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Power Referrals for Your Job Search & Career Advancement with Andrea Sittig-Rolf

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So you have a perfect resume, a top-notch cover letter, glowing reference letters, and the confidence and attitude to interview like a pro. Ready. Set. Job search success… almost. Your preparation, positive attitude, and resume are vital to the life and success of your job search, however there is one integral element missing from this scenario… networking. It is easy to underestimate its value and dismiss it, but in fact seventy five to eighty percent of jobs today are found through contacts and associations. Cold calling seem too intimidating? For many the answer is a resounding yes. Even approaching an acquaintance or friend to discuss jobs and careers can create some nervousness and trepidation. Yet networking remains arguably the most important tool in a successful job search, so take a deep breath and commit to networking your way to a better job and better career. This week we invited Andrea Sittig-Rolf, founder of Sittig Incorporated and author of Power Referrals: The Ambassador Method for Empowering Others to Promote Your Business and Do the Selling for You, to discuss insights for building lasting relationships, and tips for job search and career success.

Networking in a Nutshell

If we consider networking in broad terms, it is something that we do nearly every single day. When we encounter other individuals we engage in conversations, share our ideas and experiences, and exchange advice and assistance. In doing so we establish contacts and connections with people, whether they are mere acquaintances or individuals we have known for years. As we communicate and build these relationships each and every day, we are constantly networking, and this gives us new opportunities to learn, grow, and expand our horizons. Networking enables us to do the same thing when we apply it to our careers. If we make the effort to take advantage of every opportunity we have to speak with individuals, we can learn from them and enhance our journeys and achieve our career goals.

Networking remains one of the most vital components of a successful job search. In Job Search: The Total System, we talk about the hidden job market, which consists of those positions not posted or made public in newspaper ads or online databases. Many jobs are “hidden” in the minds of employers, and they consist of positions that will become available or will be created, or they may be jobs that employers have simply chosen not to publicize. Many people who obtain jobs in the hidden job market do so through networking, and so your associations are essential if you want to broaden your opportunities and break into the hidden market. Establish relationships with individuals who have connections in a company you would like to target, and become part of their networks so that your name and resume are visible when a position opens or a company begins hiring.

It is also always important to broaden the way we think about networking. Our networks are made up of diverse and unique individuals and are more multifaceted than we probably know. Contacts may be family, friends, classmates, and teachers, or they could be individuals we may have met in passing at a holiday gathering or other event. Social networking sites like LinkedIn, as well as professional associations, business communities, religious organizations, and numerous others also provide us with opportunities to grow our social circles and contacts. When you broaden how you think about networking you will begin developing relationships with individuals whom you otherwise may have never met.

Networking like all aspects of a job search requires effort and a positive mental attitude. It is important to be proactive and enthusiastic when establishing contacts. Make an initial phone call or offer to meet a contact for lunch or coffee, and take those opportunities to express your interests and show the other person you care. Take a genuine interest in your contacts and what they have to say, and your honesty, candor, and enthusiasm will in turn propel them to take an interest in you, your abilities, and your potential. Expanding your network with enthusiasm will open doors to new jobs and opportunities for career advancement, and as an added benefit, it may awaken some latent passions, talents, and goals you had not considered previously.

Power Referrals with Andrea Sittig-Rolf

Andrea Sittig-Rolf is the founder of the corporate sales training and business development firm Sittig Incorporated and creator of the program The Blitz Experience. She is also a successful author, columnist, and radio show host, and she joined us this week to talk about how building relationships into referrals can help us achieve our goals faster. We asked Andrea to explain the inspiration and strategies behind her hugely successful sales training program, The Blitz Experience, and how it has enabled numerous professionals to increase sales and grow their businesses. She explained that The Blitz Experience uses an inspirational methodology and unique, customized workshops to help professionals achieve real results. Each day the workshops foster fun, exciting, and competitive work environments and define specific objectives – or “niches” – for participants. These two elements – a positive atmosphere and clear, specific goals – work synergistically to unleash power and excitement in individuals, thereby inspiring them to make business connections, build contacts, and achieve results. The Blitz Experience workshops empower professionals and encourage them to communicate positively with others and share their successes with them. Conveying a high level of energy and sharing success stories enables professionals to overcome obstacles and efficiently reach their goals.

Sittig-Rolf’s book Power Referrals: The Ambassador Method for Empowering Others to Promote Your Business and Do the Selling for You emerged out of The Blitz Experience practices and methodology. It encourages readers and professionals to communicate with others and build relationships in ways that empower the other person. The practice of encouraging and validating others propels them to take a genuine interest in helping you. Mutual respect and genuine interest foster a strong rapport between two parties, and the power of this kind of partnership is that people begin to talk about you and promote you, even in your absence. Sittig-Rolf defines these partnerships – characterized by reciprocity – as ambassador relationships. If you help others and project a positive image of yourself, your ambassadors will promote you. In her book Sittig-Rolf promotes the A.C.T. (Acquire Cultivate Teach) concept as the paradigm for developing successful ambassador relationships. You must help your ambassadors promote you by cultivating relationships with them, communicating with them, and teaching them how to promote you and your business. Make your resume, business cards, contact information, and other resources easily accessible so it becomes a natural and effortless process for them to promote you. Teach your ambassadors about yourself by sharing what you have achieved, what sets you apart, and what you will bring to a position. The details that you share with your ambassadors are what companies and potential employers want to know about you and what your ambassadors love to share! Remember, always think big, project your visionary plans and ideas, and sell yourself!

The measure of success of your ambassador relationships depends not only on your strategy but also on your mindset and approach to these partnerships. People want to work with happy, positive, and energetic people, and so it is important to always be upbeat and confident as you develop relationships. Despite nervousness, reservations, or introverted inclinations, it is important to always project confidence when communicating with others. As you practice and convey confidence, networking will become more natural, and it will enrich your interactions with others and enhance the image they have of you.

In the last segment of the show this week, Andrea Sittig-Rolf shared with us some extra insights on power referrals and cultivating successful ambassador relationships and networking contacts. It is often easy to see the tremendous value and potential in other people and overlook our own unique qualities, but Sittig-Rolf mentioned that we should never lose sight of what we bring to our relationships. She defined this as “social currency,” or the value that we contribute to a partnership and how we can help other people. When you approach contacts or ambassadors, think of ways you can bestow networking benefits; take a genuine interest in assisting others, and they will feel compelled to give back to you and return the favor. Andrea also recommends making phone calls and talking to people you want to incorporate into your network, writing thank you notes to your contacts, and even setting up Google Alerts so you can receive updates that can benefit both you and your ambassadors.

Networking remains an influential factor in successful job searches and career development, and by incorporating it into your job search and plans for career advancement you will broaden your prospects and enhance your knowledge and career potential. Add power referrals to your perfect resume, sparkling cover letter, and flawless interviewing techniques, and you will leverage your networking beyond your expectations to discover new horizons of job and career potential.

Categories: Author · Career Development · Job Search · Networking · radio show

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