Climate Hiring Playbook!

Climate change is one of the defining issues of our time, and as a climate company, your hiring decisions can make a huge impact. That's why we're excited to launch our new Climate Hiring Playbook! It's packed with everything you need to know about finding, attracting, and hiring top climate talent.

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A Deep Dive into Effective Networking: Shifting from Transactions to Relationships

Good networking isn't about a series of one-off transactions; it's about relationships — here's how to create a team of people on your side.

A Deep Dive into Effective Networking: Shifting from Transactions to Relationships

Networking 101

In the professional world, networking is often seen as a necessary but daunting task. It can be filled with anxiety and pressure, especially if you're not naturally outgoing or comfortable in large groups. However, if we shift our perspective on what networking truly is, we can transform it from an intimidating chore into a fulfilling and productive process.

The Power of Relational Networking

Good networking isn't about a series of one-off transactions; it's about relationships. It's about building a group of allies who can support you, provide guidance, and potentially lead to job opportunities. So why do so many people find networking stressful? It's largely because they're viewing it as a transaction rather than a relationship.

Laurie McGinley, a renowned networking expert, recently joined us for a webinar and shared her insights on how to make networking work for you. Her main advice is simple yet profound: do things that make you comfortable. If the idea of attending a large networking event terrifies you, opt for one-on-one situations instead. There's no rule that says you must attend every event or meet every person in your industry. Make networking fun by focusing on topics and activities that genuinely interest you.

The Importance of Strategic Networking

Networking is more than just a buzzword; it's a crucial part of any successful career path. Some estimates suggest that up to 70% of jobs are filled through connections, not traditional job postings. This means that having a strong network can significantly increase your chances of landing your dream job.

To build such a network, start by identifying your niche and investigating companies that align with your values and career goals. This isn't about blindly scouting for job openings, but finding companies where you believe you could be a valuable addition and thrive professionally. We wrote an entire blog diving deep into accessing this “hidden job market” - check it out here to learn how to master this step.

An effective strategy is to seek out potential mentors within your chosen industry. These individuals could be a few years ahead of you in their careers or already in your dream job. Reach out to them, express your admiration for their work, and ask if they'd be willing to share their insights and experiences with you. Having a mentor can significantly enhance your professional development and job search. Both Work on Climate and MCJ Collective’s slack communities are excellent place to find potential mentors. Women in Climate and Women in Cleantech and Sustainability both have mentorship programs to make it easier to find someone!

Mastering the Conversation

Networking is essentially about having meaningful conversations. When you initiate a conversation, you must take the lead. Come prepared with insightful questions about the other person's experiences and learnings. Be an active listener and show genuine interest in what they have to say. Offer to help them in any way you can, whether it's by sharing resources or introducing them to someone else in your network.

The Art of Relationship Maintenance

Once you've established a connection, it's important to maintain and nurture that relationship. A simple thank-you note after your conversation can go a long way in showing your appreciation. Be sincere in your communications and offer solutions to their problems whenever possible. Keep the relationship alive by sending relevant resources and catching up with them regularly.

The Importance of Systematic Networking

To ensure your networking efforts are effective and organized, consider establishing a system. Set specific networking goals for yourself, create outreach lists, and consistently refer back to them. Document your networking conversations, outlining what you learned, what you offered, what you promised, and the outcome. This will not only help you keep track of your progress but also make follow-ups easier. We created a Networking Tracking Template that will help you keep your networking organized. With this template, you can effortlessly track your networking conversations, brainstorm insightful questions, set up follow-up reminders, and so much more.

We're excited to announce that Michael Melcher, author of "Your Invisible Network: How to Create, Maintain, and Leverage the Relationships That Will Transform Your Career" (BenBella 2023), will be joining us for our "Monthly Climate Career Accelerator" meetup on December 13th. He'll be discussing effective networking strategies and providing valuable insights based on his extensive experience. You can register for the event here: Registration Link

All in all, networking is about building relationships, not transactions. By focusing on your interests and comfort level, reaching out to potential mentors, leading conversations, maintaining relationships, and being organized, you can make networking work for you and pave the way for a successful career.

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