March was a crazy month with being co-chairing a conference in Asia and then going on vacation. I’m very sorry for the delay getting the recordings out to you. Here are the last three webcasts:
- February 28 – Communicating Your Value Through Stories with Esther Choy, Leadership Story Lab
- March 14 – “The Difference Between Networking and Not Working is One Letter”: Building Relationships for Career Success with Ngee Key Chan, Springboard Talent
- March 28 – Using LinkedIn to Advance Your Career with Hannah Morgan, Career Sherpa
On Stories… All stories comprise 3 parts:
- The Hook – set the time, place and circumstances; establish the conflict, contrast or contradiction
- Challenge and Change – the longest part of the story; describe the main journey and what happened at the end, what changed/was different at the end
- A Clear Theme – think of this part as your answer to “So what?”; what’s the purpose of your story, what are you trying to illustrate to your audience
A related element to a clear theme is how you choose to end your story: open-ended or closed. Use an open ending if you wish to engage your audience in a discussion or to solicit their insights. Use a closed ending if you want to drive home a point and avoid any ambiguity regarding the message of your story.
There are 5 basic plots in business communication:
- Origin Story – founder’s story, or how a person, business, idea, product, service, platform, movement or opportunity came to be
- Rags to Riches (variation: David vs. Goliath) – challenging beginning with circumstances stacked against individual, but surprises everyone with a dramatic turnaround
- Rebirth – this is about second chances, redemption
- Overcoming the Monster – any overt or covert entity or situation that can threaten survival of some sort or thwart someone from reaching an important goal
- The Quest – stories about reaching an inspiring goal; aiming for a seemingly unattainable prize; doesn’t have to begin from a point of challenge; in fact, many are enjoying a good life, but are not content with the status quo and strive for something bigger
In a recent blog post, Esther Choy talks about how to utilize 3 of these plots in presentations.
In the chat room, one of you asked whether it was a good approach to tell multiple nested stories when communication one’s value; in other words, telling a story inside of another story. Esther’s advice is “No.”
Because audiences tend to have fairly short attention spans, it’s best to avoid nested stories. Instead, I encourage people to follow the National Speakers Association’s advice: tell a story, then present the main point. Then another story. Then the main point. Story. Point. Story. Point. The different stories should all illustrate the same main point.
In our conversation on networking or, as I prefer to say, “building relationships,” Ngee Key Chan challenged us to evaluate our mindset when we approach networking: do we see it as a transaction to get something from the other person or as an opportunity to give first? Ngee Key advises approaching networking from a mindset of giving first in order to create a strong and authentic relationship with the other person.
To learn more about networking strategies, visit http://illinois.beyondb-school.com/tb_Networking.aspx (this subscription is provided through Gies Online Programs).
Finally, when it comes to using LinkedIn to advance your career, Hannah Morgan suggests 4 different tactics:
- Create an engaging profile, especially your headline and summary. In your headline, do not rely on the default job title from your current job. Say more than “MBA Candidate” in your headline. Instead, state what you can do, what skills you bring or what industry/functions you are targeting. In your summary, elaborate on your skills and accomplishment. Target your summary to the function and industries are are aiming to get into.
- Turn on your Career Interests to be visible to recruiter. Let recruiters know that you are actively seeking. Use the given text box to share a note with recruiters.
- Include a personalized note when inviting others to connect with you. Make this a habit, even when you know the individual.
- Make one post (not merely “Like” someone else’s post) each day to increase your visibility in LinkedIn. Increasing the frequency of your posts increases your ranking in LinkedIn. However, do not get carried away with multiple posts in a day as that will annoy your followers. Keep your posts relevant to your brand or target industry/function.
In the chat room, someone asked about whether international students should write a note to recruiters about their status, informing recruiters that they are open for offers. Hannah offers the following advice:
…adding something about H1-B Visa or even STEM in their “Note to Recruiter” within the Open To New Opportunities section (under Career Interests) sounds like the best place for this.
I know a student who didn’t even mention needing sponsorship until the end of the interviewing process, when the hiring manager asked her. It wasn’t a deal breaker at all. The company typically doesn’t sponsor, but they made an exception for her. So, I lean towards not stating anything on LinkedIn and bring it up during the interview when asked. Once they love the student’s skills, they are more likely to want to jump through hoops for sponsorship….(fingers crossed).
Visit http://illinois.beyondb-school.com/home.aspx?referer=1 for video tutorials on maximizing LinkedIn for your career. You may also want to enroll in the MBA LinkedIn Intensive found on the left hand menu bar under Focus Programs. (If you have difficulty accessing the videos from the URL provided above, please go to https://onlinemba.illinois.edu/current/resources/ then click on Beyond B-School Career Mgmt Videos.)
I am trying to edit a recording we did with MBA 2013 alum Sarah Zigman who now works with LinkedIn. In the video, she demos how recruiters use LinkedIn’s Talent Solutions platform when sourcing for candidates. The demo provides good insights into how you should update your Career Interest section within LinkedIn so that it is aligned with how recruiters search for candidates. I will upload that video to this site once it is ready to be shared.
Please join me on Thursday, April 18 for our final career development webcast when I speak with Jenny Rae of Management Consulted about Interviewing for Fit.