I just want to take a minute to give a HUGE shout out to Nancy, who has taken my advice on networking and run amok with it! Nancy has found a way to integrate networking as an ongoing activity into her daily life, and not just a job seeking activity. She definitely gets the Networking award this month!
Nancy is currently going back to school for her MBA in Marketing, and is an insanely huge fan of basketball. And not just any fan. A KINGS fan. And what is her dream job? Working in the marketing department of the Kings, of course! So, as we discussed, she is using this time of being in school to “become known” within her dream organization.
Example #1: At a Kings event in June, Nancy swallowed her fear and “went right up to the Mayor of Sacramento, stuck my hand out and introduced myself. I voiced my support for some issues and he was thrilled to hear I was in support. A short conversation later had him digging in his suit jacket for a business card and a request for me to email him. Later (after my brain engaged) I went to get a photo with him, but he was leaving. DANG IT! But he saw me and said “Sure. YOU can have whatever you want!” DANG IT. I should’ve asked him for a job….. LOL!!!!”
At that same event she was able to get her picture with Jon Brockman and NBA legend Bill Walton. What did she say about her experience? “NONE of them were mean to me! So . . . STEP OUT of that comfort zone. Shake a hand. Introduce yourself! (get a crick in your neck talking to a 7′ tall man . . .) . . . and now I have to email the Mayor.”
Example #2: Due to networking with her season ticket representative, Nancy was asked to be in a Kings commercial! (See the commercial here: http://www.nba.com/kings/video/2010/07/27/DealoftheDayFinalmov-1381847/index.html?ls=iref:nbahpt2) Let me have Nancy tell you about it in her own words:
“When H___ and B___, friends that have been Kings Season Ticket Holders since forever, seemed a bit…. put out that I was asked to do the commercial, I wanted to say (but didn’t of course) was . . . ‘That’s because they know ME. You are just a number, really. You aren’t at the STH (Season Ticket Holder) parties. You aren’t talking to your STH rep at the games. You aren’t coming to the “how are we doing, how can we do better” meetings. I haven’t seen you at Open Practice. I haven’t seen you at the STH party.’
I have to market myself. I have to show up, see and be seen . . . repeatedly. I can’t EXPECT Joe or Gavin or Mitch Germann to just know who I am. Matina Kolikotronis isn’t going to be familiar with my name. So when you aren’t born into a family that everyone knows and can make all the right introductions . . . you work it.
And I’m still working my connections. Mitch Germann is the VP of Marketing and Communications. We are Twitter buddies (or whatever they’re called) and I have given him input (requested to the general STH population). I just sent a rather lengthy email with my “musings while waiting for my plane at the Denver airport.” I’ll be pestering Andrew (who was in charge of the commercial) when I get to my cornerstone project for my MBA. Sports Marketing and Social Media….
When it’s time to really go for the Big Job . . . they’ll know who I am.
…. and that’s what networking is all about.”
See? “Nasty Networking” doesn’t have to be a chore! Look for ways to personalize it and make it a part of your everyday life. Networking is a life-long, long-term skill that you will reap more and more rewards from as you continue. Congratulations Nancy!