Informational meeting

One Question that will expand your Network

Try ONE simple question to expand your network:

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"Who else should I talk to?"

When you are sitting across the proverbial table with a new connection over the phone or with your favorite hot beverage at a coffee shop before you leave, ask this question!

In your brief chat, your new connection just learned about you - your goals, skills, how you want to grow, companies or positions of interest - so ask who else THEY know that you can learn from!

This way your network is ever-expanding with one simple question.

The Informational Interview: The Art of the Request

My career path isn't straight.

Back in the day, I was miserable in event planning and I had my sights set on higher education, specifically advising. I knew NOTHING about the field beside the results that populated from my Google search terms. How did I proceed?

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I emailed a COMPLETE STRANGER who was an academic advisor at a local university and asked her to lunch. I inquired about her career story and what I needed to do to get the job she had. And you know what? She HELPED me…over said lunch! She even gave me feedback on my written statement for my graduate school application (per her advice to apply to grad school)…A STRANGER!!

So, how do you request an informational interview? Let lunch (or coffee) lead the way.

- Be curious. Request to learn about their company and/or career story. Know a bit about the person to explain why you are asking for their time (flattery never hurts!).

- Be specific. Ask for 20-30-minutes of their time via phone or in-person. Include possible days/times as options.

- Be professional. Avoid grammar and spelling errors in your email request. Be conscientious and grateful for their time in advance.

Design your Network with Three Types of People

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You are the boss of your own network. Design it thoughtfully.

Whether you realize it or not, you are already part of a variety of systems. You may just be so embedded in them that you can’t see them. Think about people in your circles at work, socially, geographically, family, community, schools, church, etc.

These are your natural networks! While some circles are chosen for you based on your workplace or where you send your kid to school, others you can take ownership. 

Intentionally ADD people that ADD value.

Typically, a valuable network has these three types of people in it:

Connectors. People who have large networks themselves and know a lot of different people. Their natural matchmaking capabilities see opportunities for people around them.

Champions. People who want to see you succeed; cheerleaders that will speak your message without external motivation.

Experts. Natural teachers who have particular expertise. Experts are imperative to your network because they can supply you with the information you need.

Build and nurture your network now by offering value to those around you. Not just when you need something.

Consider: Which type are you? Who is most valuable to you?

Join a collaborative community of professionals who are intentional about nurturing their personal and professional growth. Oh, and access to free/discount services sweetens the deal too! 😉 Join here.



Informational Interview: Make the Ask

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Necco's candy conversation hearts are unavailable this February. Don’t worry! I'll help you bridge the conversation from awkward to intentional with a free conversation card for informational interviews. 

The informational interview is the secret to a successful job search. Job search experts and resume writers alike (myself included) encourage job seekers to connect over coffee or over the phone with people who are in the job they want or working at a company of interest. How do you make it happen?

▶︎ LinkedIn request + a note

▶︎ Personal email

▶︎ In-person ask

▶︎ Phone call 

 Do you have to actually know the person? No, but do provide context to why you want to meet up and be specific in your ask. Provide a couple days/times for the conversation. Be specific on when you will follow-up to your initial request, too.

 Once you've booked a meeting, then what? What do ask? How do you make the most of both of your time? I'll hook you up this Valentine's day with a conversation card.  Sign up to receive it in your inbox free next week.

Hungry for your dream job? Grab lunch!

Hungry for the job you want but just don't know how to get there?

I've been there.

My career path isn't straight. In fact, the twists of new interests and the turns of new seasons of life directed, and still do direct, my course.

Back in the day, I was miserable in event planning and I had my sights set on higher education, specifically academic and career advising. I knew NOTHING about the field besides the results that populated from my Google search terms. How did I proceed?

I crossed my fingers and emailed a COMPLETE STRANGER who was an academic advisor at a local university and asked her how she got there. I inquired about what I needed to do to get the job she had. I asked her to lunch.

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And you know what? She HELPED me…over said lunch! She even gave me feedback on my written statement for my graduate school application (per her advice to apply to grad school)…A STRANGER!!

Who do you need you to talk to? Let lunch lead the way.

Be a student of those that are in positions that pique your interest. Request new connections on LinkedIn. Meet new people over coffee. Learn from their story…and then start writing your own!

Need more tips to refine your job target? Download my free tip sheet here.