Lorenzo Inglese came to me with a clear set of goals he wanted to achieve. He brought with him a passion and tremendous work ethic. It was a pleasure to work with him. Lorenzo has landed a great job and is currently enrolled in a MBA program at the University of Pittsburgh. Lorenzo is a winner! Read his story and learn the secrets of his success!
I first met Neal Griebling in the summer of 2010 after having been laid off from a lucrative sales job in pharmaceuticals. In the span of a few hours, everything changed for me…my lifestyle, my attitude, and my sense of purpose. I felt lost and confused. I lacked the ability to formulate a plan of what I needed to do next. After being honest with myself, I decided that I needed guidance and I needed a mentor. That’s when I picked up the phone and called Neal.
New Found Hope
My first meetings with Neal were focused around analyzing my personality, my skills, and my desires. Neal was particularly adept at getting me answers to questions I had long been asking myself such as, “If you could do anything without fear of failure, what would you do?” My sessions with Neal were not only productive, but also energizing. I left each meeting with new ideas and ways to implement them. Of all the things that Neal taught me, the most important lesson was to network.
There is “work” in Networking
One thing that Neal did for me more than anything was to introduce me to his vast network of friends, professional contacts, and leads. This was one area of value that Neal brought to my mission of finding a new career more than anything…he was very well connected and well-liked. I started to learn that the people who are the most successful also tend to be the people who have big rolodexes and actually go through them regularly.
I immediately embarked on a journey to become a networking champion. I first began with my own personal network of contacts, and tried to expand my network one more “layer”, meaning meeting one more person through each of my contacts. This was done by asking them if they knew anyone in the industries that I was interested in or people who I could contact myself. This process was an ongoing project, often taking 6-8 hours a day. Make no mistake, networking is a job, it is work.
LinkedIn is an oasis in a desert of dead ends.
When people ask me how I made progress in my job search and how they can do the same, the first thing I ask is, “How many people are in your LinkedIn network.” (If you answered “zero” to this question, get an account ASAP) LinkedIn combines the accessibility of Facebook (without the childish toilet humor and general attention seeking foolishness) with the professionalism of traditional networking events. As such, it’s an excellent tool for connecting with people you know and learning who the key players are in your quest for breaking out of transition.
The best thing you can do on LinkedIn is to join as many groups as you can in your industry, as well as the myriad of groups for job seekers. Ask questions. Answer questions. Help other people out. Put people in contact with others. They’ll return the favor. Before you know it, you have a long list of leads and contacts that you can work with. From there, start sending e-mails and if possible make some phone calls. I used to find the addresses of hiring authorities through search engines and send them resumes and business cards after talking to them directly through LinkedIn. This is a much more effective approach than mass mailings and job search websites (which I did try for a long time.)
My advice to you…
As someone who was in transition, I’d like to offer you some advice and knowledge that I gained from working with Neal.
- Be patient. Transition is a difficult period of your life, but change will come eventually with hard work.
- Never lose hope. Be focused, energized, ready to work every day to getting the most out of your life. You owe it to yourself.
- Master the art of networking. Believe me, nothing else gets you known and in front of the right people as quickly as this.
- Read and learn. There are so many great books, blogs, and websites out there. Use them and use them often!
- Love yourself. Don’t get down on yourself for the situation you’re in. Instead, pat yourself on the back when you realize that you are working towards ultimate happiness!