The Art of Networking

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(Best Syndication News) Networking is an art, not just a science, according to Marilyn Edelson. A guest speaker at the Boston Women Communicators symposium this month, the career coach and consultant emphasized that every action creates a reaction in the job hunt. “Before you leave your house, have an intention. Once you focus, it is the power of attraction.”

Edelson says with the current state of the recession, people already know networking is a necessity. However, she believes that people who do it correctly separate themselves from those who remain unemployed. “The way to stay in the game is to keep in action. Even if what we’re doing isn’t immediately getting us the job we want.”

The former social worker turned career strategist says she learned these secrets after starting her own business, OnTrack Coaching and Consulting Inc., more than 20 years ago. When she became a single mother of two, she says it was imperative to make a name – and a living - for herself and her family. “I had to learn how to network for my own survival,” she explains. “The only way I could expand my reach was to connect with people and make those forward moving connections.”

How did she keep moving forward? “I took 10 people out to lunch,” she laughs, citing that it was usually at inexpensive places like Chinese restaurants where she could get the most for her money.

She specifies that these lunches often weren’t interviews for official job openings. “I encourage people to do more informational networking,” she says.

“It’s never a dead end, even if they don’t have something for you immediately.”

Edelson emphasizes that constantly talking to people is the best way to stay in the game. “When people dead-end, it’s the morale issue, and they’ve given up.”

The coach says you have to think in terms of threes. “Do three things a day. Each thing can lead to three more things.”

According to her, momentum is the name of the game. However, what happens if you’re in an industry where there is nowhere to go? Today, Edelson is talking to a group of women who specialize in media and communications – a rapidly shrinking field. “Think about industries that are more recession proof,” she explains. “As communication industries are laying-off, look at healthcare. Hospitals need newsletters written.”

She also suggests considering emerging technologies, or getting a certificate in something else that compliments skills one may already have.

Edelson also isn’t shy about saying that desperation is never a good attitude to have. She insists that approaching a potential employer with your talents instead of from a place of want makes all the difference. “When you come to things with a need, we back off,” she asserts, stating that the ‘Do you have a job for me’ approach is never the way to go.

“We’re more drawn to people who have something to offer.”

She says introduce yourself as someone who has certain talents that could be an asset to a team. That attitude is evident by carrying business cards. “If you are unemployed, you still have a profession. Put down your name, and what you do and your contact information. Consider it your ‘your professional card’.”

A profession that can get you employed again, if you have the right attitude.

To learn more about Marilyn Edelson’s Coaching business, you can go to her website at www.ontrackcaoching.com

By: Robin Hamilton is a journalist and commentator. You can learn more about her at www.aroundrobin.com

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