Holistic Networking

by Thomas E. Kenny

As we expand our professional network we are developing warm trusted relationships. Dare I say that we are actually creating friendships? After all in a true warm trusted relationship we are mutually present and available to help each other. Thus in our network there is no us vs. them. All that exist is us!

This weekend I'm participating in a time honored tradition of one of my avocations. Across the US and Canada amateur (ham) radio operators will be sending "CQ Field Day" via wireless communication modes of voice, keyboard and good old Morse code. Ham radio enthusiast have annually set up portable wireless shortwave radio stations "in the field" for 75 years.

The main purpose of field day is to make as many two-way radio contacts as your group can during a continual 24 hour (work through the night) emergency preparedness drill. Even in this day and age of internet and satellite communications, it takes at least a day or more for emergency organizations to mobilize. Essentially ham radio operators are embedded in every community and from all walks of life, ready to provide emergency communications as a service to the community stricken by a disaster. We've helped for months after 9-11 and Hurricane Katrina as well as thousands of other hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, floods and ice storms.

However there is also a softer social side to field day as well. Many clubs around the country will host a BBQ. They may also host a local publicity table which is open to the public to learn more about the vast hobby. If you'd like to know more about ham radio (Morse code is no longer required) please feel free to send me an E-mail.

So what does this have to do with networking? Well I have procured many of my past and I'm sure future employment opportunities thanks to my ham radio friends. Demonstrating that a hobby, charity or community service work is not an isolated network! Since we are all connected via various common interests, never think of your life as being segmented into categories. We don't have a separate work life, home life, and hobby life. We have one life which consists of family, friends, colleagues, network, clients, suppliers, et cetra and they are all connected.

That mindset is how I define “Holistic Networking”.

Live it, share it and keep networking alive!

LinkedIn Questions and Answers

by Thomas E. Kenny

On the June 25, 2008 ETP Network member conference call I discussed the benefits of using the LinkedIn Answers feature.

An audio recording of the entire conference call is available to ETP members via our browser toolbar and below are the slides that I used to present this topic.

LinkedIn Transition Strategy

by Thomas E. Kenny

Are you not sure where to start first when you suddenly experience an unexpected employment transition? Well having a great strategy to leverage LinkedIn can make a world of difference. The following check list contains suggestions you should consider or act upon to the make best use of LinkedIn while you are in transition. However these tips are also useful even if you happen to be in between transitions.

1. What is LinkedIn?
  • It is a free online web site for professionals to find and be found.
  • Some call it the Facebook for professionals.
  • The largest professional network and 4th for all social networking sites
  • (1=MySpace, 2=Facebook, 3=Classmates)
  • Premium $20 or $50 upgrade useful for high end (recruiters) but most only need a free account.
  • Over 5 years old
  • Over 23 million users on LinkedIn (June 2008)
  • 1.2 million new users per month
  • 350% YOY (year over year) growth
  • Strong growing presence and there is no sign of it slowing down.
  • Proven networking platform unlike the latest greatest new social networking site with a small user base that begs for your contacts and may be gone tomorrow.
  • Unlike posting a resume on a job board participation it does not necessarily indicate you are in a job search.
  • Keep in touch with what is happening within your network
  • Provides current email addresses for your contacts but unlike Plaxo there is no spam mail.
  • Extends your network beyond who you know to the friends of your friend's friends.
  • 1st degree = your friend
  • 2nd degree = your friend’s friend
  • 3rd degree = a friend of your friend’s friend
2. Update your LinkedIn Profile
  • Consider your profile to be a full (not-targeted) online resume.
  • Is your most recent experience is articulated? Relevant, on brand for your next position?
  • Consistent with your general purpose resume? Discrepancies can cause a red flag.
  • Transition employment gap? Abandoning a new consulting practice? Volunteering?
  • Assure you include complete industry info, associations and society information.
  • Diversity in terminology will improve search hits by recruiters and hiring mangers:
  • Profession: PMP, PMI, Project Manager and Project Management
  • Full corporate name and initials such as Johnson & Johnson and J&J
  • Names of Universities, professional organizations, etc.
3. Questions and Answers
  • ExecuNet states 83% of recruiters search for a candidate's online presence.
  • 43% have disqualified candidates due to the candidate’s online presence.
  • Not finding a positive reinforcing online presence can be a serious disadvantage.
  • If you don't have your own web site nor blog, demonstrate your expertise via answers.
  • Answers may help establish connections with networking candidates and opportunities.
  • Be careful asking questions to not expose a deficiency that can be asked at an interview.
4. Grow your network
  • Mine email address book(s) and archive to reconnect on LinkedIn but don't be a spammer!
  • Search your mind for positive professional relationships and search for those individuals.
  • Search and join corporate alumni groups. Create one if one doesn’t exist.
  • Groups extend your network (find and be found) without establishing 1st degree connections.
  • Groups help you to be found by recruiters but it also helps you to find other professionals with the same interest.
  • My website lists: 3 LinkedIn group directories and Google beta for LinkedIn group searchs.
  • Face-to-face and online networking events: meet, get to know, connect on LinkedIn.
  • Avoid premature invitations since it's best to develop a relationship first.
  • There is no value in a connections numbers game except for recruiters.
  • Growing your network will help you to find advocates in target companies.
  • NEVER use the default canned invite messages. Indicates lack of developing a relationship.
  • Use an RSS feed reader to read network updates. (job status change, new connections)
  • Export your connections and store a backup (web based email, burn a CD, USB drive)
  • Better yet consider using a CRM such as JibberJobber.com
  • During my last transition I almost lost every thing due to a hard drive malfunction!
Conclusion: LinkedIn is the place to find professionals to network with and to be found!

For additional info:

www.thomasekenny.com which contains a link to my 8 page LinkedIn FAQ

Jason Alba has written "the" book on LinkedIn titled "I'm on LinkedIn -- Now What???" which also has a blog associated with it.

Social Networking and Collectible Cars Mingle

As we know the world is an event, our ETP Network partner organization, Westchester New Rochelle Networking Group, is hosting a business networking social June 17, 2008 at New York City's #1 collectible car dealership TNT Classic Cars. This is a unique venue where people can travel back to yesteryear viewing vintage cars from the 30's, 40's, 50's and 60's, while connecting with like minded career professionals and business owners. Ahhh . . . they don't build cars like that any more.

Although this opportunity to network may be a hike from your neck of the woods, you can still network long distance. Maybe you have family, friends or associates in the New York, New Jersey or Connecticut area. [Re]Connect with them by letting them know about this event. Use the email or phone call about this networking event as an excuse to catch up with someone you haven't spoken to in a while. It doesn't matter, if they go to the event or not. You're just letting someone know you were thinking about them and you care about their success. This simple gesture is a networking home run!!

Click here for details on this networking opportunity.