November 2010 - Posts

When Networking Doesn’t Come Naturally
Wednesday, November 03, 2010 1:11 PM

Networking is not just for glad-handers and the gregarious. Anyone can network. Even shy, introverted people can master the art of introductions and expanding your circle of business contacts, colleagues and clients.

Think networking isn't in your DNA? Entrepreneur magazine debunks the notion that shy people aren't good at networking. Networking is a two-way street says the magazine in the article Networking as an Introvert, and introverts are often good listeners, more readily able to understand others needs. This tit for tat dynamic is the architecture of good networking.

Not sure how to get started? Take small steps at first, no need to make cold calls or attend events where you know no one; begin reaching out to neighbors or friends, or join organizations that reflect your passions. Remember to be yourself, networking doesn't mean being a stand up comic or the most extroverted person in the room.

 A self-proclaimed introvert offers the following useful tips from the web site Work Buzz.

Introverts think to talk.

  • Focus on listening rather than self-promotion in initial job search conversations.
  • Carefully select what job search events to attend - target those of most interest.
  • Prepare specific questions to ask new contacts.
  • Prepare and practice aloud responses to frequently asked questions while on a job search.

Introverts drill deep.

  • Research the type of job most suited to you and focus your attention there, rather than dissipating your energy casting a wide net.
  • Arrange one-on-one meals with select individuals rather than joining large groups.
  • Follow up with others based on their interests, proving your immediate value.
  • When at a career fair or job conference, leave yourself time between sessions to pace yourself, increasing your focus at the programs you do attend.

Introverts energize alone.

  • While at networking events, periodically step away from the group to recharge.
  • Volunteer - this gives you a focus, purpose and specific role while networking.
  • When arriving at an event, pause to look over attendee nametags, giving you initial alone time and the opportunity to strategize whom to meet.
  • Make notations about new contacts on their business cards, increasing your ability to remember details and creating breaks between conversations.

Do you have out-of-the box networking tips? Share your thoughts here or at the Beyond Folders Facebook page.

by Candie Harris

 

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Office Gift Giving Made Easy
Tuesday, November 02, 2010 12:53 PM

Halloween is the starting gun; the holiday race is on. Fall disappears at a breakneck pace, its time to start thinking about the winter gift-giving season.  With the Recession making funds tighter, navigating office gift giving is trickier than ever. Finding appropriate gifts for office Secret Santas or your boss is never easy. Doing so on a budget is tougher still.

What's Your Office Gift Giving Strategy?

 No matter the size of your budget, keep in mind a few key considerations when shopping to ensure your gift is appropriate and well received. Gifting at Work: What's Right? What's Wrong? outlines 10 useful Do's and Don'ts. They include:

  • Do ask human resources about gifting policies. There may be a dollar-amount limit or gift giving might be prohibited altogether.
  • Don't give gifts that are too intimate.
  • Don't make a big scene when presenting the gift as you may embarrass the recipient.
  • Do be careful about buying gifts for your boss. You don't want to appear to be currying favor. So check to see if counterparts are giving him/her gifts as well.
  • Do give co-workers something that reflects their interests, values and tastes.
  • Don't give liquor unless you know the recipient drinks.
  • Do consider giving a work-related gift, like a great pen or new planner.
  • Don't break the bank; gifts don't need to be expensive to be thoughtful.
  • Do remember that gift giving is its own reward; expecting lavish appreciation may leave you disappointed.
  • Don't regift, or pass along freebies as gifts. You may get caught and it looks cheap.

Cash-strapped workers will want to get creative in gift giving. Harvard Business Review blogger Rosabeth Moss Kanter has wonderful suggestions in 12 Gifts for Cash-Short, Recession-Weary Workplaces.  

My favorite ideas? Bosses taking a morning to serve subordinates breakfast or the priceless gift of time off. Send everyone home early one day to finish their own holiday shopping. You can't put a dollar amount on time off during the frenzied holiday season.

Finally, consider the sentiment of the season and make a donation to a charity close to the recipient's heart.

The website JustGive.org  makes donating to a range of charities simple.

Does your office have holiday gift-giving guidelines? Do you have creative, low-cost gift ideas? Share your thoughts here or at the Beyond Folders Facebook page.

by Carly Fadako

 

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Beyond FoldersTM is written by a team of Pendaflex associates passionate about time management, communications, productivity and workplace organization.  Believing in  "continuous improvement" on both a personal and professional level, they share their unique perspectives on subjects of common interest to our readers.

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