Monday, March 17, 2008


A couple weeks ago I met someone who works in advertising, which is outside my usual field but not so far away that a transition might be made. Anyhow, she mentioned a few people I might talk to about that kind of transition, but she didn't offer to introduce me, she just pulled some phone numbers off her blackberry. And I admit, I haven't followed them up yet.

And then today, the New York Times Shifting Careers blog has a great column on introductions.

I'm a big fan of this blog and read it regularly, and love when Marci Alboher writes something that directly relates to my career discovery. Today she talks about following up on introductions. She discusses the different ways people follow up those kind of "You should meet..." and why it matters.

I've had a lot of meetings lately where people are always naming other people I should meet. I have tried to follow all of them up, but sometimes I don't. It has really depended on the type of introduction offered. Marci has her categories of introductions, but I see them a bit differently. These are the types of intros I usually see, which apply equally to networking for more freelance work as they do to my career discovery.

Type 1: Contact offers to introduce me and does, usually copying me on intro. These I always follow up, and usually find immensely helpful. Sometimes I have to prompt the introduction later, with a call or email asking my contact to make the introduction, but still they do the first intro so when I get in touch, that person knows who I am.

Type 2: Contact suggests someone I should meet, then emails me name and contact details later, but leaves me to introduce myself. I usually follow these up, but it does feel a bit like a cold call so my ego has to be strong the day I do it.

Type 3: Contact names someone and says I should talk to them, but doesn't introduce me or even pass on contact info -- usually saying something like "I can't remember his contact information but I'm sure you can google him and find it." Or they throw a phone number at me during our meeting (nearly always off their blackberry!)., like my advertising contact did. I don't always follow these up. This feels worse than Type 2 because it almost seems like I'm being flubbed off with a couple names. This feels like an even bigger cold call, which means my ego has to be super strong to make this kind of call.

Of course this is what networking is all about, and whether the goal is more freelance work, a new job, or even a first job out of school, this is how you do it. For my part, I'm going to resolve for the next month to follow up every contact given to me, and to make every introduction I promised a "Type 1" introduction. So I guess I have some calls to make today.

Happy Monday!

No comments: