Networking Done Right

According to Duct Tape Marketing, the essence of marketing is to find people who know, like, and trust you enough so that they both send work to you and refer others to you for work that they need done.

Another way to say this is marketing is about building a web of trust or a strong network.

As with so many things, lessons learned in one context can be applied in others. Networking done right works in job seeking every bit as well as it does in small business or freelance marketing.

Dad was referred to Fritz by Mom, who worked there. Fritz eventually became FedEx Trade Networks (FTN). Mom retired from FTN. Dad was still working there when my late wife Barbara was looking for a new job.

Dad referred her to FTN and she interviewed several times and was hired. He later retired from there.

Barbara worked there for 5 years. She was working there in 2015 when she took sick time to get surgery; she basically never recovered from the surgery & passed away from complications of it in 2016.

Her employer-paid benefits kept me going after she passed. They allowed me to pay off the mortgage & to cover my bills while I dealt with my grief at her passing.

After a time, I decided that I needed to find a job, rather than rebuild my business.

So, at my request, Dad referred me to a contact at FTN. That contact told me about openings that I would have missed otherwise because the job description made them sound as if I did not qualify.

The contact and the other people whom I interviewed with knew, liked, and trusted Dad and Barbara, which helped to get me past the interviews.

Now I’m working there. Because of my Barbara-to-Dad-to-Mom network of know, like, and trust.

None of this involved my family using their influence to get me hired. That would have been nepotism and I find even the appearance of nepotism disgusting.

No, this was not nepotism. It was networking.

I asked someone I knew that knew someone there to help me get past the first level of gatekeepers by extending their web of trust.

The experts say that this web of trust is very important if you want to have a better job or career, a successful business, or a life where you don’t have to struggle so hard. I’m now living proof that they are correct.

It’s not about who you know doing things for you directly. It’s about your network making it possible for you to take the first step or two on the path that you’ve chosen. You’re still walking the path, doing the work yourself. You just had help to get started — and it is important to admit that and be gratefully aware that you did not make it on your own. Be thankful for your network.

So, who is in your web of trust, your network of people who knows, likes, and trusts you?

Tim at work

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It’s Not About You

As we just had Mothers Day here in the USA, it struck me how some people fail to understand the meaning of the holiday. Simply put, it is to celebrate mothers, which we all had (and some of us still have with us).

It’s not about fathers, women who are not mothers but wanted to be, people who want to adopt, women who never wanted kids, or about children, pets, or any other living beings. Just mothers. This would seem to be obvious, yet every year many people who are not involved speak up with comments that amount to “what about me?”

There’s a saying that seems relevant here, although this is not the context in which I first heard it:

If it does not apply to you, don’t make it about you.

The word “holiday” is a shortened form of the term “holy day,” as in “the holy day of ” some particular saint or other specially-recognized person or group. It’s important to remember that, when something is “holy,” it is separate from everything else, in its own class with only other holy things.

A holy thing is not profane or mundane or common.

(And don’t even get me started on how commercial interests have muddied the waters by refusing to keep holiday “seasons” within their proper limits.)

To designate a holy day for recognition is to declare that what’s being recognized is special and we will spend this day focused on this special thing.

So, we really don’t need to hear from those not in a romantic relationship on Valentine’s Day, those who aren’t Americans on the 4th of July, those who aren’t Christians on Thanksgiving and Christmas, those who aren’t Muslims on Ramadan or Eid, those who aren’t Jewish on Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur, those who aren’t fathers on Fathers Day, those who aren’t mothers on Mothers Day, and so on — especially as most of them / us have a holiday on the calendar, as well.

I understand that it hurts to feel left out, but these holidays are not about you.

If it does not apply to you, don’t make it about you.

They are about focusing attention on one special thing for a brief period of time. As an adult, you should be able to take turns. That’s all this is — letting something or some one else be the center of attention for a bit. So, please let go of the microphone and let the designated speaker have their moment. Please just let the holiday be about the special thing.

Posted in Rants and Raves | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment