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Archive for July, 2011

Having Friends That Don’t Reflect Your Brand

July 30, 2011 Leave a comment

There is no question, the people we surround ourselves with directly reflect our own personal brand. It is always important to have people around you with the same or similar brand and goals so people do not get a misconception of who you are and what exactly it is you are about.

The biggest problem one can run into is having a friend or friends that you still maintain a close relationship with, however, do not exactly reflect your own personal brand. The worst thing a person can do is break that friendship or avoid them for fear of them negatively reflecting you. This will completely contradict your intensions of having a personal brand and networking. The easiest way to solve this problem is know where you are going and what type of people will be present there.  If you’re going to be hanging out with mutual friends or a more laid-back atmosphere it is of course fine to have them present. But if you’re going to be in a more professional setting or a place in which you know there will be potential contacts, you may want to hang out with them another night.

Another one of the biggest mistakes young professionals make is recommending or talking highly of an individual based solely on friendship.  I know that as a friend, you feel obligated to help them but this is the worst thing you can do if that friend is not as qualified or reliable as you claim. Their performance will ultimately reflect on you and bring question as to your own personal integrity, values and work ethic. Do not ever put yourself in that situation in less you truly have the utmost confidence in that persons capabilities.

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Networking for the Reserved

July 29, 2011 Leave a comment

Many people out there are very gifted but have trouble building bridges with others due to having a more reserved and shy personality. To get over this fear you must practice like anything else you would like to improve your performance at. The best way to practice is with friends and family who you feel comfortable with. This simply means having a normal conversation with them but concentrate more on being engaging and interesting. Do not ask a question with a simple yes or no answer and do not have a simple answer for a response. Have a response that is detailed enough to stem off on new subjects or thoughts that keeps the conversation going. Try to keep it on a topic that both parties have a mutual interest in. This makes the conversation less awkward and flow a lot easier.

You should also try your best to surround yourself with talkative and outgoing people. Not only will you learn from them on how to better your networking skills but you can also use them to introduce you to their network of friends. This makes the process that much easier and stress free especially when your still getting over your fear of approaching new people.

Last but not least, NEVER think you or what you have to offer socially or intellectually is obsolete or uninteresting. Everyone has something important to bring to the table. What you have to say is important and everyone will listen. You could even quite possibly engage someone else who had the same thoughts as you.  It is as simple as that. Now get out there and connect!

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Build Your Professional Career Socially

July 28, 2011 Leave a comment

When most people think about networking professionally they think it must be conducted in a professional setting. Whether it is at school, in the office, or through mutual professional friends. There is nothing wrong with networking in this fashion but many have the misconception that if you want good professional connections these are the best  places  to do it. This is wrong.

Believe it or not, most professionals have a life outside of their profession. When you are out on the town or at an informal event such as a BBQ or birthday this is a key time to meet new people and gain new connections. In my experiences, this is actually an easier time to approach someone with their guard down and have them open up to you. You aren’t approaching them with the standard questions they get everyday about professional advice or how they got where they are. You are speaking to them with a mutual interest as simple as baseball  or mountain biking.

Having this simple conversation builds trust and friendship. You are no longer another person asking the same question. But a friend they want to help out. This will open up future doors professionally and if nothing else builds a bridge with that person socially.

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The Frontier of Social Networking

July 20, 2011 4 comments

Many people ask me if college is really worth all the time and effort. The answer is simply yes. But not for your standard cliché reasons. Sure, the higher education you receive is a key to success especially in the economy we live in today. However, something that I believe is underestimated is the power of connections and networking you receive while in college.

During my college career I have met countless people that otherwise I would have never have spoken to. Some people stay just the simple acquaintance you say hello to while passing in the streets or on campus, others become major influences on your future. An education can get you far, but soon you will need to use your social connections to gain that competitive advantage.

Reno is physically a fairly small city so it is quite easy for someone to become well known in the community. If you need a job, you can ask around and find a job with less effort solely due to the fact you know someone. Most of my past and current jobs would have been nearly impossible to be hired or given an opportunity if it were not for knowing someone or being recommended by a peer or classmate.

The key word of course is Reno is physically a small city, but can give you a very massive advantage even outside its boundaries. On a recent vacation to Las Vegas, a few nights on the strip proved to be a lesson on how huge and important networking can be. We happened to run into many past classmates who have recently received their degrees from UNR and are now living and working in Las Vegas. A night that could have been a huge blow to my bank account became a very inexpensive outing due to knowing many of the employees at the nightclubs and casinos. Free cover, free drinks and free limousines in a foreign town can really give you an appreciation for social networking from a different standpoint.

Social networking is a key to success in life and in the business world. It will be a guaranteed factor in getting a good, high paying job currently and in the future. It will also being key to receiving perks and benefits in day-to-day life. Networking can put a great amount of money in your pocket and keep it there!

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