will feel you want to use them as a stepping stone. If they sense the schmoozer in you, they will disengage. Compare it to your family outings: remember no one notices the quiet auntie but no one really likes the obnoxiously, loud one either. Initiate conversation then let it evolve naturally. Keep practicing your communication skills until you master the art of having a strong, social presence without coming across too aggressively.

 

The Fortune is in the Follow-up
 
Fortune, follow-up, corporate, business, network
Always follow up.
Photo Credit: www.curtbeavers.com

 

Many of us are guilty of finding business cards in our purses and/or pockets then putting them aside losing them in an abyss of relationships we meant to develop. Regardless of how much time you invest in conversation, if you take too long to follow-up, you risk being forgotten. Touch base with new contacts within two days via email or add them as a contact on LinkedIn to keep connections alive. A prompt, professional follow-up is key to prevent getting forgotten in the overwhelming amount of daily information. Your network can’t contribute to building your net-worth unless you follow-up.
 
Main Image Photo Credit: www.freelancingandmore.biz

Rachna Sethi

Author

Rachna (@mindfullyyours)is a graduate of the Applied Mindfulness Meditation program from the University of Toronto, a certified Educator with two bachelor degrees and a diploma in Art Therapy. She's dedicated to living with a compassionate approach. Committed to helping people integrate Mindfulness...

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