Posted on Mar 26, 2015
MAJ Raúl Rovira
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Recently I took leave to attend a 3 day conference in Anchorage, AK. It is the Governors Health & Safety Conference or #GHSC. I saw this as an opportunity to network. It was a great conference.

In the end, I made more valuable contacts and networking in this one conference that I did in the past 3 job fairs I've attended. I share this with the group so as you transition, find a conference in your area and attend it. Look your best, bring business cards, and know your Elevator Speech just in case.

With this I ask, do you have a great networking tip to share?

Bonus: You never know who you run into at a conference. Picture included is myself on the left and 1LT Brian Peeler (ret) on the right. When I was cadre at WTB Alaska Brian was one of our Warriors in Transition. He made an incredible recovery and now works for NIT in Alaska. NIT employs over 50% of veterans.
Edited 9 y ago
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Responses: 7
SFC Donald Neal
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I was referred to the books "What color is your parachute?" and "Knock 'Em Dead" where networking is covered. Everyone is spot on with using volunteer opportunities, places of worship, and other venues to meet and grow your personal/professional network. As a retiring senior NCO, I also made note to not just seek to meet people who could help me, but to ensure I was available to meet people that I can help. It's a two way street and we're all the first step in looking out for one another.
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MAJ Raúl Rovira
MAJ Raúl Rovira
9 y
SFC Donald Neal, this is the second time on the same day that I hear about the book "What Color is Your Parachute". I had an informational interview today and the HR manager brought it up. And now from you post. That' it!!! its been sitting inside my Kindle for way too long.

That will be my April book. Thank you for the book recommendation.
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LTC Yinon Weiss
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There are many tips to cover, and networking is incredibly important... it's one of the main reasons I co-founded RallyPoint! Here are a few:

1. Be proactive and reach out to people, whether in person or online.

2. Don't ask for a job or even for their "help" - ask for their perspective and advice. Tell them about yourself and your goals, and given them the opportunity to help, but don't force it.

3. Always follow up with them after your discussion, no matter how it goes. If you met in person, make sure you ask for their business card or have a way to get their information. Send them a follow up note thanking them for their time. If they were particularly helpful, send an old fashion thank you note in the postal mail... people will remember that.

4. Before finishing up your discussion, ask them "Do you have anybody else in mind that you think I should speak to?" -- this will make your next conversation easy, as you will have a warm intro -- and you will likely be more on the right track since the previous person chose that one person for you to speak to out of everybody they know. Also, it's a tough question to say no to, since everybody knows somebody who can help.

5. Retain those who are helpful in your contact list, and follow up over time. If you found the opportunity you wanted after 6 months, send them an update and let them know how they helped you along the way. If you are still looking, let them know. People like to have follow up and ultimate closure, and people like to know that the time they invested in you ultimately helped. Even after the objective of your initial conversation is long expired, stay in touch with folks and keep them updated. Maybe they can help you again in the future... or maybe you can even help them! That's why we have a network after all, isn't it? To help each other.
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MAJ Raúl Rovira
MAJ Raúl Rovira
9 y
MAJ Yinon Weiss, you just gave us very powerful advice on networking. I will have to share the collective answers on my next TAP/VOW class.

I liked #5 where you stated to follow up and bring closure. I never considered it.

Thank you for sharing your unique experience.
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CAPT Stu Merrill
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I guarantee you that sometime, somewhere that you'll have an awkward uncomfortable outreach attempt. That's the fear that holds us all back.

So what?!

Should we let the fear of one awkward, uncomfortable conversation hold us back from all the great insights, recommendations, and leads that we can get from the 100's of other outreach attempts that we make?

So wipe off your sweaty palms, pick up the phone, knock on the door, or type out the email and expand your horizons and expand your opportunities.
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