Make Your Career Roadmap
We were talking this process, we were talking this formula and how I think so many of the challenges we have with networking is kind of like putting the cart before the horse. Right? If we're so fixated down here, things get jumbled up, we get mixed up, we don't know why we're doing something, we're anxious, confused, frustrated, this isn't working. Rather if we'd had clarity here. And that's what we're gonna talk about and why and how this should make sense to people. We run around doing a bunch of busy work, you run around doing a bunch of activities. Think about it in a workplace context. When someone asks you to take a project and you don't know what it relates to. Does this relate to the strategic plan? Like you need to know where everything fits within a puzzle. You... You know, other examples just sort of get this in people's mind... Cause sometimes career road maps, people might be sitting here going well I'm a college grad. I'm changing jobs, I'm feeling a tension at work, and...
I don't know where I wanna go. But you might have a direction you know you wanna head and you don't know exactly when you're gonna get there but you know where you wanna go. So think like a road trip... I flew out here to San Francisco, could've driven, but then again even if you said I wanna take, you know, I'm in San Francisco and I'm gonna take a road trip to Miami. Well are you gonna go down the coast and then cut across? Through New Mexico and Texas, no? Louisiana down to Miami? Are you gonna take the Northern route? Or are you gonna find some swath straight down the middle? Even if you do have a destination, there's a multitude of routes and roads. What kinda car are you gonna drive? What kinda time of year? The other analogy I always use is football. I know, women talking sports it's such a cliché. I gotta throw a joke in there every once in a while just to make sure the audience is, you know, that everyone's paying attention and listening. Tom Brady, whether you're not, you're a patriots fan or not, he's an exceptional quarter back. He'd suck if he was the only person that they put on the field. But think about football... You're in one end zone, you're heading to another end zone. You know what direction you're headed in. How often does a Hail Mary work in football... To get a touchdown? (whispers) Not often. What happens, you fumble, you have to have a multitude of plays, you go to call in special teams. You gotta throw to or pass off to different team members cause they're the right person to help you out. And you slowly and methodically make your way, lets put it this way, you purposefully and intentionally keep headed in that direction. So whether, I wanna say a road trip analogy works for you in terms of alright why do I, why Kelly with your, why do I have to start with a goal? You need to know where you're headed. What's your ultimate destination? So whether you think a road trip, whether you think football, or you've got something else in your mind, that's why I'm like you gotta start with where you wanna go. And start figuring that piece out. I know there's gonna be people out there... Again it goes back to, it goes back to where we started with the challenges and the mixed feelings we have around the word network or networking, it can still, I mean lets just finally like really shed any of those misconceptions. This is one of my Kellyisms... For me, curiosity and discovery are not random acts of networking... If there's a new group you wanna go and see what it's all about, the way I ran around the New York start-up community. How I got involved in 85 Broads, that wasn't random. Random, to me, random isn't doing something completely new cause a colleague at work says hey do you wanna come and do a dance class with me? An Alvin Ailey? I know someone who did that and the thought of it just cracks me up, but if you knew this person and knew the dance class, and you knew where Alvin Ailey's dance studio is, which is basically means you're dancing in the middle of the street in New York City and if you're not a very good dancer and it's the style of dance that you're really not good at, the whole thought is really funny. But it wasn't random cause they wanted to build a relationship with a colleague. Things like that aren't random to me. What is random, and why I say stop committing random acts of networking, is when you stand there in a room... And you think to yourself, why, you're gonna fill my blank for me, why on Earth am I here? Who thought this was a good idea? Good God, I don't wanna know anyone here, how can I slink out? Or you start to fill out a profile on some site and you're thinking, why did someone think I should join this online network? That's the random stuff. When you can't attach it and tie it to something that is important to you and discovery and curiosity are really good reasons. Friendship is a really good reason. Cause it makes your heart or your soul sore is a really good reason. Someone telling you it was a good idea is not a good reason. And that's why I say this. Stop committing random acts of networking. So another question we had in the studio right when we were gonna go for the break, was around setting goals. And this is one of the worksheets or piece of the worksheet that comes with the course. And this is really getting you, and you could use this worksheet, you can use whatever worksheet, what is your goal? And the reason why we ask the question four times with different emphasis... Cause you need to get specific. Go back to Tom Brady and football. I want you start breaking down, your big goal is to get a touchdown, alright maybe your bigger goal is to win the Super Bowl, but big goal is to get a touchdown. That's a lotta downs you need to get there. There's incremental goals and there may be different people, and different opportunities and different things you need to do to make each of those steps happening. Think about your own life and your own inbox. Lets use a hypothetical that everyone in this room has probably experienced. Hey Kelly, I'm looking for a job... Attaching my resume, can you help? You're looking for a job, what're you looking for a job at? Are you looking for a job at Creative Live, are you looking for a job at Walgreens? What are you looking for? Are you looking for in the same profession? In the same city? You can start to see the problem. The work... The ability for someone to help you has just been hampered cause we don't know what you want. And when next to your reputation and your relationships, your most valuable asset is time. People aren't gonna help if it's now gonna take them a lot of time to figure out what the heck that you want. So get specific. Give them a target to fire at. Tell them exactly what you're looking for. Cause if you are to say to them, you know what? Looking for a digital marketing role with a... Lets think a... With Procter and Gamble, I want one with a consumer package good company, I want a digital media role that consumer package company Procter and Gamble would be terrific. Someone emails me that and I go, gosh, don't know if I know anyone at Procter and Gamble but I know a former executive who was at Campbell Soup, would you wanna talk to them? You now see if you give people a really hyper-specific target or goal, they know where to aim for and you got a radius of possibilities. If you just say, oh I'm looking for a job, can ya help? I don't know where in the universe to start firing. I don't know what to send you. And that's why they get hyper hyper hyper-specific. Not only so your network can help you, so that you know the right people to ask in your network. I'm just gonna pause there for a second, one of the things I haven't said is, you write a book on networking, that's sort of based on what you do, or how you live... And your focus in how you network doesn't change once you write the book. So if you're sort of thinking, yeah Kelly this is all great advice, but what do you do? Oh no, I do this. (laughs) when I had the ambition and the goal to write Build Your Dream Network, what did I do? Gosh, how do you even start this darn journey? Right, who are three people I could ask cause two of them had recently published book, well one of recently published, one was in the process of writing the proposal, another one was in the publishing industry and could give me some insights. Boom. But I was like where do you start? I need to talk to people who know where to start. Once I'd gotten through writing the proposal, it was, alright, the next agent's process now that I've decided to write a book proposal is, do I self-publish or go for a publisher? Who's done both and what's the insights they can give me on that? And I kept niching and slicing my network so that I wasn't going back to the same person and I wasn't just randomly throwing out, hey everyone in Kelly's network, I wanna-- we got this great graphic I have to use it. Hey everyone (laughs) in Kelly's network, I wanna write a book, who can help me? That would've gotten crickets. Or it would've gotten bunch of loose ends to run all over place rather than finding the specific few people who could really help me. And God bless, they did. So that's why I'm like, don't be afraid of being specific. Don't be afraid of having absolute clarity on what you want to do. Because then they can say, God I actually don't know anyone. Great! I don't have to worry about why I haven't heard from you. But you've also got them thinking cause they might go, oh gosh, actually there is someone, but they weren't exactly at Procter and Gamble, they were over here. They're at this start-up called Brandless. Would that be interesting to you? You give them something to aim at and they're gonna come back with something.