What prevents most job seekers from networking? FEAR! Fear of bothering someone, Fear that you will “look or sound dumb”, Fear that person will refuse to help you – are all forms of Fear that my coaching helps jobseekers overcome.
What is the best way to Overcome Fear? Face it head-on with tools to assist you. Today, we will discuss one of those tools, your “Here I Am!” speech. You may have heard “One Minute Commercial” or “Elevator Speech”. In my books, I refer to it as the “Here I Am!” speech because my feeling is this is a much more accurate descriptor.
How Is My “Here I Am!” Speech Structured”
Keep in mind that your networking contacts are busy – and so are you! Therefore, your “Here I Am!” speech needs to be concise and demonstrate your passion for your ideal position. Target one minute for your introduction to your contact. This limited amount of time allows you an opportunity to discuss your ideal position in greater depth or allows your networking contact to develop a better understanding of your qualifications This is in the spirit of determining who they may introduce to you.
This is the suggested structure for the introduction. Break the one minute down in this fashion
- approximately 30 seconds to discuss your experience with one to three accomplishments (Your faces lights up when you discuss successful efforts)
- about 4 seconds for the “Bridge” – why you are looking now
- 20 seconds for “What I would Like To Do Next”
- The balance for “Who Do You Feel I Should Speak with Next?”
Note that you do not want to ask if they are aware of any jobs? The response to that question generally is no – then you are done! When you ask, “Who Do You FEEL I Should Speak With Next?”, you are asking them for a knee jerk reaction and introduction to their network. Never ask “think”. Always ask “FEEL.”
“Here I Am! Speech Example
I coached an avionics engineer who was laid off after 9/11 because the airlines were not purchasing airplanes – much like today because of Covid-19. He was distraught. He loved flying, avionics, and his work. For 3 consecutive days, we worked on his “Here I Am!” speech. He was trying to memorize it instead of Feeling it. It was mid-November in Iowa.
I decided that we needed to leave the office and go somewhere different to discuss his introduction speech. My Big Idea was to go outside – and I forgot my jacket. As we walked down the hall towards the front door, I had no clue what I would say to him. I looked to the heavens and asked for inspiration. As we approached the front door, I realized no inspiration had appeared. Thinking a second appeal may work better, the message my brain gave me was just to go outside and look around.
When we went out the door, I realized something very important. I forgot my jacket! This needed to be quick! When my mental sweep of the outdoors rested on a huge old tree across the street, my inspiration arrived. I pointed to that tree – and asked the engineer to tell me about that tree’s life. Let me tell you that engineer looked at me like I fell out of the top of the tree.
When he realized I was serious, he said, “It appears the utility company cut a big V through the center of the tree.” I responded, “good, what else?” He said, “It appears the bark is dinged at the bottom of the trunk.” My response was, “Bet it did not go well for the car.” He agreed. Then, I asked, “What else?” and received the same “fell out of the top of the tree” look again. He took another look at the tree and smiled, “It probably has been struck by lightning a couple of times.” He said that was all he could see. Then, I brought him home by saying, “Would you agree that despite all of the bad things that happened to that tree, it is still standing Tall and Proud?” He nodded yes. Then I said, “Give me your ‘Here I Am!’ speech!”
He looked at me for a second. Then a second expression washed across his face. He said, “When I was a child, we lived on a farm. My Dad had a small plane and a grass runway. Every Sunday when I was growing up, we went flying for a couple of hours. When I was younger, I remember sitting on my lap imagining I was flying. When I grew into the right seat, I remember at age 9 setting the goal to earn both my drivers license and my pilots license when I turned 16. And I did. After high school graduation, I joined the Air Force. The Air Force made me an Avionics Technician. After a number of years in service, they sent me to school where I became an Avionics Engineer. When I left the Air Force, I began working for an Avionics company in Iowa as an Avionics Engineer.
If you are an American Airlines 767-400 pilot and you look on the flat panel display, both American Airlines and my company trusted my judgment on the order the menu items appear.
As a result of 9/11, my company had to lay off 800 engineers and staff – and I was one of them. (Why looking)
What I would like to do next is work for another Avionics company where I can make flying safer for pilots and the people they fly. Who do you feel I should speak with next?”
Do you feel his passion for his work? Two weeks later he started work for another avionics company.
But I Do Not Have That Many Years Of Experience
No one expects you to have much working experience outside of education. Currently, recruiters like me are looking for top draft choices for their companies and their clients – Similar to NBA and WNBA teams looking for potential players to draft.
What stories demonstrate your work ethic? Did you work during summers, participated in internships, jobs on campus? Were you in the leadership roles for college/university clubs, Sororities, Fraternities, Student Government? What leadership roles did you earn in your classes? Were you known as a Doer, instead of a Leader? Companies need a nose to the grindstone doers too.
Create stories to demonstrate your accomplishments. Go after the jobs that are attractive to you! Stick your foot in the door and demonstrate that you may continue to learn and grow in their positions. Many CEOs are the street smart and not classroom smart individuals.
You got this!
If you want or need to accelerate your #Jobsearch, please immediately click on this link to my recent book, Employee 5.0: Secrets Of A Successful Job Search In The New World Order – http://amzn.to/2D9w39f My book contains the 12 Steps to find a new position in a nice, orderly fashion. It also has the stories of people who did well – and some who did not. You may learn from both sides.
See you on Fridays!
Bill Humbert is available for Speaking, Talent Attraction Consulting, Career Transition Consulting and Training contracts.
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