It was both great and hellish to attend GraceWorks again yesterday morning. I was hoping former colleagues, Barbara, Rebecca and Tim would arrive as they had said they might I brought my Lola as usual. A service dog, she is normally extremely calm and well-behaved at meetings. Generally after poking around for a few minutes and exploring a new environment a bit, she settles down and goes to sleep. But not yesterday. She was anxious for the whole hour and a half of the meeting and kept trying to escape. It was very embarrassing especially during the speaker’s address which I really wanted to hear!
The speaker was Janet Beach, managing partner of US Marketing Services, a marketing consultancy. She’s also chairs the Job Forum Chamber of Commerce and wrote a bestseller, “How to Get a Job in the San Francisco Bay Area.”
As soon as she took the podium I realized she was the same woman I passed as I entered the room who had remarked, “Oh, there is a dog here. I love places that allow dogs.”
I was wondering what she was thinking now!
Her topic was: “Defining objectives:Increase your chances of being hired.”
I really really wanted to hear this and I really really didn’t want Lola to distract me or anybody else. But the mutt wouldn’t sit down. she kept tugging at the leash and trying to leave the room. I was sitting in the front of the room so everybody behind us noticed this easily.
The situation reminded me of mothers forced to take their bawling infants out of church during Mass. I thought maybe she just had to pee, at least I hoped that was the reason, so I took her out to the street. Oh no, she actually wanted to go home. she indulged me with a few tinkles and I took her back in and the bad behavior resumed. Finally I spritzed my precious cockapoo with a flower essence called rescue remedy. When I do this at home, she calms almost immediately. Yesterday, nothing.
I was determined to listen to Janet Beach although I had missed some of her discourse I got the drift of it. She was saying that when you network with people you must be very specific about what you’re looking for — even if you’re not sure what you want yet. You must have a job title in mind, industry and companies you’d like to work for. Without being specific, people can’t help you.
She allowed that early in one’s job search one isn’t necessarily sure of what one wants. But one can research a job/industry for a month or six weeks before trying on the next job/industry.
I found her advice about being specific extremely helpful because I knew that today, Tuesday September 9, I was going to have an informational interview with former sources. And I used that advice to advantage. My two hosts really got down to thinking for me when I asked them if they know people in thus and so company.
I asked the speaker, “How do you research the company if you don’t know anyone who works there?”
The suggestions were numerous: LinkedIn, San Francisco Business Times, joined the Chamber of Commerce which has an introductory meeting on Wednesdays from three to five for prospective members, a publishing company called Wet Feet specializes in books about particular industries.
It was also suggested that one volunteer to join the ambassadors club at the chamber of commerce as a way of getting to know many people. Someone pointed out that he uses LinkedInby inputting a company name to see the background of all the staff, their profiles, their job titles and average age.
Carlos Hernandez advised that thoseinterested in nonprofits check out the web sites called M2 and taproot which I promised myself I will do again.
Beforeshe took off for the airport, Janet Beach said she had learned something from the networking discussion (which thanks to Lola, I completely missed)that it’s useful to have heard ones elevator speech with the locution: “what I mean by that is…”
She said it helps prevent the glazed look on the part of the person listening to your elevator speech.
I was still struggling with Lola and at one point I grabbed her from going out the door only to overturn my cup of tea on my neighbor’s lap right as we were about to do an exercise. Talk about mortified. I took his card, promised to send him $10 bucks for cleaning and shot out of there.
It turned out that Barbara was the only former colleague who arrived at GraceWorks. It’s a long haul for most people coming from out of town. But it was good connect with her again.