Welcome to SixFigureStart®

Career Coaching by Former Fortune 500 Recruiters

Integrating The Professional and Personal Into Your Networking

“Never Eat Alone” by Keith Ferrazzi and Tahl Raz makes a point about tailoring your networking pitch to your audience.  Ferrazzi mentions that when he wants to dazzle professionally, he focuses on his HBS background, his consulting partnership at Deloitte and the other blue chip, pedigree items in his background.  When he wants to connect, he talks about growing up in a blue collar family.  This is a very useful point to remember at all stages of your networking, not just your pitch:  you have multiple dimensions, at a minimum personal and professional, but you can also define yourself by your past/ future, accomplishments/ goals, skills/ attributes and more.

When you define your network, remember the personal and the professional contacts you have.  When you approach people, remember Keith Ferrazzi’s tip:  adjust based on who you are talking to and the effect you want to make.  When you follow up, it’s not always about business or always about fun.  Sometimes you need to ask a friend for a lead or a referral.  Sometimes you have a restaurant to recommend or personal update for a business connection. 

Networking is about building relationships so this is not a black/ white proposition.  Relationships grow organically, they ebb and flow.  It’s not about getting personal, staying professional, or thinking either/ or.  Integrate both professional and personal into the relationships you build.

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