Saturday, January 13, 2018

A Diverse & Successful Network is Your Best Career Insurance

Did you know there is such a thing as Career Insurance?  We are all used to Car Insurance, Home Insurance, Boat Insurance and Business Insurance.   However, when you are a planner and investing in your career, it is almost like your investment is like paying a premium toward your Career Insurance.




Being proactive and not waiting until you are in job search mode to connect with people is obviously the best path toward maintaining your career success.   


Of course, so many of us get caught up in doing our jobs that we neglect our network... until we need them. Problem is, if you haven't been actively networking, you cannot expect too much from them when you suddenly need help.

A recommended suggestion when at an event is a gentle breaking of the ice to begin reconnecting, rather than leading with "Hey there! I'm in job search. Can you help me out?" What we suggest is sending them an article and saying something like, "Hi there! I saw this article. Made me think of our days at Example Company. Thought you might be interested. Would love the opportunity to catch up." Another idea is to see what groups they belong to and send a note saying, "I see you're a member of Example Group. I'm interested in joining. What can you tell me about them and their membership? What's been your experience as a member of the group?"


No matter how you do it, if you've let a connection become dormant, you need to find ways to revive it before you start asking for help. While you're reviving a connection you need, you may want to consider reviving connections you don't currently need. Send them a link to an article you find relevant to them; comment on something they’ve posted; ask them about a group; give them a call; take them for coffee; find something you can offer to help them with. 

Successful networkers are always looking for reasons to connect with their network so that their network is active and healthy.


If we create networks with the sole intention of getting something, we won't succeed. 

We can't pursue the benefits of networks; the benefits ensue from investments in meaningful activities and relationships. So invest in your network in a planned, ongoing manner.

We suggest scheduling one hour a week to reach out to people in your network to share articles, comment on posts, offer help, and connect people with others in your network you think they'd be better off knowing. 


If you don't schedule it, you won't end up doing it, and you'll end up with a neglected network that isn't helping you and won't be much use to you when you need it. 

Invest in yourself. Consider it career insurance. You have life insurance. You have car insurance. You have homeowner's insurance. You have medical insurance. You should have career insurance. 

Career insurance is a healthy network. Pay your premiums in the form of reaching out to your network one hour per week. Pay those premiums now and you’ll be able to make withdrawals down the road when you need to.


Go to your calendar out right now and set a recurring weekly one-hour meeting titled "Build a Healthy Network." Go ahead, your career will thank you for it!

Monday, January 8, 2018

How Video Can Help You Beat Your Fear of Public Speaking

When it comes to what people's biggest fear, what are the first things that come to mind?


Going to the dentist?
Dealing with your ex after a breakup?
Going through tunnels in a big city?

How about public speaking?  25% of Americans say public speaking is their biggest fear.



Imagine if your boss or business partner pulls you into their office and asks you to present a key topic that in front of hundreds of people or on a smaller scale, you have to give a speech at a wedding in front of a bunch of intoxicated guests.   The first thing you want to do is hide under the nearing table.

Public speaking is one of the most fearful things anyone can do.   They stutter, say "Um" or sometimes pass out in mid-sentence.   It is much easier to be in the audience versus being the focus of the audience.

I personally had a fear of public speaking.  I remember getting in front of a room to present an IT project at a large retailer and proceeded to sweat so much, I had to put my dress shirt in a dryer to dry it out.   My speech was full of those "Um's" and "Ahh's" and the famous "You know" after every other word.

I ended up taking a Toastmasters class back in 2008, which really helped me beat the fear of speaking in front of others.  Case in point are some of my videos on my YouTube Channel where I had to get in front of people to talk about business networking and social media.

However,  there is a more immediate way to help beat the fear of public speaking instead of Toastmasters, and it happens to be that little device in your pocket.    It is the video camera on your smartphone.   I do recommend checking out Toastmasters at a later time.

Ok, I am going to cut to the chase.   My suggestion to you if you hate public speaking is to use your smartphone and video record yourself taking about your favorite topic and then work your way up to a topic that you may have to speak about in a public forum.   The old saying is practice makes perfect, so why not use something that is free, easy and personal to practice talking to people?

There are also all sorts of live video applications out there that you can practice doing live videos.   I look at live videos on social media as the next step after you practice doing videos on the Camera app on your smartphone.   By doing live videos on Facebook Live, Periscope or Instagram, you can ask your connections to critique your video and if there are any suggestions to improve your speech.   After all, your social media connections are your friends, right?

Start doing videos on a regular basis on your favorite topics such as sports, the weather, owning a business and other topics, and then over time you will notice your confidence increasing, especially if you start getting those social media likes for your recent live video.   Ask for feedback and note how much engagement there is after posting your video.

Ok, finally, you are asked to speak in a public forum.    So what really is the difference?   If you like the topic you are talking about, and if you look at your audience through the screen of your smartphone and think the audience are there to support you, then go for it and have confidence that you will rock it and woo your audience with great insight!  It gets easier more and more.

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