networking events

Do You Need a Job to Get a Job?

With the United States having its highest unemployment rate in several decades and several other countries facing similar economic challenges, more people are looking for work now than ever. I was listening to a radio show this week and a caller raised the question of whether it’s possible for people who have been unemployed for over a year to find a job in this job market. So the question is does having a job help when you’re looking for work or is it a necessity?

While I don’t think it’s impossible to find work while you’re unemployed (I’ve found work twice while unemployed), there certainly are advantages to being employed while seeking a new job. Being employed helps you with the perception of looking like you have more value – even though that’s not necessarily true.

How to Get the Most Out of a Speed Networking Event

Speed networking has to be one of the coolest trends for business events in recent years. It’s not only good for experienced networkers, but it’s the best thing to happen to nervous networkers. Even if you have no clue what to do at a networking event, you can walk away from a speed networking event with dozens of connects.

If you’re not familiar with speed networking, it’s an event format that allows you to meet a lot of folks in a fixed amount of time (usually 30-90 minutes). You usually have two or three minutes to talk to your networking partner and then a whistle blows and it’s time to switch.

Dressing for Success

Business dress code - photo courtesy of Penny MathewsWhether you’re at a job interview, attending a networking event or giving a speech, it’s important that you dress appropriately. I’ve seen fashion faux pas in business situations that have actually shocked me: from the person that I interviewed who was dressed more casually than me to person at a networking event who was dressed like he was meeting Cinderella at the grand ball.

Appropriate dress is always in the eyes of the beholder and inappropriate dress can often cause negative perceptions about you before you even open your mouth. Three’s no hard and fast rule such as all job interviews require formal dress or all networking events require business dress as I’ve seen several situations where events that traditionally require formal dress requested casual dress and vice versa.