Tag Archives | networking

In The Middle Of A Job Change? It’s The Perfect Time To Enhance Your Portfolio

Regardless of what the popular press might have you believe, not everyone who is job hunting is living in a crappy work situation. There are other reasons to want to leave a job besides being miserable. You could be wanting to learn more, become a cardcarrying member of management, try new challenging projects, or move to a different city (to name just a few options).

If this sounds like you, you may also note a strange limbo-like feeling where you’re standing in two different worlds. It’s a peculiar window of time that starts when you’re thinking seriously about changing jobs and the time you actually make the jump. It can drive some folks nuts. But it’s in this window that opportunities continue to appear if we’re open to seeing them. The problem is that we focus so much on that next great gig, we often don’t see them. These can be important stepping stones we can use to continue building our professional portfolios.

Here are a few springboard questions to ask:
Is there a gap in my resume or portfolio that I can work on now?
If you’ve started putting feelers out there for a new job (in particular if you’ve had some interviews), you’ve likely started getting ideas on areas where you can add a little extra meat to your portfolio (or extra tofu if you’re of the vegetarian persuasion). I’m a firm believer that a portfolio can always be enhanced so look for opportunities to improve your marketable expertise and results.

Is there a network or contact relationship that I can cultivate?
Don’t discount your internal contacts now. Just because you’re thinking of leaving a workplace doesn’t mean you have to stop making professional connections. If anything, this is a prime time to keep meeting and talking and learning from people. Oh…and those external networks are pretty good ones to continue to cultivate, too.

It could be that you’ve tapped out all of your opportunities. If that’s the case, then it’s definitely time to move on quickly. But if you recognize that there’s still something left in the tank, take some time to step back and reflect on what you can do right now to build a stronger portfolio rather than dwell exclusively on a future yet to come.

Any other road-tested wisdom out there from folks in job change limbo?

Also posted at Career Hub…read more articles at the #1 HR Blog according to HR World.


Giving A Bad Relationship A Fresh Start

Thom Singer over at Some Assembly Required wrote a thoughtful post on how to revive a professional relationship that’s gone sour. He writes:

Sometimes it is easy when you have a large circle of friends and professional contacts to place the blame on the other person. Obviously the issue cannot be you, as there are many examples of folks who adore you….so the problem must rest with the other person. I disagree, as to have a positive relationship takes the effort of both people. Besides, taking responsibility to fix a bad connection is not the same as admitting guilt. Instead it shows you really care about your networking and are willing to give folks a second chance.

What I really like is the part where he says, “…taking responsibility to fix a bad connection is not the same as admitting guilt.” I think this is where we get hung up so many times. We hold on to the notion that in order to salvage a relationship, we always need to have an intense dialogue where we confess our past sins and then hope the other party does the same. In some cases, this course of action is unavoidable but I’d argue that its only for the most exceptional cases where feelings have been deeply hurt. For most of our relationships – particularly professional relationships – asking for a clean slate offers some strong advantages. Here’s how Thom cleans the slate:

I take a moment to let them know where I was disappointed in the past, but also own the fact that I cannot really know their situation, and that I do not need an explanation or apology, but instead I would just like to start over.

The greatest advantage of this path is that we’re way more likely to engage in this type of dialogue than we are if we choose to go into full confessional mode whenever a conflict arises in a relationship. Not only is the latter time consuming, it’s painful…and most of us want to avoid painful interpersonal encounters.