Job Secret: Networking Cards to Bust Open New Opportunities

Are you considering a significant change of direction, career-wise?

Would you prefer NOT to be associated with your current employer or company when meeting new people?

Well then, you may want your business card to reflect this with a very small investment in a custom Networking Cards. (Don’t worry. This isn’t a sales pitch. Just some real good career advice! Read on…)

Today, you can create a customized Networking Card for your specific goal—whether you’re pursuing a career change, post-college job search or entrepreneurial dream.

Unlike your typical business card, which features your employer’s company brand, slogan and contact information, your Networking Card puts YOU front and center!

Your Networking Card lets you:

  • Make the appropriate impact on any important new acquaintance
  • Clearly state your personal “selling points” to entice your new contacts Share all your relevant contact details so that you can easily be reached
  • Connect on a professional level without having to carry/give a cumbersome resume.

In a way, your Networking Cards act like a tiny resume to remind your contact of who you are, what you have to offer and how they can get in touch with you.

In addition to the obvious elements like your name, email address and telephone numbers, your Networking Card should include professional qualifications (CFA, MSW, Esq.) if relevant to your goal.

And if you have a personal web site, online portfolio, or a LinkedIn URL, you may want to include it on your Networking Card. Also, don’t be shy about listing some of your key skills and accomplishments.

Call outs like, “Lean Six Sigma Black Belt”, “Award Winning Sales Closer”, and “Certified Administrative Professional ®” work well.

Taking your Networking Card a step farther, try developing a concise slogan or personal mission statement to express what it is that makes you stand out—have this statement up at the top, just beneath your name.

Here’s an example: Innovative marketing leader specializing in change management, staff development and strategic relationships.

Today, there are lots of low-cost options for designing and printing the perfect Networking Card. Want to project an image of creativity, innovation or professionalism? It’s all possible and as close as your keyboard. Many online vendors offer a variety color, font and graphic combinations–best of all they’re already in template form and super-easy for you to customize.

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How To Avoid The New-Idea Trap

More technology. More suppliers. More products and services. More social media tools. More business tools.

New opportunities to improve our bottom-line performance are constantly “raining down” on us these days, making it a challenge to decide which to seriously consider and which to just let slide by.

Here are four skills that standout leaders use to successfully deal with the seemingly unlimited number of “potentially amazing” things that come their way.

1. They have a game plan for their business. Your game plan represents the CONTEXT for evaluating the new stuff that comes along. Think about your game plan as your touchstone from which you determine which new options you should consider. For example, a new digital technology will make sense to consider only if it is a better fit to achieve the revenue growth targets in your game plan than the technology you currently use.

2. They avoid “the chase” activity trap. It’s real easy to get caught up in running down every new thing that people present to you. And the chase never ends because there is ALWAYS something new being thrown at you. It’s not about what cool things the new stuff can do. It IS about how the new stuff fits your game plan and how it can better enable you to execute it. Let the dogs chase the cars. YOU thoughtfully sift through “the new” using your game plan as the criterion for applying your resources to evaluating new possibilities.

3. They set priorities for looking at “the new.” Remember, this evaluation activity will disrupt your focus on executing your game plan, so you have to be very careful not to waste precious time and effort. Pick no more than three “new” possibilities; rank them in order of positive potential impact and have a go at number one. And decide what you are going to give up if you take on something new. “Piling on” new work on top of existing work will drag you down and prevent you from achieving your goals.

4. They put the stop watch on new evaluations. If you don’t, evaluations could go on and on and on and on; “creeping incrementalism” in my words. And you may never make a decision as a result. The objective is to BE QUICK in your assessments, so you can then move on to the integration and execution phase. I have seen people on “the chase” with NO stop watch that NEVER returned to their game plan. They disappeared in “the new” analysis do-loop and never got out of it.

New stuff is potentially dangerous. It can take your eye of the ball. It can distract you from execution. And it can gobble up your precious resources of time and money.

Be disciplined in how you handle it.

You don’t have to chase everything that comes your way like many do.

It’s ok to pass up new sexy stuff that isn’t a fit for you.

photo credit: via photopin cc