Don't abuse 'networking'

The Ticker

September 10, 1990|By Julius Westheimer

Are you overworking your network contacts? "Job hunters, beware," advises National Business Employment Weekly, Aug., 26, "because a backlash against networking is brewing. Job hunters are wearing out their welcome in many company offices."

The story adds, "Networking is getting a bad rap because of job seekers who misunderstand networking's purpose, request too much time and assistance, take themselves and the process too seriously or misrepresent their intentions.

"Ask for a half-day of intensive career counseling, psychoanalysis or instant salvation and you're sure to get turned down, but if you are direct, honest and undemanding, you'll find that most contacts will gladly assist you."

Other hints: Don't be pushy, presumptuous or overly demanding; if your contact suggests a phone conversation rather than a personal meeting, don't press for the interview; keep your conversations reasonably short; try to get names of other people who would be valuable to talk with; don't talk too much, and be sure to listen to what your contact says.

LOCAL HOUSE ORGANS:

"Chrysler Motor Corp. marked an important milestone at the Port of Baltimore in July when its 100,000th European export vehicle was loaded onto a NOSAV (Norwegian) vehicle." (Port of Baltimore, Aug.)...."Former BG&E CEO Austin (Jack) Penn celebrated his 70th anniversary on June 24, having come here June 24, 1920, with the shortest of titles -- 'Boy.' Forty-three years later he was elected board chairman and CEO." (VIP, BG&E house organ, Sept.)...."Former Colt star Johnny Unitas is now playing on the Westinghouse/Texas Instruments football team to get the message out that Westinghouse and TI are 'major players' on both Advance Tactical Fighter prime teams." (Westinghouse Circuit, Aug.-Sept.)

Sad Note: Regarding the above, I recently overheard a young business receptionist ask Johnny Unitas: "Exactly how do your spell your last name, and what is your occupation?"

LOCAL CEO CHATS:

Samuel Himmelrich, CEO, Inland Oil-Leidy Chemical Corp., shares his business success principles: "First, let's face it: the customer is king. The customer drives your business, pays your employees, allows you to expand. Second, good sales volume covers a multitude of ills. Third, take care of small items, as the big ones often take care of themselves. Other than that, take a shower, brush your teeth, comb your hair every morning and go to work with enthusiasm."

HOPEFULLY HELPFUL:

"What better way to prove your commitment to customer service than to send your back office people, the people who do the hands-on work, off to visit your customers to complement your sales force? Shepard Poorman Communications Corp., a $32 million Indianapolis printing company, routinely sends its typesetters out to meet editors whose manuscripts they work on daily. Why bother? 'They may not be slick salespeople, but they can solve problems for customers who didn't even know the problems existed,' says an executive. Customers are grateful, operations are more efficient and product quality has improved." (Inc., Sept.)

SEPTEMBER SONGS:

"If you stand up and be counted, from time to time you may get knocked down, but remember that someone flattened by an opponent can get up. Someone flattened by conformity stays down for good." (Thomas J. Watson, ex-IBM chairman).

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