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CAREER CHANGE SERIES

THE BRAND YOU REVOLUTION SERIES


BUILDING PERSONAL NETWORKS

Quote

“At least 60% - some report even higher


statistics - of all jobs are found through
networking”

ARTICLE
Do you know how to effectively search for a job? Do you know
how to discover and mine the hidden job market? Does your
job search begin when you need to be employed or is it a
continuous repetitive activity or philosophy? Do you know
what others think of you, how they would describe you? What
is the ratio of the quality of your resume packaging, relative to
the number of interviews you get invited for? How can you
leverage the things you’ve done in the past for what you want
to do in the future?

The answer to these questions must begin with TWO things,


building your network for where you are going (wherever that
is!); and raising the bar of your perceived value, through the
development of real value (here you work relentlessly on who-
you-must-become).

RAISING THE BAR OF YOUR PERCEIVED PERSONAL VALUE :


WHO-MUST-I BECOME
Taking a cue from an article I wrote several months ago, on
the, concept of personal value - “A job, according to Tom
Jackson, is an opportunity to solve a problem, and since there
is no shortage of problems, there is no shortage of job
opportunities (thus, as long as you are willing to be a solution
provider to a problem, there will always be an array of jobs to
choose from).
CAREER CHANGE SERIES
There is however, one limitation; you cannot offer what you do
not have! Many job changers these days package their
resumes like career obituaries, without any idea of the value
they intend to bring to an organization on a daily basis. No
wonder the response for most job applications is “silence”.

Your perceived value/ your scarcity value, for which


organizations will willingly pay, does not develop overnight; it
takes time, money and resilience. These resources MUST be
invested in order to create an exceptional product – YOU.

The development process of Brand YOU will involve a personal


development plan, that requires the use of personal and well
sought after organizational stretch assignments
(assignments that require that you start something from
scratch, or fix something that is failing, or assignments that
greatly increase the scope of your responsibilities or highly
visible projects). High challenging goals with high expectations
and an equal chance of success and failure, developmental
assignments , jobs or bosses’ feedback (positive/negative),
mentoring by superiors and peers, personally sponsored
training programs with reputable training consultancies such as
Lagos Business School etc.

Do not expect any company to hand you a development plan,


accept responsibility for your own development – use your
resources to fast track your development.

Begin to look for ways to exercise profit and loss responsibility


(inside or outside your current job responsibilities), look for
assignments with high responsibility, relationship building
tasks; hone your presentation and communication skills
through attending public and self-training programs etc

Use the above-mentioned developmental steps and


experiences to build and then hone your point of difference
and your scarcity value in the marketplace.

Research shows that:


 People grow on the job when they have the right blend of
developmental experiences early in their career, also
CAREER CHANGE SERIES
 It is critical for executives to gain a wide variety of
experience related more to moves across “problem
domains”, as opposed to frequency of promotions.

A Harvard publication states that,” the essence of


development is that diversity and adversity beat
repetition every time. The more dramatic the change in skill
demands, the more severe the personal problems, the more
bottom-line pressure … the more opportunity there is for
learning. Unappealing as that may seem, being shocked and
pressured and having problems with other people teach the
most. For future executives, comfortable circumstances are
hardly the road to the top.”

The work environment has a way of orchestrating


unplanned events arising out of market realities, to
create unexpected opportunities disguised as problems.
These problems/ opportunities may require that you stretch
yourself (bridge the chasm between your resources and
aspirations), in order to create innovative solutions that
become working realities.

Friend, the bigger your personal and organizational challenges,


the more you must grow, stretch and expand your
mental capability and capacity to solve it. As you learn,
grow, stretch and expand, you become the change you
wish to become – and outgrow the scope of your current
responsibilities; you bridge the gap between the perceived and
the real.”

BUILDING YOUR NETWORK FOR WHERE YOU ARE GOING


Do you have people you have worked with in the past who can
testify to the outstanding results you are capable of producing
– your potential? People who feel strongly about the quality of
your work and are comfortable marketing your personal brand
equity (your performance, image and exposure); or people
who you called in to assist in empowering others through an
extracurricular activity of your interest – more on this later.
CAREER CHANGE SERIES
Answering these questions entail embracing the networking
philosophy; however most people see networking as a means
to an end – getting a job, winning an account or attaining a
position. Many do not know that networking is not
contacting everyone you know when you are looking
for a new job and asking them if they know of any job
openings (because no one likes someone who comes
around when they need something, and disappear
when they don’t); networking actually begins long
before you commence a job search – it is a philosophy
and must become your lifestyle.

According the famous six degrees of separation principle, our


personal contacts are valuable to the extent to which they help
us reach, in as few connections as possible, the person(s)
who has/ have the job information/ link that we need. The
challenge however is that, these networks are usually with
people, who know little or nothing about our competence,
character or even the level of our commitment; people
who we have LITTLE in common – THE STRENGTH OF OUR
WEAK TIES - I've been offered jobs on more than one occasion
simply because an acquaintance knew my background and
skills.

Defined
Herminia Ibarra defined networking as, creating a fabric of
personal contacts who will provide support, feedback,
insight, resources and information. It entails the building
of alliances; these contacts provide important referrals,
information, and often developmental support such as
coaching and mentoring.

Networking can also be defined as a constant process of


giving (without the ulterior motive of expecting to
receive) and receiving – of asking for and offering help.
CAREER CHANGE SERIES
By putting people in contact with one another, by
giving your time and expertise and sharing them
freely.

David Jensen also defines Networking as the process of


establishing links between people with the intent to promote
communication for mutual benefit.

All these definitions put together show that


Networking is not just a job seeking tool but a
philosophy, a lifelong career development tool; a tool
that demands that you must give first before
expecting to receive, you must give to your social
network support, feedback, insight, resources and
information without any hidden intention to get
anything in return – building your social capital for a time
in the future when you will need it.

Let me give you an example, I started a Career Unit, well over


5 years ago, at Daystar Christian Centre, with one objective, to
provide graduate job seekers and career changers with
information (through career workshops, seminars etc), and
networking opportunities. I have coached hundreds of
people, and held scores of group sessions, made hundreds of
telephone calls and spent thousands of hours on behalf of
people seeking one advisory help or the other.

All of these were administered freely without any charge. In


return, we’ve been able to place several hundred persons in
jobs; and I have been blessed with an unusual rolodex of key
relevant professionals in many organizations – because of my
passion for the employable state of the average Nigerian
graduate - so I can say authoritatively that networking works.

It is time for you to leave the domain of psychological


manipulation

Welcome to the BRAND YOU Revolution!


CAREER CHANGE SERIES
ABRIDGED PROFILE: KAYODE OLUFEMI-AYOOLA

The Facilitator & Executive Coach

Kay Olufemi-Ayoola has been a practicing Career


Development expert and Coach for over 5years; he has
inspired thousands to reach personal and professional
fulfillment and transform their careers. Using individual and
group coaching, conducting hands-on workshops and seminars
and consulting with organizations , he coaches his clients to
advance up the corporate ladder quickly, and love the job they
have or land their dream job. Kay’s active engagement in
Human Resources and Career Development began in the mid
1990’s as an undergraduate conducting Personal Achievement
Success Seminars (P.A.S.S) and Career Talks, which were
aimed at helping students maximize their potentials regardless
of prevailing obstacles in their environment. He has extensive
work experiences from various Consulting firms and was Head,
Human Resources Vigeo Oil & Gas Limited, and Chief
Operating Officer, After School Graduate Development
Centre before his appointment as Head, Human Resources
& Administration, Spring Life Assurance Plc (a
subsidiary of Bank PHB). Kay is the founder and Coordinator
of Daystar Christian Centre’s Career Development Unit –
CareerPlus+ (started in 2004). He is a frequent speaker at
seminars, workshops and conferences and has published well
over 60+ articles on Career Development, Personal
Branding, Career Change & Transitions and Graduate
Employability to date. He is the co-founder & Partner of
Executive toolkit: Peak Performance Coaches.

Contacts

Kindly contact Kayode on 08037207606 or Folasade on


08058257164 on how we can collaboratively meet your
specific needs.