Network and A Poor Professional Decision.
What will follow is straight from the heart and experience about my NETWORK, something I never valued or thought I had.
What brought it on?
The unfortunate experience of realizing I gave up a lot for something that was not the right path for me. In hindsight, the world was truly my oyster when I made this decision, I was at the top of the game in a place that does take care you if you choose to take care of yourself. I realized this by coming back to a life I once knew and wanted to leave behind. Now I find myself in the thick of it again.
Life is about lessons learned and charting your own path, remember there are always consequences. Sometimes these consequences can be more than you think. But the good news is you can recover from them and find your way back. Your story is still being written…This is what I learned.
A Network, Yes You Have One!
Not every decision we make is life altering and every “life altering” decision we make can usually be fixed, from a professional standpoint. There is a rumor of “career suicide” someone saying that also think entrepreneurship is for those that have millions behind them and/or are overly risky. This is not the case any more, some decisions might make navigating a career path more difficult, but rarely make someone a lame duck.
What to do after I have made a poor professional decision?
First do not panic! It will get better and recovery will happen as will a new job or career path.
Secondly, get on the phone, email, social or the nearest watering hole (bar) where you might find people you know and starting talking.
Why my Network?
Who better to talk with and start working on the next phase of your career than with those you know and in return know you! Even if it is to sit and chat, these people know you and can help you get over the hump of starting over after a bad decision or whatever sent you into the career abyss in the first place. It doesn’t have to be people that are in your industry either; it can be anyone you know in any industry. You most likely will have more contacts in your industry, but that will do fine.
What does my Network have to offer?
Your network has the world to offer!
This network can point you in the direction of potential jobs, some may even have positions available! Also, this network can provide introductions to people that might be able to get you on the right path, offer employment or turn you onto to something entirely new. The possibilities are endless as to what can happen in this time. The door is wide open as to what can happen next!
How can I put my Network to work for me?
Now that you have checked in with your network and they know your why, it is time for the next step. Get them to work for you and create a Board of Directors. Forget your bank, credit card or mortgage balance (rent due) and take those you think are most important out and create “board of directors”. Yes, this is a concept that is preached in any class that deals with a career, network, sociology or professional/interpersonal communication. It is a very lame concept and the discussions are equally boring, however the concept works. Keep in mind this board doesn’t have to be formal, nor do you have to let anyone know about it. Imagine this small group to be your inner-circle that will hear crazy ideas and thoughts on what comes next. This group should be the ones that will work the hardest for you.
Remember to always start with “why” and the end or ultimate goal. Find a way to let the board of directors know they are important to you and in turn, they will work for you. Previously I mentioned not worrying about bank accounts and what not, this is where it comes in. If someone on your board of directors like wine, go buy them a bottle of wine one day or take them out for a nice glass of wine. For the audiophile an iTunes GC would really let them know how important they are to you. Now that they know they are important, the first person on their mind when a job or other opportunity comes up is hopefully…YOU! This can be done with others in the network, but first start with your “board of directors”
Now that my Board and Network are working, I can sit back and wait!
Do not fall victim to complacency or thinking others will do everything for you!
You still need to hit the pavement and seek out every opportunity possible, with or without help. In conversations, especially with others in the restaurant business, go apply in person! Think of places that those in your network mentioned and go there. Apply to these places and try to get the card of a manager. Make sure this is the manager known by a friend. After the application is filled out, shoot an email to said manager mentioned by your network.
Send a text, email or if you are old fashioned a phone call to the person in your network that you applied. Let them know you spoke to their contact. The best part is, this creates a reason for you to contact someone in your network and for someone in your network to contact someone in their network. It’s a wonderful cycle of communication that creates something for everyone! Be a spark for everyone in your direct and indirect network.
My Network Is Working for Me and I am Hitting the Pavement, Can I Relax?
Remember not to exhaust yourself and do not forget that everyone around you has work to do. Allow them to tend their jobs, families and other priorities.
Yes you should relax and enjoy life, remember too much of anything is bad for the mind, body and soul. Do not let your guard down though, you never know when opportunity will strike or your answer will be found.
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