Monday, September 1, 2014

Should You Ever Turn Down a Networking Opportunity?

Without any prompting, someone in your network offers to introduce you to a mover-and-shaker. Who would be crazy enough to turn that opportunity down? 

Believe it or not, that would be you, because there is an instance in which your most professional option is to decline. Read on to learn when you should make it work, when you should say, “No thank you,” and how to do both.

Read the rest of my latest Daily Muse post here.

What You Should (and Shouldn't) Do When You're Waiting to Hear Back About a Job

You know that you’re capable of being a top-tier applicant (that’s why you’re here!). You’re the type to take your career ambitions into your own hands—build your network, do your research, rock the interview, and write an awesome thank you note.

But then it’s the hiring manager’s turn, and you have to shift gears from proactive to patient. Isn’t there anything you can do?

The short answer is, making the switch from “full steam ahead” to “wait and see” mode is the most important step (but more on that later). Read on for a breakdown of the dos and don’t’s while you’re waiting to hear back.

Read the rest of my latest Daily Muse post here.

Friday, August 8, 2014

How to (Non-Awkwardly) Reach Out to Old Contacts

According to a recent Inc. article, the most valuable people in your network are your “dormant ties,” defined as people you used to know but don’t currently keep in touch with. And while that may be true, I’d argue it’s only the first piece of the puzzle. How you reach out is just as critical as to whom.

Think about it: When an old associate contacts you out of the blue, you’re either pleased or perplexed to hear from him or her. If a former employee reaches out thoughtfully—perhaps with an article of interest, a compliment on a recent achievement, or a succinct ask—you’re much more likely to respond than if he or she feigns being your long lost best friend (it happens, and it’s not pretty).

To make sure you’re communicating the right way, here are three different methods you can use to reach out to former contacts.

Read the rest of my latest Daily Muse post here.

Monday, July 28, 2014

3 Times You Shouldn't Delegate (and 3 You Really Should)

“Non-delegator” sounds so much nicer than “control freak” or “know-it-all,” but truth be told, that’s just semantics. Delegating can be scary—especially if you’ve been burned before and if you know exactly how you like things done—but I probably don’t have to tell you that it’s a crucial part of moving up the ladder.

That said, that instinct to hold some projects close to the vest isn’t always a bad thing. Sometimes you really should keep a project on your own plate. The trick is knowing when you should pass a task along (hint: the correct answers go way beyond when you’re too swamped to care how it’s done) and to whom.

So, take a deep breath, have faith that your colleagues and employees are capable of doing a great job, too, and use the guide below to discern if you’re keeping a project because it’s the sensible (rather than territorial) choice.

See the rest of my latest Daily Muse post here.

Monday, July 7, 2014

How to Continue the Conversation After Someone Writes You Back on LinkedIn

When LinkedIn sends you a note that your InMail was accepted and a new contact wrote you back, it’s hard not to get a little excited. You knocked your initial outreach out of the park (need tips for that? We’ve got ’em), and now you’ve started a dialogue with someone new.

However, don’t get too cocky: One response doesn’t mean the hard part is over. Writing a killer (in either sense of the word) follow-up will dictate the rest of your interaction.

So, what should you do? Follow these four rules of continued correspondence over LinkedIn.

Read the rest of my latest Daily Muse post here.