Saturday, June 20, 2009

Pay Attention...

After having watched the season final of "Real Housewives of New Jersey", I learned that telling someone from Jersey to "pay attention" could actually result in what is apparently known as a "New Jersey table flip". However, I'm not from Jersey and my "pay attention" has a wildly different tone and meaning than the show's.

So what do I mean by "pay attention"? I mean pay attention to your surroundings, friends, colleagues, networks (online and offline), etc. and listen and pay attention to what they share with you. Hopefully, they'll listen and pay attention to you, too. You never know when you'll hear something that will be beneficial to you and others and vice versa.

Now I can only bet you're wondering, what the heck is Tracy talking about? Well, allow me to tell you a story...or rather a number of stories of what I've experienced this week alone, all because people paid attention.

Story #1
This week I sat down and reconnected with a former co-worker and discussed what we've been up to the last few years and what we're doing now. It was a great hour of catching up and "I hope we can work together soons". One thing he mentioned was how he'd just helped someone find an executive communications role. The wheels start turning and I recalled a lady I'd met at a career workshop--she is an executive communications manager, so I mentioned that I knew someone who was in the market for just such a role, and later in the week I was able to connect them.

See how I did that? I paid attention to what she said weeks ago and hopefully, something will come of it. And if not, well, we gave it a go and she has a connection for the future.

Story #2
I decided to go to a job fair on Thursday and was exchanging email with another job seeker about it and she let me know about a role that she thought I'd find interesting. I did find it interesting, and then reached out to a friend who is connected to that company to see if they knew more about the position. As it turns out, my friend said it wasn't a good place to be, so I didn't pursue. I said thanks for thinking of me to my job seeker buddy and that was that. The next day two more job seeker buddies--one of them is the executive communications lady previously mentioned--pinged me about the very same job!

See what happened there? My network paid attention and listened to me, too. Even though it wasn't something I was going to pursue, it's really cool that they thought of me.

Story #3
One of the other job seekers noted in Story #2 was looking at roles at a company where I knew someone. I told her that if she found something of interest that I'd be happy to send her resume to my contact. Low and behold, she found a position, I sent her resume, and she got a call on Friday for a phone screen. I'm so thrilled for her--I can't wait to hear how it goes.

Did you see that? It was a quick one. Networking in action again. She remembered someone in her network could connect her and she saw results.

Story #4
I've been following a few networking events and am planning to attend a couple in the next two weeks. I reached to a few fellow job seekers and asked if they wanted to go, too. Just about everyone is going including a couple of others who were connected to my connections. It all works out nicely. This morning I received more detailed information about next week's event and shared it with them, too. There's a great list of companies expected to attend--they'll be ready and so will we.

It's so easy...a few emails here and there and I have a gaggle of people to go in the door with before we spread out and conquer the room. I've said it before and I'll say it's not easy going to networking events especially on your own, so spread the word and invite some peeps and have some fun with it.

Story #5
This is my personal favorite. I was working from home late Friday afternoon when my husband sends me a tweet. He forwarded a tweet from the CEO of a company with an open position that I'm REALLY interested in. I've done the traditional send the resume to the recruiter, reached out for intros via LinkedIn, and am following him and his team on Twitter, but hadn't gained traction (or followers) yet. But here's this was an invite from CEO encouraging people to come by that afternoon and have a beer and chat. Holy crow--what an opportunity! BUT, I couldn't make it at that late hour, so I tweeted him and said that I couldn't make it, but wanted to discuss the open position with him. A little while later, I get a direct message with an invite to email him and the VP of Marketing to figure out time to talk. Okay, that's deserving of another HOLY CROW! I'm so excited! I have a little bit of work to do this weekend in order to get some face time.

Again, I listened...or better yet, my husband paid attention and shared with me. Thanks, hon.

I just can't say it attention. Listen to what other's people's needs and wants are and they'll do the same for you. So go on, reach out, connect people, and good Karma will come to you.

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