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Networking is the single most important skill to help ensure that you get a serious look from hiring managers in a weak economy. Unfortunately, it is also somewhat misunderstood. On the surface, networking may just look a lot like meeting and having conversations with people who do stuff that interests you --- or worse, that doesn’t interest you --- and there’s some truth to that. However, in the purest sense, networking is about building rapport, having substantive conversations, and finding commonalities with other professionals in a limited amount of time. Most importantly, when done properly, networking is neither sleazy nor forced. With practice, you can explain yourself to people in compelling ways and develop the starting points for new professional relationships in only a few minutes.Here are some key points that I wish I had known when I started out on my transition into the civilian economy several years ago:
This is obvious, but also important. As you transition into your civilian career, you need to think carefully about what you want from your professional and personal life. The more that you understand where you want to go with your life, the better that you can explain yourself to people and the easier it will be for them to help you achieve your dreams. Don’t panic if you aren’t sure exactly what kind of job is right for you. Start instead with what you do know, such as where you want to live, or what kind of environment you want to work in.
Know the organizations that can help.
If you’re on this website, then you’re already smarter about this than I was when I began my job search. There are dozens of organizations, such as Hirepurpose, and individuals dedicated to helping veterans transition successfully into the civilian world. Even if you feel a bit lost about how to start, these resources will help you learn how to get your foot in the door somewhere.
Know the boundaries.
It’s important to know what is appropriate to ask for when you’re speaking with a new professional connection. It is inappropriate to directly ask for a job, especially with someone you don’t know well. However, it is perfectly acceptable to inquire about openings, and ask for suggestions in the application process. Most people will want to help if they think they can, you just have to try to avoid putting them on the spot.
The people you most want to speak with are also usually the busiest people. You need to be able to build a connection during a professional discussion with someone in less than five minutes. In some situations, you might need to be able to approach someone in the hall on the way out of an event, introduce yourself, and establish a basic rapport with them before you even get outside. This may sound artificial and contrived, and it is, but that really misses the point. If you know who you are, what you want, and what kind of a follow-up conversation you could foresee with someone, it shouldn’t take long to explain that and set up something over coffee for next week.
Follow up, like a boss.
In this sense, networking is a bit like dating. To do it well, you need to be charming, interesting, and engaging without turning people away by being needy or giving the impression of desperation. In general, just try to be your best self and build enough of a connection with someone to serve as the basis for following up via email later. This is where it might help to print out or order a few dozen business cards; if you’re nervous, busy, or shy, just offer someone your card. Nine times out of ten, if they have a card, they will offer it to you in return. From there, it is simply up to you to contact them and explain how you hope they can help you learn about an industry, job opportunity, an unusual hiring process, or their own professional development strategy.
First, America had to grapple with the 'storm Area 51' raid. Now black helicopters are hovering ominously over Washington, D.C.
Bloomberg's Tony Capaccio first reported on Monday that the Army has requested $1.55 million for a classified mission involving 10 UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters and a “Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility" at Fort Belvoir, Va.
Camesha Walters was a petty officer 3rd class living in Norfolk. Her husband was a foreign national living in Bangladesh.
But to boost her take home pay, Walters told the Navy in 2015 her husband was a U.S. citizen living in Brooklyn, N.Y. She said she needed larger housing and cost of living allowances to support him.
Walters, 37, was sentenced Friday to five months in jail on charges she stole almost $140,000 from the federal government.
Following her release, she will be on house arrest for six months. She also must perform 200 hours of community service and pay full restitution.
Trump says he could win the war in Afghanistan quickly, but he doesn't want to kill millions of people
In a not-so-veiled threat to the Taliban, President Donald Trump argued on Monday the United States has the capacity to bring a swift end to the 17-year-old war in Afghanistan, but he is seeking a different solution to avoid killing "10 million people."
"I have plans on Afghanistan that if I wanted to win that war, Afghanistan would be wiped off the face of the Earth," Trump said on Monday at the White House. "It would be gone. It would be over in – literally in 10 days. And I don't want to do that. I don't want to go that route."
The seizure of a British oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps is the latest example of how tensions between the U.S. and Iran have spilled into one of the world's most strategic and vital waterways for oil. Since May, Iran has been accused of harassing and attacking oil tankers in the strait.
As the British government continues to investigate Friday's seizure, experts worry that it raises the potential of a military clash. However, they also say it offers a lens into Iran's strategy toward the U.S.
Here is a look at what's been happening and why the Strait of Hormuz matters.