Professional Networking for the IT Geek


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Michael Fisher's presentation on Networking for the IT Geek

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Professional Networking for the IT Geek

  1. 1. Michael FisherMolina Healthcare, Inc.
  2. 2. Michael Fisher• 25+ years IT experience• Currently Supervisor of Desktop Support for Molina Healthcare in Long Beach, CA• HDI Certified Support Center Manager• President Orange County HDI Chapter …and an avid amateur musician!
  3. 3. According to US Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2001:• 5% of people get jobs through “open” job market (Print & online)• Another 24% get jobs through “cold calling” companies• 48% get jobs through referrals - NETWORKSAccording to BLS in 2010:• 40% of jobs filled are never advertised in public• 30% of jobs are filled by someone known to the employer How do these connections happen?  NETWORKING 
  4. 4. I learned about Networking the hard way.• I am a longtime IT geek.• I was more comfortable with e-contact than face- to-face encounters.• Networking was fuzzy and unfamiliar… ∴ It was to be avoided.
  5. 5. I learned about Networking the hard way.• I had an unexpected job loss in 2004.• Started Networking from ZERO.• Made lots of rookie Networking mistakes…• …but I figured it out.
  6. 6. Network (net-wərk), n. An interconnectedsystem of things or people.But it’s used as a Verb, too…
  7. 7. Architect (“I architected this site” )Gift (“She gifted me” )Regift (“I regifted that fruitcake” )Dialogue (“We dialogued” )Signature (“It’s a signatured baseball” ) And of course…
  8. 8. Network (net-wərk), v. to cultivate people who can be helpful to one professionally, esp. in finding employment or moving to a higher position.• Networking is about building relationships.• It’s a verb, not a noun. Networking is something you have to DO.
  9. 9. NETWORKING IS NOT ALWAYS COMFORTABLE• We are Geeks. We are more comfortable with devices and GUIs than with people.• Networking takes you out of your comfort zone.
  10. 10. Networking is about making and building connections with PEOPLE. In Real Time.It involves: Talking to people. Calling people. Remembering people. Meeting people. Connecting people. HELPING PEOPLE.
  11. 11. • Networking isn’t about “What can you do for me?”• It’s about “What can I do for you?”
  12. 12. • Volunteer your time  Offer to help out at an event  Help someone with their key project  What can you do that nobody else can?• Positive Encouragement  Find out what they’re doing, and show your interest
  13. 13. • Expertise  You have a unique and valid POV  Share information, advice and perspectives  Position yourself as a valued expert• Connections  As you build it, your network will become a valuable commodity  Look for ways to connect people  This will make YOU a valuable resource
  14. 14. • Surfing Websites• Job Boards• Selling a Service or Product• Online Role-Playing Games• Wasting time• Partying Networking is a focused activity.
  15. 15. • Online Components • LinkedIn The • Facebook Big • Twitter 3• Plaxo, Spoke, Ning, Naymz, Foursquare, etc…
  16. 16. • Offline (In-Person) Components • Professional Conferences • HDI Local Chapter meetings • ITSMF • PMI • Find other local groups!
  17. 17. • It’s not a One-Night Stand, it’s an Ongoing Commitment• Make yourself Positively Memorable• Seek In-Person contact before Online contact.• “Help First, Ask Last.”• If help is offered, Take It. (Graciously!)  “Nothing will bind someone to you more firmly than if they have given you assistance.”
  18. 18. • Check your attitude• Redefine what it means to interact with “strangers”• Prepare and practice your self-introduction• Risk rejection – it’s not the end of the world• Go introduce yourself and find out how you can help! Source: UC Berkeley Career Center
  19. 19. In the next 5 minutes:• Introduce yourself to someone you’ve never met• Find out who they are and what they do• Find a way you can be of help to them Make a Connection!
  20. 20. • Stay on People’s Radar.  Social Media can be useful for this.• Offer to Help.  This makes you stand out.• Invest Time.  Small gestures go a long way.
  21. 21. • Over-reliance on one channel  DANGER: ONLINE CATNIP FOR THE GEEK!• Not Listening• Not Offering to Help• Sales and Marketing• Not being persistent about it
  22. 22. • Don’t Wait • Networks take time to build, START NOW!• Offer and Provide Help • Volunteer to help at events • Respond to requests for expertise • Share your experience
  23. 23. • Have an Objective• Set up Metrics • “The 15 Slots” • 15 meals per week - Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, Monday through Friday • How many of those 15 slots are you filling with Networking Opportunities? Source: Joel Ordesky @firqby
  24. 24. • Elevator Speech• Business Cards • Even if not employed – Business Cards are cheap • Include your LinkedIN URL and Twitter username on your card (and your resume!)
  25. 25. • Networking is essential to any 21st century career• It’s about “What can I do for you?”• Networking is not a Magic Bullet (you can network into bad jobs, too)• But it is how people get hired.
  26. 26. Michael Fisher @michaelrfisher Thanks for your time! 