3 Tips for Building a Healthy Network

11 04 2019

By René Siegel, CEO, Connext

Hello Everyone! I asked René Siegel, a long-time supporter of the KIT List who hires consultants for high tech clients, to share her best tips on job networking. René has also generously shared her time, wisdom and wit at a KIT List event on a panel of hiring experts. Read on and try these out!
– Sue

Building your personal network sounds as simple as finding people you like or with whom you have something in common. We think of them as our posse, our community, our peeps. Perhaps people who inspire us.

But here’s what people don’t tell you about networking. Your circle can also be a cage. You can surround yourself with the same people, for years and years, without making sure they’re the right people for you, right now.

Smiling group.jpgHere are three tips for building a healthy network:

1. More is not better.
You may assume the more connections and opportunities you have the better. I have thousands of connections but only a few dozen are truly my dearest colleagues, the ones I rely on to inspire me and always have my back. It’s like weeding your garden. You need to keep pulling the weeds or they will overtake and ruin your garden. Working with people you already trust increases your chances of success and reduces headaches. You don’t have to delete them, but, you can say no (no, thank you) to bad business and bad people as you carefully build your brand.

2. Take me or leave me.
Many people only come around when they want something from you—like the ever popular “Can I pick your brain?” request. Be selective with whom you share your expertise. Sometimes it can lead to a lucrative opportunity, but mostly you’re just adding coins to the karma bucket and that’s okay, too. Delete those who drain your mojo. And if you’re going to be generous with your time and expertise, don’t be afraid to ask for something in return like a referral or recommendation.

3. The more diverse, the better.
No matter the stage of your career, you need to proactively meet people who are different than you. Different ages, different industries, different expertise, different backgrounds. After a 20-year career working with lots of 20-year veteran colleagues, I started speaking to university classes. That led to a part-time teaching role that re-energized my business model! You’ll be far more marketable if you’re surrounded by diverse people who challenge what you know with their ideas and experience.

Everyone in your circle might not be in your corner. It’s your responsibility to attract the right people and repel the wrong ones. Be picky about the people you invest your time with and go the extra mile for.

There are bad clients and crazy bosses who may want to take advantage of you. People can suck the life out of you—if you let them.

You should be picky about the people you invest your time with and go the extra mile for. Not everyone deserves that from you.

 

 About the Author

Rene Shimada Siegel at SRK Headshot Day
René Shimada Siegel is extremely passionate about empowering colleagues and advocating for the next generation of communicators. She is the CEO of Connext, Silicon Valley’s marketing and communications consultancy. For two decades, her company has made life easier for hundreds of technology clients with specialized contractors ranging from recent grads to senior strategists. Current clients include Adobe, LinkedIn, Google, and Salesforce. René also passes on her real-world experience to students as an adjunct public relations professor at San Jose State University.

As an entrepreneur, René’s been featured in Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, Working Mother, Newsweek Japan, CNBC, and Dan Pink’s Free Agent Nation, among others. She’s also been a regular columnist for Inc.com and a frequent speaker on entrepreneurship, career strategies, and personal branding.

Anyone interested in learning more about Connext can reach René at rene@connextme.com.

 





Join us for the “FriendWorking” Networking Event on 8/15

11 08 2018

Hello Everyone,

I am speaking at an event next week on how to network in a more personal and authentic way, with the idea of helping others first. I call the idea “FriendWorking” since it taps into the magic of friends helping friends.

Though I’ve hosted KIT List FriendWorking events over the years, I’m actually the guest speaker for this event hosted by the Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals (ASAP).

Now that that the ASAP has already invited their members —  I can now invite our KIT List people! But there is a limit of 40 spots, so the event will close soon.

hands-2847508__480This is also open to anyone who would like to network in a much more effective and enjoyable way!

Join us for this special evening of FriendWorking to grow and deepen your network by connecting in more meaningful ways. 
I will be teaching the same techniques that I share at the KIT List events — and have everyone mix and meet through some fun and very informative exercises!

Grow Your Network Under the Summer Sun (“FriendWorking” Event)

Wednesday, 8/15
6:00 – 8:00 PM
Workspan
950 Tower Lane, Suite 1975
Foster City, CA

Please register here by 8/14

NOTE: There is a $30 charge for this event since it is hosted by the Association of Strategic Alliance Partners, and it is not a KIT List event.

Just remember, a stranger is just a friend you haven’t met yet! It’s worth it to make the effort to get out and meet new people and see what magic unfolds…

I hope to see you there!

Sue





Attention Consultants: Participate in the WIC Best Practices Survey — and Get a Free Copy of the Report

27 03 2017

Hello Everyone,

I’ve been a longtime member of Women In Consulting (WIC), which is a terrific organization for consultants and business owners — for women and men.

One of WIC’s many powerful resources is their annual Best Practices Survey.
Over the years, it’s offered excellent insights into the evolution of Bay Area consulting businesses, such as billing trends and rates, consulting expertise and specialties, structure and operations.

Take the Survey and Get a Free Copy of the Report. 

The survey is open March 14 to April 7, 2017 and takes only 10 – 15 minutes to complete at: www.tinyurl.com/wic2017

You do not need to be a member to participate — and participants will receive a free copy of the survey results when it is released in June.

Also, everyone who participates is entered into a drawing for a free WIC workshop or general meeting.

Whether your business continues to expand, has experienced a slowdown or turnaround, or is consistent with last year, please share your experiences.

Feel free to pass the survey link along to other consultants outside of the WIC Community. The more people who complete the survey, the more meaningful the results will be. Male consultants are welcome to participate, too!

Important Details

The survey closes April 7, 2017 and takes 10 – 15 minutes to complete.

All participants who complete the survey receive the results (normally a member only benefit!) and are entered into a drawing to win one of five prizes (whether or not they’re WIC members): a seat in any future WIC workshop (1 winner) or a voucher for one recorded webinar (4 winners).

All information collected in the survey is confidential.

The survey asks some detailed questions about your business for 2016:

  • Total revenue for 2016
  • Average hourly rate (if applicable)
  • Average retainer fee (if applicable)
  • Average project fee (if applicable)
  • Target hourly rate in project fees (if applicable)
  • Number of subcontractors used
  • Total amount paid to subcontractors and/or employees

In addition to the report that WIC sends to all participants, they will also present the results at a members-only meeting held at Michaels at Shoreline on Thursday, June 15.

If you’d like to take this opportunity to join WIC as a Premium or Leaders Network member prior to the meeting, you will be able to attend the meeting and benefit from the many other resources and informative meetings WIC provides to consultants.

Thank you in advance for participating, and please forward this to other consultants you know..…the more the merrier!

Thanks, everyone,

Sue





1/17 Networking Event: Using Social to Land Your Job from a LinkedIn Expert

14 01 2017

Hi Everyone,

I heard Oscar Garcia, former Community manager at LinkedIn, speak at the Santa Clara Library a few months ago and was very impressed with his tips and strategies which he shared. I learned things I didn’t know about! I’m going to this event, too!

The Santa Clara Library is hosting another event with Oscar — combined with a networking opportunity to put your social skills to work in a comfortable and in-person environment.

Kick off the new year with some effective and positive networking — and land your dream job.

Here’s to a very special 2017 for all you!

– Sue

 
Networking 101: Socializing to Get Your Next Job (Free Event)

Tue, January 17, 2017
7:00 PM – 8:30 PM PST (networking after)

Santa Clara Library – Northside Branch
695 Moreland Way
Santa Clara, CA 95054

Register (space is limited):
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/networking-101-socializing-to-get-your-next-job-tickets-30599289298?utm-medium=discovery&utm-campaign=social&utm-content=attendeeshare&utm-source=strongmail&utm-term=listing

Most people are finding their next job opportunities or promotions through their network. Gone are the days of sending in your resume through the computer. It is not about “what you know” as much as “who you know” that could get your next job.

Learn from Oscar Garcia, CEO of Aspira (and former Community Manager at LinkedIn) on how to cultivate and maintain a thriving network to find our next opportunity.

Then following Oscar’s presentation, there will be a networking after-party at Yan Can Asian Bistro in Rivermark where you can work on your socializing and networking skills (it’s just across the street!).

This program is sponsored by the Santa Clara City Library Foundation and Friends.