I’m so fortunate to be blessed with the clients I have. Not only do I get to teach them about the job search and pursuing their passions, they also teach me so much!
For example, I recently was teaching a client how to network and to negotiate salary. We somehow got on the topic of negotiating with car salesmen. She was telling me how much more confident she is at negotiating the price of a new car than negotiating a salary. This is due to her personal experience and lessons learned from buying her own cars over the course of her adulthood. She said she’s gotten really good at it.
I told her I was in the market for a new car, but dreaded the thought of negotiating a deal. She kindly offered to put together a list of tips for me.
I put her tips to practice and was able to get the deal I wanted on my terms, without getting suckered into paying any unnecessary fees. Her tips made me feel so confident and empowered.
When I told her how it went, she was beaming from ear-to-ear. It made her feel the way I feel when I see my clients grow in their confidence. It’s my favorite thing when teaching clients how to market their skill set and negotiate a fair salary. The confidence is a by-product of the coaching program I provide, but I find it to be the most rewarding part of what I do.
Networking is about giving, not taking
When I tell my clients networking is about giving instead of taking, they often feel like they have nothing to give to someone they want to connect with, especially if they’re in a job search to change careers. This is usually because they’re limiting their thinking to just their past professional experience and work skills.
But we all have life experiences and life lessons outside of our work to share and teach others. My client’s experience of buying almost a dozen cars over her adult life taught her valuable lessons she’s able to pass on to others. It’s a great example of how we all have something to offer in networking relationships.
A simple conversation, where you show genuine interest in what others are currently experiencing, can uncover numerous opportunities to be of help. This requires listening more than talking. It means listening for the other person’s need, instead of trying to impress them.
What can you teach?
Now, every time I get in my new car, I think of my client. I think of not just how much money her advice helped me save, but also how she gave me the gift of confidence. This has lasting power, and I will always remember her for it.
The goal of genuine networking is to be helpful, which in turn makes you memorable. The by-products are mutually beneficial relationships lasting over time, increased confidence for both parties, and even some job opportunities and career growth along the way.
You can teach others and be of help to anyone, regardless of how high up they are on the org chart, or how much further along they are in their career than you.
So start asking yourself,
“What’s something I’m personally good at I can teach and share with others to benefit them?”
And when these ways of helping come up naturally in conversation, don’t hesitate to share your advice. You will be remembered for it!
Quote: “The basic idea is that those who help best are the ones who both need help and give help. A healthy community is dependent on all of us being both.” Edward T. Welch
- How to Be Realistic About Networking
- 13 Life and Career Lessons Uncovered in an Unexpected Way
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- The on-demand video course The Secret to Successful Networking: How to Do It Naturally and Effectively