Suzanne Garber: The SAFETY NETwork
Suzanne Garber is the author of “The SAFETY NETwork.” This appears to be one of the feww written text on professional networking. Suzanne uses her book as a tool during many of her seminars and particularly during her seminars geared toward ex-executives who now find themselves in a foreign predicament, jobless. Her book, while very valuable at that stage of reinvention in life, is even more valuable as a preemptive tool early in one’s professional life. The following are the highlights of her seminar:
- It All Begins with Passion: Suzanne reported that the number one regret CEOs and top executes disclosed was not following their passion. They accepted their jobs and positions for the money, title and prestige. Yet, once they found themselves no longer a part of the organizations they once lived for, they realized that their whole life was spent pursuing everything but what made them feel alive. Aligning your passion to your career allows you to be an active, involved and infectious force in your organization, thus lowering your chances greatly of being forced out when it’s time for the hammer to come down.
- It All Ends with Networking: Suzanne reported a statistic that reinforces the well-known statement of “it’s more of who you know than what you know.” She stated that of those she interviewed, 91% were in the positions they now currently hold or held because they knew someone in the organization. Of course, you still need the soft and technical skills to remain with the organization but knowing someone gets you in the door, which is arguably the most difficult part of getting the job. Your values, interests, hobbies, skills, community and passion all boil down to your network as they greatly affect with whom you will interact or what you choose to follow in any aspect of your life.
- “Cocky doesn’t show up well in Chanel:” Confidence, on the other hand, does show up. Beware of the fine line separating confidence and cocky. No one wants to hire someone who is arrogant because this signals that you are not teachable, you will not respond well to constructive criticism and that you will not handle errors correctly. Simultaneously, no one wants to hire someone who is unsure of themselves. The point of equilibrium comes when you can give the impression that you are comfortable with what you know and are aware that there is still something to be learned.
- Know Who You Are: Many top executives who find themselves displaced and jobless also find themselves depressed. They ponder the question, “Who am I now without my title?” and plunge into an identity crisis. While it is acceptable that you take pride in your hard-earned title, realize that you are made up of many more facets than just your job title. Being self-aware is critical to a professional career.
- Risk Management for People: To a new organization, you are high risk because no one knows you. However, knowing someone in the organization who can speak on your behalf decreases your risk level. Organizations want to invest in the right people who will, in turn, drive the organization onward and forward. Joining professional associations not only grows your professional network, but is another tool to lower your risk level.
For the new professional, Suzanne’s book cautions on the pitfalls to avoid. Should you find yourself embarking on a second career, the book can also serve as your north star. Business is a game with rules and risks; your chances are substantially better with a SAFETY NETwork.
Ashley Morales is a student at Rutgers University and a Marketing Intern with C2G Partners.