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Important Networking Follow-Ups: How to Get Those Job Leads Calling
When you leave a networking event, you may be buzzing at the prospects offered by all of those new contacts you made, but soon, the cold reality sets in. How will you be able to convert those contacts you made over a glass of wine into valuable business opportunities for you? Successful networking is all in the follow-up. If you’re looking for a job, following up is all the more crucial. Without touching base after a networking event, you become just another face in the crowd of job hunting hopefuls.
The first important rule for following-up with networking contacts is to lay the foundations for the follow-up during the initial meeting. At networking events, there can be a lot of empty promises thrown around. Use that first meeting to convey the message that you haven’t gotten caught up in “networking fever” but instead that you are very serious about exploring the job opportunity that you’re discussing with your new contact. Ask the contact when would be a good time to follow-up with them, and then reiterate the information back to them at the end of your conversation: “I look forward to speaking with you Friday at 2 p.m.” If they don’t give you a specific time, then suggest one to them. This rule holds true even if your contact is giving you a lead on a job not with them but with another contact of their own. Let them know you appreciate the information by saying, “Thanks. I will plan on calling Mary on Monday afternoon at 1 p.m.” Not only will this convey your seriousness about the opportunity presented to you, but it may also get you some handy inside information, as the contact may reply, “Oh, no, Mary will be out of town until Thursday – call her then.”
The next important rule to networking follow-ups is to follow up with EVERY lead a contact gives you. If a contact suggests that you call someone whom you know won’t really be able to help you in your job search, call him or her anyway. Otherwise, when your contact finds out you aren’t taking their advice, they may just decide not to give you any more the future and any business person can tell you that you never know from whom the most valuable lead will come some day. Keep the lines of communication open by giving any and all suggestions a whirl.
Last but not least, do the actual following-up. Follow up with your contact exactly when you said you would, and in the exact manner you said you would (phone, email, letter, etc). If for some reason you can’t make contact at the arranged time, keep trying. If you haven’t made arrangements for a follow-up with a contact, then the rule of thumb is to follow-up with them as soon as possible after meeting them. Try to at least send an email or letter the next day saying what a pleasure it was to meet and that you look forward to talking more in the future, and then say in that note when you plan to follow-up with your contact by phone. Then, of course, stick to that new follow-up obligation.
Even if the promises made by a contact while networking don’t pan out for you on the job front, don’t cross them off of your contact list. Keep them in the loop about your job search and your career goals. While they may not have been able to make if happen for you this time, you never know what they might be able to do for you in the future. Your most promising business contact may be someone you already know.
Fair Use Copyright Law Don’t Overstep the Fair Use Copyright Law Many people are interested in the fair use copyright law. The fair use copyright law enables people to use portions of material that is copyrighted for the purposes of criticism or as commentary. The hard part for many people is understanding what is permissible under the fair use copyright law and what is not permissible. Anyone who writes or publishes should brush up on what is allowed and what is not allowed. Using another person’s words to make news reports, to use as a comment or criticism or to use for research, scholarship, or for educational uses that are nonprofit are generally considered fair use. In these instances, the fair use copyright law allows one person or author to make use of another person or author’s work without asking permission to do so. In situations that do not fall within these specifications you are probably violating someone’s copyright if you use their work – especially if you are using another person’s work for economic or commercial gain. When you are trying to see if you can use another’s words, you should keep a few things in mind. The answer to the following questions will help you gage whether you would be violating a copyright. First, are you transforming someone else’s work or are you copying it? Second, are you going to be making any financial gains from your work that would compete with the original copyright holder? Third, do you have the author’s permission to quote their work? Just because you list the author and give credit to him or her does not protect you from infringing upon someone’s copyright. Fourth, how much of the original author’s work are you using? If you are using a substantial amount of another’s work, you are probably in direct violation of their copyright. Many publishing companies have set rules on how much material they will allow to be quoted in other sources. Some of these ranges start at 100 words or less. However, there are truly no standards to go by, so be careful. You can not assume that keeping your copying fewer than 50 words will allow you to pass under the radar – especially if the original piece is hovering around 125 words itself! Lastly, what portion of another’s work are you using? If it is the meat of the book and the most important part of the book, you are probably in direct violation of the owner’s copyright. With a little common sense it is not hard to decide if you are violating someone’s copyright. People who are truly interested in staying within the guidelines of the fair use copyright law usually do a good job of doing so. Many people push the fair use copyright law right up to the line, while others will blatantly cross over it without giving a second thought to the repercussions. When these people are summoned to court to answer for their vagrant disregard for the property and copyright of another they are usually sorry. Sorry they got caught! It is very important that people who take advantage of the fair use copyright law are held accountable for their actions. Without accountability many more people would follow in their footsteps and use another’s works as their own.
Why Time Management Makes for a Better Employee Time management is a major issue in the workplace. When time is not utilized efficiently, it leads to sloppy work, missed deadlines, and way too much stress. Employers are constantly seeking ways to teach their employees to manage their time better for a simple reason – a team that manages its time well is a team that is productive and successful. Everyone has done it. You’ve know that there is a big deadline approaching for weeks on end, and you kept telling yourself that have plenty of time. Then, suddenly, it is the day before the project is due, and you haven’t even begun it. You know you will have to pull an all-nighter, and even then you will be lucky to get everything done in time. Your heart is racing, your head is pounding, and you’re cursing your procrastination yet again, thinking about how much time you wasted surfing the next when you could have been doing a little work on the project every day, so it wouldn’t be so overwhelming. The end result of a project like this is predictable. You may get it in on time, or at least close to the deadline, but your work is likely to be sloppy. The rush job you did will be evident to everyone, and if your project involved making a pitch to a potential customer, your time management failure may end up costing your company big money (and costing you a job). As if you were not stressed enough already! If you contrast that performance with one in which you had effectively managed your time, the difference is clear. If you have worked on the project over the entire time span you had to finish it, a little bit at a time, then you would have had time to make sure your work was up to par. You wouldn’t have been scrambling for last minute information to include, and you could have made sure your work was free from little errors like typos or pages that printed incorrectly. Most importantly, you wouldn’t feel like you needed a week long vacation when the project was over, because your stress level never would have hit the roof. So, how do you become a happier and more effective employee by managing your time better? The first thing you can do to become an effective time manage is simple – write yourself a to-do list everyday. Not only does a to-do list help you think through exactly what you need to accomplish so you don’t forget anything in the rush, but it also helps you feel accountable for everything that needs to get done. If you write “spend 30 minutes on the big project” on your to-do list, it is a lot harder to come up with excuses why you can put it off for another day. Your conscience will make you want to get through everything on that list. If it seems like you never have enough time in the day, keep a journal of all of your activities. If you spend 20 minutes chatting by the coffee pot, write it down. After a week, look back over your activities. You may be surprised how much time you actually spend doing nothing. Now that you know, you can reinvest that time more wisely. The last thing is the hardest thing – getting over procrastination. This one is sheer willpower. When those voices in your head start arguing over whether to work on something now or put it off until later, listen to the work now voice. Give yourself manageable goals, like working on something for 15 minutes or 30 minutes, to get started. Once you experience the freedom from stress that time management brings, that procrastination voice will be a thing of the past.