We can’t afford to hire right now…

Really?  Times are tough.  Budgets have been slashed.  You’re just lucky to have a job right now anywhere right?  We’re just waiting to see how the economy pans out before we make a move.

Really?  Well you know, things aren’t as fluid as they were a couple of years ago.  It’s important to cut costs in times like these.  We can’t justify adding anyone in a non-revenue producing department right now.

ENOUGH!!!  Sorry about that.  Is it just me or has Eeyore taken over the reins of the business world?  Hearing things like that make me wonder how we ever developed the greatest economic superpower the world has ever seen.Eeyore Fortunately, there are a few of us out there who haven’t drank the KoolAid that things are horrible.

Life is tough for those who have lost a job.  It can’t be easy as an HR pro to look into their eyes and tell them that their services are no longer needed, but GOOD NEWS: Companies still need innovation.  Companies still need people…NEW people.

One of the greatest things about diversity is that it gives you a fresh, innovative thought.  Business has seen time and time again that diversity helps a company be innovative.

The challenge?  Push ahead.  Good companies come out of recessions stronger than they went into them.  Good companies relish the opportunity to add talent that will help them gain a competitive edge.  Talent that will help them beat their competition.  Talent that might even come from the competition.

In this month’s DiversityInc magazine, companies were ranked on their diversity efforts and it’s no surprise that those with a higher priority on diversity (you know, the ones who are doing more than looking for skin color) are some of the most innovative companies in the world.

images (1)Anthony Carter, the VP & Chief Diversity Officer for Johnson & Johnson was quoted “Different ways of thinking drive innovation.  We have to create an environment that fosters mutual accountability.”

What a concept!!! Rather than having the same people in the same departments thinking and acting the same way that got you into this mess, let’s come up with another way to get some accountability.  Maybe, just maybe that’s looking for a fresh perspective.

You can’t afford to hire right now?  WRONG!  You can’t afford NOT to hire right now.

Keep pushing.  Keep trying.  Keep innovating.  Keep Thinking!

Networking??? I’m busy today…

The very thought of filling your pocket with business cards, trekking off to the next association event, throwing yourself all over the prospective client/hiring manager/volunteer/waitress, just sends shivers down your spine right?  Some people would rather schedule a dentist appointment thanMilton go to a networking event.  People hate it so badly they’ll pay almost any amount of money or hide behind a computer screen and call it social networking, just to avoid being “The Networker.”

Although we all know the “natural networkers,” most of us do network regularly, but we don’t think about it until we’re in a panic looking for a job.  Think of it like this: when you were learning to ride a bike, what was your biggest fear?  It probably wasn’t falling off the bike.  That was secondary.  The first terror was that your escort would let go of the seat!  “IF YOU LOVE ME YOU WON’T LET GO!” you screamed before reluctantly pedaling.

Maybe it’s like the guy you know who is a wonderful person and you can’t wait to set him up with the girl who’s just perfect for him.  Only when it’s on the line, he’s acting like a completely different person than the one you know.  More than a dufas than you could’ve ever imagined!

Enough with the analogies.  This is what networking forces us to do again later in life.  We have to perform when the game is on the line.  When we’re trying, we’re usually trying too hard but we have to push out of our comfort zone.  Making connections can’t be that hard…right???

Here are some very helpful tips on just how to network:

  1. Be proactive – Always look for a way to connect, preferably, other than business.
  2. You’ve done this beforeQ. How did you get the friends you have now? A. Networking.
  3. People really do want to help – How do you feel when someone asks you for the name of your dry cleaners?
  4. Talk.  Don’t sell. Make a real connection.  If you’re talking about the weather, you’re wasting their time and yours.
  5. Try to connect others.  One way to calm your fears is to go in trying to connect two other people to each other.  They’ll both remember you for it.

Realize that others have the same insecurities you do.  Remember your first kiss?  How you were scared to death and wandered how you’d pull it off?  Well, it turns out they were wandering how to kiss you too.

Hitch

It’s like the movie Hitch with Kevin James and Will Smith.  If you lean in 90%, she’ll lean the other 10%. Make the effort.  Keep finding ways to connect.  Keep Thinking!