When I started a media organization as a relative unknown, I needed allies. So I had to reach out to film people with a lot more stature than me. In the beginning, I had just a few connections and hardly any introductions, but I still got a great response rate. And that’s because of how I worded my request. I challenge you to get a meeting with someone who can change your career. Read more for the blueprint of how to do it.
This challenge is for you if:
1. Your job is no longer satisyfing. You’d like to feel excited again with work that makes better use of your talent. But you’ve been at your current job for awhile. And you have no idea what’s out there for a person with your experience and skill set.
2. You’re growing a business and need more clients to buy your services and/or customers to buy your products.
3. You’ve been laid off (and it hurts). You’ve been applying for jobs, and no one is hiring you. You’re trying to figure out how to talk about your present situation and not sound like a loser. And you’re fearful about how to explain to HR the growing gap in your resume.
How to get started:
Step 1: Who Inspires You?
– Identify 5 companies you really admire for whom you’d love to work or provide services.
– Identify 5 individuals who are successful in a field you’re interested in exploring, or in the business you’re already growing.
(For guidance as to what inspires you, click here first:)
Step 2: Research Connectors
Use Linkedin to learn more about your inspirational group of 10. Check out their connections and see if any match up with yours. Refer back to your address book and other social media contacts. This step will take some time. But it’s worth it.
If you discover that you have connectors, get in touch (even if you haven’t talked to them in awhile). Ask them about their relationship and if they’d be willing to write an introductory email. If that’s too much of a lift, see if you can use their name as a referral when composing your own email. As you’re doing this, you’ll also be expanding your network, and that’s a good thing.
Step 3. To Change Your Career, It’s Time to Reach Out
Once your connector has introduced you or given permission to use his or her name, it’s time to draft the email. And even if you don’t have any connectors, go for it anyway.
Here’s what’s most important for this email:
Keep it short. People are busy.
Think about the person or company’s self interest. Tell them why they or their company really excite you. Make it personal. Explain your story in a sentence or two. (This will probably take practice and editing.) And make sure to include a specific ask – whether it’s an in-person meeting or phone conversation. Let them know what you hope to learn. And remember, to meet this challenge, all you have to get is one meeting with someone who inspires you.
Step 4. Set a Deadline
Commit. Start today. And set a deadline. From the time you read this, give yourself one week to get through the first 3 steps.
Report Back to Achieve Your Career Goal
Part of what makes coaching so valuable is the built-in accountability. You commit to doing something with your coach, and then at your next session, she holds your accountable. So commit to this challenge to get one meeting with someone who inspires you. And finally (this part is crucial!) comment here to let me know how it goes. I’m excited to hear about your results.
If you’d like more accountability and a personalized plan for career change, let’s talk.