For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a big fan of making every experience a learning experience. I suppose it comes from being raised by a family of teachers – mom, dad, 2 aunts, uncle, & a sister-in-law. Some families do the military. Some have generations of doctors or lawyers. My family, we teach.
So it’s no surprise that I had some pretty clear takeaways when I started my pharmaceutical sales job search. The most glaring came when I looked at myself in the mirror and said, “Dad was right, it’s all about who you know. And I know a lot fewer people than I thought I did.” I’ve always been good at networking. I’ve always been good at talking to people and connecting them to one another. So what was the problem, then? I was “digging” without direction.
Bussiness great Harvey Mackay’s book, , addresses the particular issue that I was having (and I’m sure you’ve had at some point). I was “digging” but I wasn’t “digging a well
.” I was just meeting people, making friends, and making connections. I thought I was networking but I didn’t build in any way for me to leverage these relationships should I need to do so in the future. Lesson learned.
If you’re job search has not been what you thought it would be, I’d venture to say that you’ve suffered from the same issue. Start today. When you’ve quenched your thirst and landed a pharmaceutical sales job, continue digging wells, making connections, and keeping them close to you.
Here are two ways to build networking into your life.
- Spend 15 minutes a day, every day, networking. Call a friend you haven’t talked to in over a month. Write a letter or two to a family member or business associate (current or former), send a nice-to-have-met-you postcard to someone you traded business cards with casually.
- Attend some sort of social event each week. Attend a Chamber of Commerce coffee. Joint a club or civic organization. Visit with the other parents at your son’s baseball game. Make networking events a part of your weekly schedule.
In the end, life is about lessons. Move forward with the networking you’ve started to get this job, but don’t make the same mistake again.
! Steven Covey’s review of the book said it best, “[It is] A mother lode of timely, hard-earned, bite-size, street-smart golden nuggets– invaluable for job seekers, employed or unemployed.” And Covey knows a thing or two about success.
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