Regardless of your industry, networking will become one of the most important tasks you will do each and every single day. Networking, but definition is a socio-economic business activity by which groups of like-minded businesspeople recognize, create, or act upon business opportunities. To put it in layman terms, it is simply a way for you to connect with a variety of different people from the either the same or different industry or field. While this type of work does take time, the benefits are exponential.
When you are expanding your network, you will often find that this is a very behind the scenes type of task. Connecting with people through a variety of business ventures or events allows you to bridge relationships for you to leverage individually or as a company as a whole. In reality, you never know where these connections can lead you. The best thing to do is to continue creating stronger relationships because at the end of the day, you never know where these connections can take you.
So how does it work? How do you network with professionals? What are the best ways to network for partners, sponsors, and collaborators?
There are a variety of ways to go about this. The most important thing you need to know is that you have to go into each meeting or event to establish that partnership or service. It is that shark-like mentality that will benefit your endeavors and push your professional profile to where it needs to be.
Connect with Your Field or Niche
Networking through a specific field or niche is one of your strongest connections you can immediately make. Whether you do this through LinkedIn, in-person, Facebook, your alma mater events, or through various interest groups, connecting with individuals who have already established themselves in the field can benefit you greatly. The best possible thing you can do in those situations is to ask and share interest. If you are a novice in the field and would like to know more about how to further develop your skills and abilities, be sure to ask questions and pick those experts advice. If, however, you are an expert in the field, establish a connection for future potential partnerships or mentorships. At the end of the day, these connections are something that can be leveraged in the most meaningful way.
Connect Through Mutual Friends or Partners
Especially if you are seeking professional advice, finding those second connections that you can quickly contact can be a huge benefit on your end. Connecting through mutual friends is probably one of the easiest networking you can do for your professional career and business. Having that automatic channel to make that interaction is something you need to leverage and utilize if it is there. Keep in mind that the person you are talking to is still a stranger to you and your business. Make sure that when you talk to them, you are professional and considerate. Provide them a deeper understanding of your objectives, goals, and questions they can assist you with.
Be Goal Oriented
The best networkers are not those with the best profiles. Rather they are the individuals who are incredibly confident, personable, and driven for each and every interaction. When you go into a meeting or an event, be aware of the people around you. Know their backgrounds, histories, and your own personal goals. See how you can translate your goals in the best possible way. If your goal is to gain more information about a specific field, make sure you are walking into that event with that goal in mind. If you are looking to expand sales or create a team, know how to approach individuals and provide a group with the overall facts and logistics of your company. Remember, each conversation is an opportunity. Make the best of it. Do not think of this as a simple meet and greet. Leverage your ideas throughout the conversation by educating and promoting your services and background. Then follow up with how they can attribute to that success.
Be the Showman
Much of networking starts with your personality. At the end of the day, your goal is to be memorable. No matter who you are or what you do, achieving that goal will be a huge win. So how do you do it? How can you be memorable? The best way to be memorable starts off with confidence. It is incredibly difficult to work with an individual who is timid or shy. When you talk to people, be confident in every which way. Make sure you body language represents that too. In addition, be knowledgeable. Knowing yourself, your goals, your visions, your strengths, your weaknesses, and your contribution to your organizations and companies is something people want to hear. Show them that you are an asset. Last but not least, be personable. Make sure you are listening to what they are saying and connect and respond to it.
No matter what field you are in, communication is the key to success. Communication, by definition, is simply the act of transferring information from one place to another. Although this is a simple definition, people tend to have a hard time talking with one another. But why is that? Why is it so difficult to communicate for a specific task? There are many factors that play a role why certain things can be lost in translation. For the work place, your mentality and success rely purely on the idea of what your goal is for the overall conversation. To improve at your business, whether you are working with another employee or a client, you have to improve on your communication.
Within the business sector, communication is incredibly vital for day-to-day operations. To truly improve the efficiency and productivity with your employees, managers and supervisors need to be clear and precise when talking, delegating or presenting ideas to others. Below, you will find helpful tips and various guidelines in how to improve your communication skills in the business world. Following these helpful tips will allow you to leverage productivity and delegate your standards for a strong, positive, and cohesive work environment.
Be Detailed and Comprehensive When Talking
When directing your instructions to your employees, make sure that you break down every piece of information that you are looking for him or her to accomplish and execute. Do not be afraid in going in detail. The biggest mistake employees make is that they are unclear at the expectation or standard you are looking for a specific task. Providing this information will clarify any misunderstanding and provide a greater concept for future task at hand. Two things you want to watch out for, 1. Going off on a tangent and 2. Understand the perspective of your employee. For the first, the biggest mistake managers and supervisors make is that they tend to get lost in their own thoughts. When you are talking to your employee, be sure to stick with a goal in mind. For the latter, understanding the perspective of your employee is seen as a sign of respect. If you know that this is a particular task that said employee has done before, make sure you are quick and to the point. If this is their first time, be sure to explain in detail. Having this awareness will save you future headaches and better prepare productivity in the long run.
Know Your Goals Before Jumping into a Conversation
Whenever you are talking, whether that is one-on-one or publicly at a meeting, you want to make sure that there is a point or overall goal for your speech. This is especially important if you are looking to improve the productivity between co-workers and clients. Remember, setting and reaching your goals is the theme of every manager’s day. Anything else can otherwise compromise the productivity of your goal. One thing supervisors often find themselves in is that they tend to ramble on various different tangents. To prevent you from doing this, know and internalize your goal and purpose for the conversation. If the one-on-one is meant to work on weaknesses, make sure you are well aware of the weaknesses. If the presentation and meeting is about the financial quarter, make sure you focus on the financial quarter.
When communicating online, especially through email, try and leverage the subject line to the best of your abilities. As stated above, be direct and to the point. Often times, employees tend to delete any unwanted or unknown emails. By utilizing the subject line with a quick and direct sentence, primarily about the topic, employees will be more inclined and engaged in opening said mail.
Furthermore, in the actual email, make sure you are clear and precise about the information. Too long of an email or too wordy of an email can often confuse and complicate your overall intentions. The best way to prevent this from happening is to space things out in various paragraphs.
Be Available and Accessible for Any Questions
Throughout the workday, you will find a variety of problems or misunderstandings from your employees that can be easily resolved from a two-minute conversation. Being easily available to your employees will often times play a huge factor in whether or not you are able to reach your daily goals. One big problem you need to look out for is that sometimes people feel intimidated or apprehensive to reach out to management because they are uncomfortable asking for help. To prevent this from happening, try reach out to your employees and ask them if they need any assistants in any various projects or overall operations. Doing so will allow you to establish that positive work environment that can greatly pick up morale and boost productivity.
In the midst of football season, the big story today in the New York Times and all of other financial papers is the insider trading held amongst the two leading fantasy football sites, DraftKings & FanDuel. New York Times reported earlier this week that due to an accidental post of confidential data by a DraftKings employee, various fantasy players and members were notified and alerted of possible insider trading within the company. Because of these findings, the New York attorney general has opened an inquiry into the fantasy sport site’s employees and overall operations.
DraftKings and FanDuel are two of the most popular daily fantasy sports-contest service providers. They are recognized to be two of the biggest leaders of the fantasy sports industry that allows customers to enter daily and weekly fantasy sports-related contest and earn money based on individual player performances. The categories of sports include baseball, football, hockey, basketball, golf, soccer (UEFA and Premier League) NASCAR auto racing, mixed martial arts, as well as American college football and college basketball.
On Tuesday, the New York attorney general began an investigation into the perspective employees who won a lucrative payout based on the inside information not available to the public. Word of the inquiry came about when DraftKings & FanDuel actually allowed their employees to play on each other’s sites with the unpublicized information. Due to illegal activity, many primary sponsors have begun distancing themselves from lucrative advertising and sponsorship deals. Last week FanDuel has already announced that they had already tried to permanently prevent its employees from playing daily fantasy games on their own sites or any other company’s site.
In addition, ESPN and the NFL has already reduced its association with DraftKings in lieu of the scandal and declined to comment. DraftKings announced in a statement that they will fully cooperate with the inquiry.
Regardless of how you look at it, fraud is fraud. These employees at DraftKings & FanDuel kept important information from the public and leveraged their knowledge to capitalize on their own greed. This type of transparency and credibility that these sites use to have is now considered problematic.
To fix this, the inquiry needs to hold both the sites and those accused at fault. In addition, the overall operations and logistics for an employee responsibilities should be thoroughly reviewed so that this does not happen in the future. Any easier punishment could reinforce this type of negative behavior to happen again in the future.
As a Florida-based financial advisor for the Miami-Dade, Fort Lauderdale, and Boca Raton areas, getting into this profession was not easy. Financial advisors provide a variety of advice relating to investment strategies, mutual funds, bonds, stocks, and of course retirement plans. Becoming a financial advisor takes a lot of work, but at the end of the day can be a rewarding experience. If you are looking to make this a long-term career, here are some steps that I would advise for you on your path to success.
What should you study?
When entering your undergraduate career, it can be daunting at times to commit to a specific major, especially one a concentration that is for a specific niche. For financial advisors, majors such as fiancé, economics, business, statistics, or similar fields are acceptable in preparing you for your future work. These business background majors will provide you with the foundation and groundwork you are going to need before getting into the business.
Find an Internship
Like every college student, it is important to start building your professional background as much as possible to show diversity and necessary skills for your work experience. As much as academic instructions in the classroom will provide you the foundation for learning, internships or co-op programs will offer opportunities for individuals, especially ones who want to get into finance, to gain real-world experience. It is important for you to also build up your network and forge those relationships or partnerships. This can lead to mentors, letters of recommendation, and even sometimes a possible career opportunity after graduation.
Look for Training Program Opportunities
If possible, try and see if you can enroll and complete a training program for financial advisors. Such programs are incredibly competitive but are worth the work. This will give you the valuable skills and knowledge that will not only prepare you for the licensing exam, but also the job itself. Furthermore, this shows more of a commitment and investment to the career. Keep in mind this is an option step. But having this on your resume can put you in the best possible position especially during an interview.
Certification is one of the biggest hurdles in the field. Usually this requires specialized training or coursework, an exam, and continuing academic courses. Remember having a professional license is required to engage in this business. The following exams you can take are:
- Certified Financial Planner (CFP)
- Personal Financial Specialist (PFS)
- Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC)
- Charter Financial Analyst (CFA)
Get an Entry Level Job and Build Up Your Work Experience
Once you have passed all of the certification exams and completed all of the previous stated steps, you are now finally eligible to be a financial advisor. Keep in mind that the hours will be long and the work will be tough. Just know that is okay. You are still beginning your career and the learning curve takes time. But do not mistake this ask an excuse to slack off. You want to show both your employer and your clients the work you are capable of and the success that you can produce.
Landing a job after college is simply not easy. Twenty-some years ago I was able to get my first start in the finance world through a simple game of pick-up basketball with some of the senior partners of the company. Nowadays, even the most qualified and talented individuals cannot seem to get their way through the interviewing stage after successfully mastering the cover letter, resume, and job applications portion of the process. Do not get discourage. There is much you can do to prepare yourself for the next opportunity. Below, I have listed seven successful tips to help aid you in the process. They will provide valuable insights into the reality of what companies and the person initiating the interview are looking for in a top candidate.
When going into an interview, it is important you understand every aspect of who you are personally and professionally. This will allow you to assess your strengths, weaknesses, goals (both long-term and short-term), passion, successes, and of course failures. Why do we need to speak about the negatives? Understanding your flaws is the whole purpose to self-reflection. This will allow recruiters and interviewers to see that you are aware of your shortcomings and have some way to overcome them. When self-reflecting, the last thing you want to do is internalize your greatest professional achievements. These are hallmarking moments in your professional life that you want to show employers with the greatest detail. Attributing these successes to transferable skills will put you in the best position possible before your interview.
Do NOT go in blind when interviewing. Do your research on the company, their goals, and the position itself. This is an incredibly important step that some people overlook. This also goes hand-in-hand with the first tip of understanding yourself. You want make sure you have a way of relating your skills and knowledge with the desired position. By doing your research, you will be able to internalize and reflect to the interviewer why you are the best-fit candidate for the position.
Self-Reflection and Research are simply not enough for success. Make sure that after you have gathered the background information of both the position and the company that you are able to prepare initial responses for expected interview questions. Most interviews usually ask the generic ‘why would you be the best fit for this company’ or ‘why us.’ You need to know how to answer these very broad and vague questions in the most professional way that translates your skills, knowledge, and talents for the position. Remember to go back to the position and why you are the best fit. Losing sight of that or stumbling with your answer can gravely cost you the interview. Always expect the unexpected. If you want, ask a friend or a family member to practice with you. In addition to the questions, practice your body language. Most situations, we are unaware of how our bodies act. Make sure that certain words you usually say, such as ‘um’ or ‘like’ are mitigated from your vernacular when you are in the interview and any odd body movements such as biting of the fingernails or twitching. Keep in mind that they are looking for professionals so make sure you practice your tone in addition to your answers and body language awareness.
Dress for Success
Make sure you plan out a wardrobe that fits the organization and its culture. Usually you are expected to dress professionally. Make sure your clothes are fit, clean, and pressed. Keep any accessories and jewelry to a minimum.
Once the interview starts, the key to success is the quality and delivery of every response and interaction you have with the interviewer. Your goal should always to be authentic, responding truthfully to every question. In reality, what companies are looking for is someone who is confident in their abilities and themselves. If you come off timid or shy, it can have companies question whether or not you are the best fit for the overall work culture. Having self-confidence, especially in job interviews begins with knowing yourself. Understanding and owning your goals, strengths, weaknesses, and personality will give in turn give these companies the confidence to trust in you. Remember this also goes back to your research and preparation. Even if you are a shy person, your answers and responses should not be. They should prove that you are the best candidate for that particular position.
Similar to confidence, be yourself. Do not pretend to be someone or something you are not. You know your strengths, your weaknesses, your achievements, and your goals. Translate that with your personality. Leverage your personality to attract the people in the right way exuding confidence and more.
This is not always a step you have to do, but it will be helpful in showing a stronger interest by asking a variety of questions about the company and the position. Having these prepared rather than thinking about them on the spot will help you from any awkward silent moments.
Check out some new up-and-coming tips to help you excel in the business world as a professional. I’ll be sure to post some fantastic articles that helped me get to where I am today!