Jobs in Ethiopia

4 Steps to Find Your Unique Selling Proposition

Your USP (Unique Selling Proposition) is the unique thing that you can offer that your competitors cannot. It is your competitive edge and the reason why customers buy from you.

USPs have helped many companies succeed. And they can help you too when you are marketing yourself (when seeking a promotion, finding a new job, asking for a salary raise, or transitioning to a new industry.) If you don’t articulate your USP, you might struggle for survival – that way lies in hard work and little reward.

However, USPs are often difficult to find. And as soon as one candidate establishes a successful USP in a market, competitors rush to copy it.

In this article, we will explore how you can use USP analysis to help you find your competitive edge. Further, we will think about how you will defend it.

1.Understand the Characteristics That Companies Value

First, brainstorm what companies value about your services and those of your competitors. Move beyond the basics common to all suppliers in the industry. Look at the criteria that candidates use to decide which candidates to engage.

As with all brainstorming, by involving knowledgeable people in the process, you will improve the process. So talk to your colleagues in your current company, particularly the top-performing ones, friends in similar industries, search for industry job descriptions online, and the like. Be as creative as you can. 

2. Rank Yourself and Your Competitors by These Criteria

Now, identify your top competitors. Being as objective as you can, score yourself and each of your competitors out of 10 for each characteristic. Where possible, base your scores on objective data. Where this is impossible, do your best to see things from a company’s perspective and then make your best guess.

3. Identify Where You Rank Well

Plot these points on a graph. Plotting this will help you spot different competitors’ strengths and weaknesses. From this, develop a simple, easily communicated statement of your USP. A good tool in this is the 30-second elevator speech. An elevator speech simply means if you are in an elevator with someone, and you want to communicate within 30-seconds. In this case, you would communicate your unique selling point identifying how you compete against others within 30-seconds. 

4. Preserve Your USP (and use it!)

The final step is to make sure that you can defend your USP. You can be sure that as soon as you start to promote a USP, your competitors will do what they can to do the same. As an example, if you’ve got the best education, certificate, experience, or soft skills, someone would exceed you. It makes sense to invest to keep it. That way, competitors will struggle to keep up: by the time they’ve improved, you’ve already moved on to the next stage. Maintaining your USP means continuous improvement- getting that certificate, enhancing your education, working on more assignments or volunteer opportunities, or training yourself to improve your soft skills.

Furthermore, once you’ve established a USP, communicate it! Promote yourself to companies by applying, networking, sending your CV, or speaking about it to your employer.

Thriving in a High-Pressure Environment

Do not let stress come between you and a successful, rewarding career.

Many people experience stress in their jobs. It might be temporarily because of a project deadline, or because of seasonal fluctuations in your workload. You might also experience long-term stress due to the nature of your role, a difficult boss or co-worker, or because of office politics. Job stress has many negative consequences. If you leave it unmanaged, it can affect your health, productivity, well-being, and career.

You maintain your professionalism, composure, and workplace relationships by managing your stress levels, and learning to survive and thrive in a stressful role.

In this article, we look at ways of identifying job stress and explore strategies that you can use to manage a stressful job successfully.

How to Identify Your Current Stress Levels

There may be physical symptoms and psychological effects to serve as warning signs that you are experiencing high levels of workplace stress. 

Psychologically, you may be irritable, depressed, and experience prolonged difficulty concentrating. If continuous stress starts to cause burnout, you may also find that you lose interest in your work and other activities. You may also become socially withdrawn.

A manageable level of pressure can help you to perform at your best. However, if pressure increases to a point where you no longer feel in control, the result is stress. Unlike pressure, stress is never positive.

How to Manage a Stressful Job

The following sections look at several ways to manage stress in your role.

Identify Causes

Before managing stress, you first have to know what causes it.

Work is often one of the main causes of stress in people's lives. Research has identified heavy workload as one of the major causes of stress. Other causes of workplace stress can be grouped according to four main underlying causes identified below:

Time stress develops from a fast-paced working environment with unrealistic deadlines. As a result, productivity, relationships, and well-being suffer.

Anticipatory stress is stress about the future. It may be due to a specific event, such as a scheduled presentation. Or, it might be a more general fear about the future. Many people suffer anticipatory stress about their employment security, for example.

Situational stress is caused by situations over which you have no control. These may be acute incidents, such as a sudden failure of a supply line, or longer-term issues, such as lack of autonomy or purpose at work. Unreasonably heavy workload also comes under this category

Encounter stress derives from interaction with other people. Poor management, bullying, and dealing with angry or difficult people can all be sources of encounter stress.

Once you have identified the factors that contribute to your stress, you can take appropriate steps to manage them.

Find Meaning in Your Job

What do you love most about your job? What gives your work meaning and purpose?

These questions might sound simple, but they are pertinent. If you know what gives your work meaning, you are more likely to develop intrinsic motivation.

This motivation comes from knowing that what you do has value in its own right. It can help you to manage the stress that goes along with the work you do, and to build resilience when you're feeling down.

Assess Your Skills and Resources

Look at the work that you do: What are your biggest frustrations? Where are you most inefficient in? Where are your bottlenecks?

These situations often point to a lack of tools, resources, skills development, or help – all of which can contribute to workplace stress. You need to keep your skill set under continual review, particularly if your organization is developing new ways of working.

You also need the right equipment and know how to use it. Make a list of what you need. Let your boss know what you are lacking, and explain how these items will improve your productivity and effectiveness. If your boss cannot provide the resources you need, think about how you might negotiate for them with others or acquire them on your own.

Exercise Regularly

Regular exercise is one of the best ways to manage a stressful job. Daily exercise helps you to cope with stress. It can also help to boost your memory, creativity, IQ, and productivity.

You can fit exercise into your schedule in many ways: wake up slightly earlier and exercise before work, or take a walk on your lunch break. 

Take frequent breaks to move around and let your mind rest. Try taking several five- or 10-minute walks during the day. It might not sound like much, but this exercise and fresh air will give you time to rest and recharge.

Think Positively

Your attitude plays a role in your stress, no matter your job. 

You can choose to approach tasks, responsibilities, and people with a negative attitude, or you can do so with a positive mindset. Although the amount of work is the same, the impact on your health and well-being is profound.

Whenever you catch yourself slipping into a negative frame of mind, make an effort to challenge your conceptions and to think positively instead. Challenge your negative thoughts with rational, fact-based thinking. 

Manage Your Time

If struggling with a heavy workload or project deadlines, you can lower your stress levels and improve productivity by managing your time more effectively.

Distractions in the office can be a major source of stress. These distractions can come from well-meaning colleagues, constant phone calls or emails, or general office noise. Distractions can be minimized by turning off your phone or putting on an earphone to drown out people’s conversations. 

Manage Your Priorities

Conflicting priorities can also be stressful, especially when you feel like you are constantly handling urgent tasks. Learn to focus on what is important, not just urgent. 

It's also important to work out what activities can have the biggest impact. Identify such tasks, and see if you can safely delegate others. 

If working on a project that seems overwhelming, break it into smaller steps. This allows you to accomplish one thing at a time instead of taking everything on at once.

Find Ways to Stay Calm

Stress can often cause you to stop breathing for several seconds, even though you may not realize it. When feeling stressed, practice deep breathing exercises. Deep, slow breathing floods your body with oxygen, slowing your heart rate, relaxing your muscles, and helping you to focus.

Exercising Empathy

Many people feel uneasy or discomfort when empathy is introduced in a business environment even though this is disappearing with the recent emphasis on emotional intelligence. A formal definition of Empathy is the ability to identify and understand another's situation, feelings, and motives. It's our capacity to recognize the concerns other people have. Empathy means: “putting yourself in the other person's shoes” or “seeing things through someone else's eyes.”

Benefits of Empathy

Empathy is the oil that keeps relationships running smoothly. It allows us to create bonds of trust, it gives us insights into what others may be feeling or thinking; it helps us understand how or why others are reacting to situations, it sharpens our “people acumen” and it informs our decisions. Emotional intelligence is associated with the right side of the brain. In studies by Dr Antonio Damasion, as outlined in his book: “Descartes' Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain,” medical patients who had damage to part of the brain associated with empathy showed significant deficits in relationship skills, even though their reasoning and learning abilities remained intact. It also has business results: empathy is associated with increased sales, with the performance of the best managers, and with enhanced performance in an increasingly diverse workforce, since all these require people skills.

Empathy, then, is an ability that is well worth cultivating. It's a soft, sometimes abstract tool in a leader's toolkit that can lead to hard, tangible results. But where does empathy come from? Is it a process of thinking or of emotion? It is both: we need to use our reasoning ability to understand another person's thoughts, feelings, reactions, concerns, motives. This means truly making an effort to stop and think for a moment about the other person's perspective in order to begin to understand where they are coming from. And then we need the emotional capacity to care for that person's concern. Caring does not mean that we would always agree with the person, that we would change our position, but it does mean that we would be in tune with what that person is going through so that we can respond in a manner that acknowledges their thoughts, feelings or concerns.

Practicing Empathy

So this leads me to a question that I am sometimes asked, “Can you teach someone to be empathetic?” We all know some people who are naturally and consistently empathetic – these are the people who can easily forge positive connections with others. They are people who use empathy to engender trust and build bonds; they are catalysts who are able to create positive communities for the greater good. But even if empathy does not come naturally to some of us, I firmly believe that we can develop this capacity.

Empathy is an emotional and thinking muscle that becomes stronger the more we use it. Use the Listen, Care, and Encourage method to practice empathy.

  1. Listen – truly listen to people. Listen with your ears, eyes, and heart. Pay attention to others' body language, to their tone of voice, to the hidden emotions behind what they are saying to you, and to the context. Don't interrupt people. Don't dismiss their concerns offhand. Don't rush to give advice. Don't change the subject. Allow people their moment. Tune in to non-verbal communication. This is the way that people often communicate what they think or feel, even when their verbal communication says something quite different.
  2. Care- Take a personal interest in people. Show people that you care, and be genuinely curious about their lives. Ask them questions about their hobbies, their challenges, their families, their aspirations. Remember people's names. Refer to them by name. Be fully present when you are with people. Don't check your email, look at your watch or take phone calls when a direct report drops into your office to talk to you. Put yourself in their shoes. How would you feel if your boss did that to you?
  3. Encourage – Encourage people, particularly the quiet ones, when they speak up in meetings. A simple thing like an attentive nod can boost people's confidence. Give genuine recognition and praise. Pay attention to what people are doing and catch them doing the right things. When you give praise, spend a little effort to make your genuine words memorable: “You are an asset to this team because…”; “This was a pure genius”; “I would have missed this if you hadn't picked it up.”

Try some of these suggestions on a daily basis, and watch the reactions of those you work with. I believe you will notice some positive results.

Recover From Burnout

Find Passion for Your Job Again

When Mihret first started with her organization, she loved her job. She went into work every day filled with purpose and passion, and she was excited about the difference she could make in her new role.

Three years later, however, it's hard to recognize her. Now, Mihret dreads going to work. She feels as if her work is meaningless, she's always stressed, and she calls in sick frequently.

These are classic symptoms of burnout. If you've experienced this yourself, you must know how to recover from it, before you experience lasting damage to your sense of well-being and your career.

In this article, we'll look at what burnout is and how you can recover from it.

Is it Burnout?

Burnout is a state of physical and emotional exhaustion. It can occur when you experience long-term stress in your job, or when you have worked in a physically or emotionally draining role for a long time. You can also experience burnout when your efforts at work have failed to produce the results that you expected, and you feel deeply disillusioned as a result.

You might be experiencing burnout if you:

· Feel that every day at work is a bad day.

· Feel exhausted much of the time.

· Feel no joy or interest in your work or even feel depressed by it.

· Feel overwhelmed by your responsibilities.

· Engage in escapist behaviors, such as excessive drinking.

· Have less patience with others than you used to.

· Feel hopeless about your life or work.

· Experience physical symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, sleeplessness, or heart palpitations. (Make sure that you see a physician about these!

Studies show that people who experience burnout early in their career often find it easier to recover than people who go through it later in life. However, you must know how to recover effectively, whatever stage you're at in your career.

Recovering From Burnout

Burnout doesn't go away on its own; instead, it will get worse unless you address the underlying issues causing it. If you ignore burnout, it will only cause you further harm down the line, so you must begin recovery as soon as possible.

Recovery from burnout is a slow journey; not a quick dash to some imaginary finish line. Time and space are needed to recuperate, so don't rush through this process.

The recovery strategies that we've outlined below are all useful in different situations. Some of these strategies will work for you, while others won't, so find a balance of techniques and best practices that feels right to you. If you believe that something isn't working, don't be afraid to try something new.

The Reasons

You first need to identify why you've experienced burnout. In some situations, this will be obvious. Other times, it will take time and introspection to uncover this.

First, look at any resentment that you feel towards your work. Often, feelings of resentment point to something important that is missing.

Here's a good example: Tadiwos manages a team halfway around the world, so his workday often starts at 6 a.m. He doesn't mind this because he likes his team and his job. But he feels resentful when his boss forgets that he works so early and repeatedly asks him to stay late. His work demands that he misses the deserved time with his family.

In this example, burnout didn't occur because Tadiwos disliked his job; in fact, he loved what he did. He experienced burnout because he hated missing out on family time in the evenings.

Take time to think about any negative feelings that you have about your role, and get to the root of the problem. Once you've identified the cause of your burnout, write down at least one way that you can manage or eliminate that source of stress or unhappiness.

Another useful method for identifying underlying causes of burnout is to keep a stress diary. Each day, write down what causes you stress and record why the event stressed you. Stress diaries can be illuminating, so long as you keep up with them for a reasonable period.

Once you discover the root causes of your burnout, look at what you can do to resolve it. The resolution might be to delegate some of your responsibilities to others, add more autonomy to your job, work from home one day a week, or even to change roles.

Get back to the Basics

If you've experienced burnout, your body may need attention. It's necessary to think about the basics of good health and well-being.

Start by getting plenty of exercise. Countless studies have shown that physical workout offers many physical and mental benefits. Regular exercise not only helps reduce stress. It also boosts your mood, improves your overall health, and enhances your quality of life.

Next, make sure that you're getting enough sleep, eating well, and drinking plenty of water throughout the day. These might sound obvious, but busy professionals often ignore their most basic needs. Instead, they take care of others and their responsibilities far more than they take care of themselves. Neglecting self-care can contribute to burnout. 

Take a Vacation or Leave of Absence

One excellent way to start your recovery is to take a real vacation. Time away from work gives you the distance you need to relax and de-stress.

Of course, the stress and problems that you're experiencing at work may still be waiting for you when you get back. However, taking time off is essential for getting the rest you need and coming up with long-term solutions to burnout.

Reassess Your Goals

Next, take time to reassess your personal goals. Burnout can occur when your work is out of alignment with your values or when it's not contributing to your long-term goals. You can also experience frustration and burnout if you have no idea what your goals are.

Start by identifying your values and thinking about what gives you meaning in your work. Then use this to craft a personal mission statement. This self-analysis will allow you a deeper understanding of what you find most important. It will also show you which elements, if any, are missing from your life or work.

Next, look at how you can tie your values and mission to your current role, which could mean crafting your job to fit your values or even just changing the way you look at your job.

Be Positive

Burnout can cause you to slip into a cycle of negative thinking. This negative thinking often worsens over time. You can combat this by learning how to think positively. 

When you're in recovery from burnout, it can be a challenge to develop the habit of positive thinking. So, it's best to start small. Try thinking of something positive before you get out of bed each morning. Or think back to one great thing that you did at work or home at the end of the day.

Celebrate even small accomplishments. These celebrations can help you rediscover joy and meaning in your work again.

You can also bring more positivity into your life by practicing random acts of kindness at work. A relational part of our human nature is to help others. Being kind to others not only helps spread positivity in the workplace, but it also feels great. 

Building Good Work Relationships

Making Work Enjoyable and Productive

 How good are the relationships that you have with your colleagues?

According to the Gallup organization, people who have a best friend at work are seven times more likely to be engaged in their jobs. People who have a good friend in the workplace are more likely to be happy. Good work relationships are also linked to better customer engagement and increased profit.

In this article, you will learn why it is crucial to have good working relationships and how to build and maintain them.

Why Have Good Work Relationships?

Human beings are naturally social creatures. And when you consider that we spend one-third of our lives at work, it is clear that good relationships with colleagues will make our jobs more enjoyable.

The more comfortable co-workers are around one other, the more confident they will feel voicing opinions, brainstorming, and going along with new ideas, for example. This level of teamwork is essential to embrace change, create, and innovate. And when people see the successes of working together in this way, group morale and productivity soars.

Good work relationships also give you freedom. Instead of spending time and energy dealing with unpleasant relations, you can, instead, focus on opportunities – from winning new business to building your professional skills.

And having a positive professional circle will also help you to develop your career, opening up opportunities that otherwise might pass you.

Defining a Good Relationship

A good work relationship requires trust, respect, self-awareness, inclusion, and open communication. Let us explore each of these characteristics.

  • Trust: When you trust your team members, you can be open and honest in your thoughts and actions. And you do not have to waste time or energy watching your back.
  • Respect: Teams working together with mutual respect value each other’s input and find solutions based on collective insight, wisdom, and creativity.
  • Self-awareness: This means taking responsibility for your words and actions, and not letting your own negative emotions impact the people around you.
  • Inclusion: Do not just accept diverse people and opinions, but welcome them! For instance, when your colleagues offer a different view from yours, factor their insights and perspective into your decision-making.
  • Open communication: all good relationships depend on open, honest communication. Whether you are sending emails or SMS or meeting face-to-face or on video calls, the more effectively you communicate with those around you, the better you will connect.

Which Work Relationships Are Important?

Although you should try to build and maintain good working relationships with everyone, some deserve extra attention, like the relationship between a boss and an employee. Gallup found that a manager alone can account for up to 70 percent of the engagement of a team.

Regular one-on-ones let managers build relationships with employees. At these catch-ups, you can show how the work of an individual fit with the bigger picture of an organization, understand their strengths and help them identify key areas to develop.

You can also explore managing upwards, to analyze how your manager prefers to work, anticipate their needs, and adapt your approach for a smoother relationship.

With key stakeholders, you will also benefit from developing good work relationships. These stakeholders, such as customers, suppliers, and your team have a stake in your success or failure. Forming a bond with them will help you to ensure that your projects – and career – stay on track.

How to Build Good Work Relationships

Building close connections with people can take time. But there are also steps you can take today to get on better with your colleagues.

1.  Identify Your Relationship Needs

 Do you know what you need from others? And do you know what they need from you? Understanding these needs can be instrumental in building better relationships.

2.    Develop Your People Skills

 Good relationships start with good people skills. 

3.    Focus on Your EI

 Emotional Intelligence (EI) is your ability to recognize and better understand your own emotions. By developing your EI, you will become more adept at identifying and handling the emotions and needs of others.

4.    Practice Mindful Listening

 People respond better to those who truly listen to what they have to say. By practicing mindful listening, you will talk less and understand more as well as become known as trustworthy.

5.    Schedule Time to Build Relationships

 If possible, you could ask a colleague out for a quick cup of coffee. Or give a one-minute kindness by commenting on a co-worker’s LinkedIn post you enjoyed reading. These little interactions take time but lay the groundwork for a positive relationship.

6.    Manage Your Boundaries

 Make time, but not too much! Sometimes, a working relationship can impair productivity, especially when a friend or colleague begins to monopolize your time. It’s crucial to set your boundaries and manage how much time you devote to social interactions at work.

7.    Appreciate Others

 Everyone, from your boss to the intern, wants to feel that their work is appreciated. So, genuinely compliment the people around you when they do something well. Praise and recognition will open the door to great work relationships.

8.    Be Positive

Focus on being positive. Positivity is contagious, and people gravitate to those that make them feel good.

9.    Avoid Gossiping

 Office politics and gossip can ruin workplace relationships. If you’re experiencing conflict with someone in your group, talk to them directly about the problem. Gossiping with other colleagues will only exacerbate the situation, accelerating mistrust.

Some work relationships will be more difficult than others. But with thought, time, and some effort, these can become mutually beneficial, too.

Active Listening

Taking all the communication that we do, we think we’re good at listening. Research shows that we are only remember
between 25 percent and 50 percent of what we hear. This shows that we are not good listeners.

Importance of active listening

Effective listening is a skill that we can all benefit from. Communication is important in carrying out our tasks as well as in developing quality and meaningful relationships. And, listening is a major aspect of communication. Listening is essential in all aspects of life although the purpose of this article is career-wise.

We can avoid conflict and misunderstanding; better influence, persuade, and negotiate; improve the way we do our jobs; and develop quality and meaningful relationships by improving our listening skills. Therefore, listening is essential for a successful career.

Tips to listen actively:

1. Pay Attention

Active listening is paying attention to the complete message of the communicator by paying attention to him/her. Give the speaker your undivided attention by:

  • Looking at him or her directly;
  • Pausing to listen to him or her by refraining from distractive thoughts such as preparing a rebuttal, and other distractions such as side or other conversations; and
  • Listening to the speaker’s body language.

2. Show that you are Listening

Ensure that the speaker knows you are listening. Responding to the speaker in a way that will encourage him to continue speaking can deepen the conversation. Show that you are listening by:

  • Nodding occasionally and encouraging the speaker to go on with verbal comments such as “uh-huh;”
  • Using facial expressions and open posture to encourage the
  • speaker to continue speaking.

3. Provide Feedback

As a listener, your role is to understand what is being said. An occasional question or comment to recap what has been said can help in this regard. This may prompt you to reflect on what is being said by asking questions.

  • Reflect on what has been said by paraphrasing. For example, the
    phrase “Sounds like you are saying… ,” is a great way to reflect
    back by correcting misconceptions if any and affirming what has actually been
  • Ask questions to clarify certain points. “What do you mean
    when you say…” is a good question that takes into account what has been
    said and delves further into what the speaker wants to communicate.

4. Postpone Judgment

Interrupting frustrates the speaker and limits full understanding of the message. So, it is a waste of what could have been an excellent communicator. Postpone judgment by:

  • Allowing the speaker to finish each point before asking
    questions, and
  • Withholding yourself from interrupting with counter arguments.

5. Respond Appropriately

Active listening is designed to encourage understanding. You are gaining information and perspective. So, responding is important.

  • Respond candidly,
    openly, and honestly;
  • Assert your thoughts
    respectfully even if you disagree; and
  • Treat the other
    person as you would want to treated.

Cool, Calm, Collected

We’ve all been in frustrating situations in our professional lives. Our favorite projects were canceled after weeks of hard work. We held on the phone for longer than usual. Someone put on hold the progress of our work.

Do you handle your frustrations well? Doing so advantages your career. So, how can you become better at handling frustrations? In this article, we will look at some tips to help you do so in your career:

Stop and Evaluate

Pause and look at the situation! Start with yourself: why are you frustrated? Be as specific as you can. Write it down. If you are with someone, withdraw to pause and reason. Don’t say anything arising out of your frustration. Your conversations should be well-thought-out.

Search and Find an Upside

Seemingly negative events at work can be used for good. But, you must search and find the positive aspect. By doing so, you get a different perception of the situation and a unique perspective on it. You are calmer. You are saved from professional damage. For example, if the reason for your frustration is a canceled project, you can use bits and pieces of your efforts for a well-supported project.

Think of the last time you felt frustrated

Did you regret your last frustration? Let this be the remedy then. Did it resolve the problem? Then, it’s not doing anything for you right now. Did you calm down after a while? You will calm down after some time this time as well.

Instead of acting out in your frustration, use it wisely. Don’t harm your career and your professional reputation. Rather, pause and reflect on the why. Search and find the upside. Contribute to the smooth functioning of your job and add to your professional success!

Network for career success

Networking often seems unnatural and about getting something
from people. This makes it uncomfortable for people who want to make
professional connections. New graduates, especially those who are fretful to
find a job, very much need and want help, but they don’t want others to think
that they only want something from them and that they’re faking the
relationship. But networking doesn’t have to be as uncomfortable; here are five
tips to introduce you to networking:

Leverage Your Position as a Recent Graduate

Immediately after college graduation, professionals are eager to
help graduates find their way and land a job. Established professionals acknowledge
young people need guidance. This may not be so later on in your career. So leverage
your position and reach out to people approaching them at events, 
cold email them and ask if you
may buy them a cup of coffee for 15 minutes of their time. Before meeting them,
do your research. With them, ask plenty of questions, take note of what they
tell you, and take in as much as you can. It is a compliment to inquire someone
for advice, and people know graduates need it.

Sometimes, networking is just about making friends

A natural way to network is simply to make friends with your
co-workers, and employees at other companies in your field. Feel free to focus
on forming a relationship, and establishing a sense of camaraderie with them.
These friendships can ultimately be more necessary than the ones you build up
the ladder. These peers can be the first to think of you when there’s a job;
the ones to give you ideas if you come across professional dilemma and your
sounding board when work is difficult. Your bond with them is just as important
as your relationship with your superior.

Choose the networking events you attend wisely

Don’t just sign up for networking events. Be intentional as you
navigate the networking wilderness. This means only attending events that are
attended by companies you want to be hired by and professionals you admire.
Focus more of your time on what connections you can build through your existing
relationships (friends, family, classmates, previous professors, social group
etc), and cold emailing professionals you admire and want to chat with.

Seize End of Events  

There are some studies that indicate that it is smart to wait
until the end of an event to meet someone important. If you make a good
impression at the end of an event, you are more likely to be remembered. So
don’t leave an event before it ends if there is someone in particular you want to
speak to; stay until the end and seize the moment.

Follow-Up, Follow-Up, Follow-Up   

Making an initial connection through any of the above ways is
only the beginning. You only keep to make the initial good connection you’ve
made if you follow-up and stay in touch. This is the most difficult part for many
people. It’s difficult to make connections and easy to lose them. It would be very
bad if you only contact someone when you need them. People will know, and won’t
help. So make it part of your routine to keep up with people. Remember events
like birthdays, new job, a wedding or the birth of a child or grandchild. Send
them a note or if you are close by, give a gift. Send over an article you think
might interest them. Use 15-minute in your day to connect with people you
worked hard to meet; you will benefit from it throughout your life and career.


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