Keith Ferrazzi’s Advice for the 50 plus Job Seeker: Develop Your Lifelines

January 14, 2010

With all the current buzz about networking to find jobs instead of the traditional methods, it seemed appropriate to talk with an expert on networking to get a bit more insight on the subject.

I was inspired by a recent post from his blog last week, so Tuesday I spoke with Keith Ferrazzi, NY Times bestselling author of “Never Eat Alone and Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time” and “Who’s Got Your Back – The Breakthrough Program to Build Deep, Trusting Relationships That Create Success–and Won’t Let You Fail”.

Keith is a world renowned keynote speaker and expert in networking and relationship development. In this interview, Keith spoke of the importance for older job seekers (or any job seekers, for that matter) to find their small group of “lifelines” – those special people who are committed to your success and who have “got your back”.

What prompted you to write the book Never Eat Alone?

I was frustrated by the way people were defining networking – some of the basic, core truths were deeply misunderstood – especially by people who were calling themselves networkers. Networking is really about developing deep, meaningful relationships and based on generosity first, not how many contacts you have in your Outlook. So that’s why I wrote Never Eat Alone 7 years ago – and it keeps selling…

What advice would you give to the 50+ job seeker?

As you consider the next lily pad you’re hopping to, more than ever you need to know who your lifelines are. In my book, ‘Who’s Got Your Back’, I note that 50% of the people who were asked ‘Who’s got your back’ couldn’t answer the question. 60% of those who couldn’t answer the question were married! They didn’t even consider that their significant others could be their lifelines – and that’s a problem.

To be successful, you can’t do it alone. You need 2-3 people for your lifelines – to spar with, to hold your hand, to prop you up, to be there for you, to support you, to network with.

And how do you find these lifelines?

The long, slow dinner is one way. Interview the few friends that you think might be there for you – that they’re compatible, have the right personality for you, and vice versa – use this opportunity to test them out – it’s like creating your ‘kitchen cabinet’, your unofficial advisers. Napoleon Hill, author of the classic 1937 book “Think and Grow Rich”, used the term “Master Minds” as that group of people who are your personal advisers and are committed to your success. I like to think the message in my books is the modern day equivalent to Napoleon Hill’s timeless wisdom that we cannot do it alone.

What advice do you have for the 20 something job seeker?

It’s the same! I just gave a talk to a Stanford MBA group and the message was the same you need to establish your lifelines.

What are you most passionate about?

I’ll answer that with this story: I recently spoke at an event and the organizer was worried that the group of very technical people would find the message too soft & fuzzy. Instead, they came away saying that my message about meaningful relationships was deeply impactful. That’s what I’m passionate about – that my message is not just helping people be better professionals, but to be better moms and dad’s and sisters and friends – that they can be better people.

By the way, you can see my columns on career coaching and transitions at SF Examiner.com.

JP McDermott is a financial services and insurance advisor in Walnut Creek, CA. specializing in career transitions. He is also a career and financial coach, a freelance writer on career coaching with SF Examiner.com, and has been volunteering his time and experience to various non-profit, service and civic organizations.
JP lives in Danville with his wife Candy.

Check out his LinkedIn profile http://www.linkedin.com/in/jpmcdermott
JP Headshot1

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When You Fall in the Mud Puddle, Check Your Pockets for Fish

January 6, 2010

I’ve been talking about Keith Ferrazzi’s book Never Eat Alone ever since I read it last year because it is the best book on relationship marketing and on the value of your personal network. I’ve mentioned him several times, but the following post from his blog is very relevant and captures his philosophy as it applies to those in transition. I am copying it here in its entirety:

Here are four pieces of advice to those who are in transition in their jobs or careers. My wish is that 2010 is full of wonderful transitions – and that more of them are voluntary!

1. You may have heard people say, “If you can think up the question, you can think up the answer.” Your mind and your character are up to any challenge. So focus on answering this question: “How do I make this change the best thing that has ever happened to me?”

2. Reach out to the real relationships in your life. What better time to figure out who they truly are? No one is better positioned to help you consider what’s next – and how to get it. Also have someone really close help you brainstorm around your greatest strengths and weaknesses; these can provide clues and spark ideas.

3. In addition to the career quest, which will inevitably take twists and turns, commit yourself to some personal pursuits that you have been meaning to take on for a long time but never had the time – for example, run a marathon, become an expert in social media, restructure your personal finances, find the charity to which you want to meaningfully commit, help a friend in need, etc. These will become part of your answer to the question in (1) above, and as important, they’ll provide a positive experience and purposefulness every day.

4. Once you figure out what you want, create a long list of people you need to meet to get there. It’s so much easier for your friends to help you by making introductions if you have your “wish list” mapped out on paper. But don’t rush it: No one can ever help you until you know what you want.

Readers: Care to share transition stories? Nothing like a good success story when you’re looking.

By the way, you can see my columns on career coaching and transitions at SF Examiner.com.

JP McDermott is a financial services and insurance advisor in Walnut Creek, CA. specializing in career transitions. He is also a career and financial coach, a freelance writer on career coaching with SF Examiner.com, and has been volunteering his time and experience to various non-profit, service and civic organizations.
JP lives in Danville with his wife Candy.

Check out his LinkedIn profile http://www.linkedin.com/in/jpmcdermott
JP Headshot1


5 Ways to Get a Job Offer in your Christmas Stocking!

December 2, 2009

Typically, companies slow down as Christmas approaches. However, December is traditionally one of the busiest months for hiring. So what to do? Here are 5 tips to employ in your job search this month:

1. Now is the time to respond to the job ads and get your resume out there again! The number of job listings right now is higher than the last 6 months – jump in and respond to the job ads that you want rather than ‘take a break’ for the holidays. One job seeker yesterday said she has 4 interviews this week – the most she’s had all year!

2. Contact people at the company you are targeting. If you know the industry – and better yet, the specific company you are targeting, contact people you know who work there to find out more about the job, who the hiring manager is, what it’s like to work there, etc. If you don’t know anyone who works there, ask people in your network if they know someone who knows someone who works there!

3. Let your network know now what you are looking for and what company you want to work for.
Nearly 70% of the jobs people are getting are from others in their network they know. Remind your network – either through Facebook or LinkedIn – what specific position you’re looking for and what company you are targeting. Doing it once 3 months ago is not going to help. When you are top of mind for them when they come across an opportunity, they’ll contact you.

4. Never stop ‘feeding’ your network. In his excellent book on relationship marketing, “Never Eat Alone”, Tim Ferrazzi makes the point that the time to build and ‘feed’ your network is when you don’t need it. People in your network want to help you – you need to let them know how they can.

5. Go volunteer! While you are waiting for the responses to your job submissions, find ways to help others this time of year. The holidays highlight the plight of so many who are worse off than the rest of us and there are many ways you can help directly by volunteering your time. Whether at the local food bank, homeless shelter, hospice or senior center, the gift of yourself and your caring are invaluable gifts you can make.

Follow these tips and you might just find a job offer or two in your stocking this Christmas!

JP Headshot1JP McDermott is a financial services and insurance advisor in Walnut Creek, CA. specializing in career transitions. He is also a career and financial coach, a freelance writer on career coaching with Examiner.com, and has been volunteering his time and experience to various non-profit, service and civic organizations, most recently helping those in transition. His philosophy is to help others be more successful and to enjoy the benefits of meeting new people.

JP lives in Danville with his wife Candy.

Check out his LinkedIn profile http://www.linkedin.com/in/jpmcdermott