1. Not doing your research.
- Make sure you know who will help you and why. Understand your business and how it works. Research which are the companies that you want to work with and which are the ones that you don't. If you don’t you run the risk of blowing the job.
- I called someone without researching their company only to find that they didn't work in Europe like I thought they did. So my pitch about my European background was wasted.
2. Networking with the wrong people.
- A Career Fair may be a great place for some people looking for a job but not always. A lawyer I know wasted an afternoon meeting with fast-food providers looking for entry-level staff. She didn't want to learn to flip!
- If you are an actor the best place to get a job is hanging out with other actors but with buyers - producers and directors. Hang out for support but not for opportunities.
- Watch out for scams, opportunists and ne-er-do-wells. Don't pay for a networking opportunity unless you have checked it out and got some good feedback. Be smart!
2. Not being clear why you are there.
- Do you want information?
- Do you want names?
- Do you want job leads?
- Do you want to get free food?
Make sure you have a purpose and stick to it.
3. Be prepared.
- Be ready with business cards, resumes and a calendar if you want to schedule a meeting.
- Have your personal pitch down.
- Don't go and network and then leave town for three weeks. Be ready!
4. Set a positive intention.
- Be clear what you want the networking to be. Effortlesss? Easy? Fun? If you say what you want there is a good chance you can get it. If you don't then who knows.
5. Help yourself first.
- It's great to be of service and to help other people but if you help yourself first then you are in a much better place to do good for others. No job means no money.
6. Listen to your heart.
- If it feels right then it probably is. If it sounds too good to be true it probably is.
David Couper is a career coach and writer who for the last twenty years has worked in Europe, Asia, and in the USA with major organizations including the BBC, Fuji Television, Mattel, Sony, and Warner Bros.
He has successfully coached individuals at all levels including CEOs of major companies wanting a new challenge, frustrated souls wanting to make their dream come true, and front-line employees laid off and desperate to get a job.
David has published seven books. His works on interpersonal skills, counseling in the workplace, and management issues (published by Connaught, Gower, HRD Press, Longman, Macmillan/Pearson Publishing, Oxford University Press) have been translated into Swedish, Polish, and Danish, and published in the UK and the USA.
David has a degree in Communication, a postgraduate qualification in education, is certified in a number of training technologies, and has a Masters in Psychology. He is a member of the American Society of Training and Development, Society of Human Resources Professional, Writers Guild and the British Academy of Film and Television.
He has dual US/UK citizenship and speaks French and Japanese.
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