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Using Mind Maps and Networking


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  • 1.
    • Using Mind Maps and Networking
    • in Career Planning
    • OR:
    • “ How to make effective use of your brain
    • and the people around you to discover
    • your ideal job and then get it!”
    • Jonathan Wolff
    • Careers Adviser
    • Loughborough University
  • 2. What I intend to cover:
    • Brief introduction to Mind Mapping
      • Purpose and concept
      • General applications (e.g. study skills)
    • Applications of Mind Mapping to career research/planning
    • Applying Mind Mapping to developing a network of contacts
      • A practical exercise
    • Developing a networking strategy
      • Emphasis on networking as a two-way process
      • Networking DOs and DONT’s
    • Resources on Mind Mapping & networking
  • 3. Mind Mapping
    • Dynamic method of recording information & ideas
    • Developed by psychologist Tony Buzan - early 1970s
    • Mirrors the brain’s processes
    • Makes more efficient use of the brain than normal linear
    • methods of taking notes and recording ideas
  • 4. Mind Mapping Personal experience of its value
    • Over last 30+ yrs it’s helped me, amongst other things, to:
      • Overcome very slow hand-writing in taking notes
      • Improve revision leading to better exam results
      • Plan strategy as head of a university department
      • Plan successful bids for five government funded projects
      • Succeed in ALL my applications/interviews over last 20 years
      • Learn long speeches from Shakespeare
  • 5. Developing a Mind Map – The four essential characteristics:
    • The main topic is summarised as a central
    • image, word or phrase
    • The main themes radiate from the central image as branches
    • Branches comprise of a key word, image or topic presented on an associated line - they divide out into further higher level sub branches
    • Branches and sub-branches form a connected
    • structure.
  • 6.  
  • 7. A Mind Map makes use of:
    • Colour - used to differentiate areas of the Mind Map
    • Visual images - used to illustrate different themes/topics
    • - Small images can capture complex memories/feelings
    • - These aid the process of memory and recall
  • 8.  
  • 9. Advantages of Mind Maps over linear methods in recording information/ideas:
    • A large number of complex ideas can be compressed
    • into a single page
    • They are created in an organic and flexible way
    • - Links can be drawn between any items or sections
    • - New ideas can be added in any direction – this makes them
    • good for brainstorming
    • They mirror the way in which the brain works
    • - They can incorporate: colour/visual images/compressed ideas
    • SO
    • - They are easier to memorise/recall than a linear list
    • - They give very personal access to feelings/thoughts/memories
  • 10. VERY MANY Applications to learning & planning, including:
    • Note taking in lectures etc.
    • Planning assignments & presentations
    • - Proven technique for dyslexics
    • - Mind Mapping software will turn mind maps into structured,
    • linear, Word and PowerPoint documents
    • Putting together exam revision notes
    • Group brainstorming & strategic planning tasks
    • Linking to other creative techniques
    • - Memorising notes, speeches etc.
  • 11. Applying Mind Maps to career planning and job hunting
    • They provide an excellent way of organising
    • your ideas about yourself on paper
    • This can be useful at all stages of the career
    • planning or job hunting process.
  • 12. Using Mind Maps for career planning & research
    • Creating a picture of your knowledge of yourself
    • - The starting point for understanding what careers will suit you
    • Brainstorming career ideas & how you’ll research them
    • Mapping out contacts who can help you (more later!)
    • Writing action plans
  • 13.  
  • 14. Using Mind Maps for job hunting 1. Written Applications
    • Brainstorming evidence of your competencies, when
    • preparing your CVs and Application Forms
    • Planning the content of a covering Letter or section
    • of an Application Form
    • Mapping out the structure of a CV
    • - Mind mapping software enables you to turn mind maps into
    • structured Word documents
  • 15. Using Mind Maps for job hunting 2. Interview Preparation
    • Mapping out an interview presentation
    • Preparing an overall picture of yourself related to the job
    • - Skills, interests, experience etc.
    • Preparing answers to specific interview questions e.g.:
    • - What can you offer to this job?
    • - Why are you applying this job?
    • Memorising Mind Maps will make it easier to recall
    • information/answers in the interview
  • 16.  
  • 17. Using Mind Maps for networking
    • Brainstorming lists of potential networks and contacts you
    • can use for researching options
    • Planning a networking strategy
    • Preparing for networking interviews
    • Mapping networking outcomes
  • 18.
    • It is the most effective way of getting realistic information & advice
    • about career opportunities and jobs
    • Networking referrals will typically generate 80% more
    • replies than a cold call
    • Every person you meet has 200 – 250 people with whom
    • they connect who can potentially assist you
    • Anyone that you might want to meet or contact in the
    • world, is only five to six people contacts away from you
    • 70 – 80 % of all jobs are found through networking
    • If we become good at it, this will enable us to be effective in every
    • aspect of our lives (e.g. employment, leisure activities, supporting family)
    • “ Only one in ten people is actually comfortable in striking up a
    • relationship with a complete stranger”
    Benefits of career networking
  • 19. Identifying contacts
    • If you want to develop new contacts, think of all the
    • networks you have belonged to:
      • Your extended family
      • The schools, colleges, universities you have attended
      • Clubs, societies, organisations you have been a member of
      • Places that you have worked
      • Your partner’s or children's networks of friends
      • Other Networks?
    • All the above could give access to many contacts
      • Some will have formal networks
      • All individual contacts will have many contacts of their own
  • 20.  
  • 21. Mind mapping exercise
    • Think of at least two career areas you want to research
    • Produce a mind-map like the example in 10 minutes :
      • It will be rough, without colours or diagrams
      • Aim is to get 25 contacts/organisations you could follow up
      • Note: people in non-graduate jobs can have many contacts
      • (e.g. the hairdresser in the example mind map)
      • Prize to 1 st group of four with 100 contacts between them!
    • In the next few weeks – develop a proper mind map
  • 22.
    • “ A power that comes from a spirit of giving and
    • sharing”
    • “ An organised way of creating links from people we know
    • to people they know for a specific purpose”
    • “ Giving, contributing to and supporting others without
    • keeping score”
    • “ Fostering self-help and the exchange of information”
    • “ Ensuring the right to ask a favour without hooks”
    Networking definitions (Jon Warner) – these all Focus on building relationships
  • 23. Using contacts in everyday life
    • Are you good at networking and using contacts?
    • You have probably used networking already in:
      • Choosing and finding jobs and courses
      • Carrying out your work effectively
      • Finding a plumber, electrician etc.
      • Planning social activities for yourself and/or family
      • Making expensive purchases: car/computer/holiday etc.
    • If you’ve done any of the above –
      • You’ll be able to get advice on planning a career
  • 24.
    • Likes to do most things by him/herself
    • Doesn’t want to bother or worry other people
    • Feels his/her knowledge and skills are often superior to
    • most people
    • Only asks for help as a last resort (and when it may be
    • too late
    • Networking consequences for people of this type:
      • - Unable to benefit from Networking at all!
    Four networking types (Warner) 1. Loner
  • 25.
    • Tries to make a friend of everyone she/he meets
    • Tends to know people’s names/faces but not what they do
    • Is not normally systematic or ordered about follow-up –
    • contact is random
    • May not listen too deeply and is quick to move on
    • Networking consequences for people of this type:
      • - Knows little of substance about personal skills and
      • resources so is Unable to share skills
    • - Networking is random, following little or no formal contact system
    Four networking types (Warner) 2. Socialiser
  • 26.
    • Is likely to collect business cards without really connecting
    • with people
    • Tries to make ‘sales’ or ‘pitches’ on the first encounter
    • Talks and focuses on own agenda rather than to gather
    • information
    • Has superficial interactions
    • Keeps score when giving favours
    • Networking consequences for people of this type:
      • - Creates little benefit for themselves or others
    • - Creates a bad impression – gives networking a bad name!
    Four networking types (Warner) 3. User
  • 27.
    • Has a giving disposition or abundance mentality
    • Is generally happy to ask others for help or guidance
    • Listens and learns about people carefully
    • Is regularly on the look-out for useful information from
    • which others can also benefit
    • Has a well ordered and organised networking system
    • Networking consequences for people of this type:
      • - Takes a long-term perspective on relationships with others; thinks
      • more about what he/she can give or offer than about the return
    • - Is someone whom others really want to network with!
    Four networking types (Warner) 4. Builder
  • 28.
    • LONER fears looking too pushy or too weak
    • SOCIALISER fears rejection
    • USER is selfish; fears having too much obligation to others
    • All these fears must be lessened or overcome if
    • networking is to be effective
    • BUILDER has good self esteem without being
    • overconfident
    Maintaining self esteem - Overcoming the fear of networking
  • 29. Possible networking outcomes
    • Key areas that contacts can help you with:
    • A: Self Reflection & Awareness
    • B: Action Planning
    • C: Acquisition of Knowledge & Understanding About
    • Career & Training Opportunities
    • D: Experience & Observation of Work Activities
    • E: Increasing Access to Contacts, Networks & Information
    • Sources
    • F: Development of Skills & Abilities
    • For a detailed list of possible outcomes see :
  • 30. Networking DO’S (Warner) 
    • Ask others for help
    • Be friendly, warm and sincere
    • Be persistent in following up and following through
    • Focus carefully on learning people’s names
    • Be helpful to others even if there is no immediate or
    • direct benefit to you
    • Stay in touch regularly and systematically
    • Always carry calling cards
    • Get known as being well-connected (and a valuable
    • resource for others)
    • Sit next to strangers at events (not alone or with
    • people you know)
    • Keep networking even when you think you can stop
  • 31. Networking DON’TS (Warner) 
    • Don’t be impatient. Results and benefits can come
    • when you least expect them and often take time
    • Don’t lose sight of your ultimate goal or objective
    • Don’t expect too much of others
    • Don’t have hidden agendas (not being up-front and
    • straightforward with others)
    • Don’t be insensitive to value, belief & culture differences
    • Don’t fail to follow through when you are given leads
    • Don’t contact people only when you need something
    • Don’t go for quantity over quality in your relationships
    • Don’t try to do too much and spread yourself too thinly
    • Don’t try to network in a way that doesn’t fit your style
  • 32. Planning an effective networking programme
    • Be aware both of what your contacts could do for you and
    • also what you could do for them
    • Ask contacts for “help and advice”
      • - Never, initially, “can you get me a job/placement?”
    • Set yourself objectives before you start networking
      • - Review these at the end of each meeting
    • Prepare for each networking meeting & reflect afterwards
    • on the outcomes
    • - Research your contact and their organisation
    • - Prepare a detailed list of questions
    • - Keep notes of suggested action points
  • 33. Networking resources
    • Loughborough Careers Centre guide:
    • “ Networking - the art of using contacts”
    • Download this guide from
    • Explains the mechanics of:
      • How networking works
      • How to create a list of contacts
      • How to make effective use of those contacts
    • This guide is supported by a range of associated exercises and support materials
    • - Electronic version provides hyperlinks to all support materials
    • (many of these developed at Brunel– Proactive Mentoring project, 2002 )
  • 34.
    • Books by Tony Buzan held in the Brunel library:
    • (several copies of most + videos)
    • “ Use your head : Innovative Learning and Thinking Techniques to fulfil your potential”
    • “ Master your memory : more inspiring ways to increase the power of your memory, focus and creativity”
    • “ Use your memory”
    • “ The mind map book”
    • Tony Buzan’s Mind-Mapping website:
    • Mind Mapping software:
      • Inspiration available on Brunel Intranet, accessible to all students and staff – provided by the Disability and Dyslexia Service
    Mind Mapping resources
  • 35. And finally: An online link to this presentation is available at: Any questions?