This post was submitted by Eoin Ó Riain, VP Publications Department, Ireland Section. Click here to submit your post today

I receive a plethora of newsletters, mostly dealing with our technology or with applications. However I also receive a few on marketing, Telisian’s  “What’s Working in Marketing & eBusiness” , and on using social media like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Indeed, as many of you know, I am an inveterate tweeter!

I recently received a newsletter from an English company called Kintish, “…the UK’s leading authority in Business Networking Skills training.” Their newsletters are full of common sense which is a really good sign when, as we know, many so-called communications gurus are full of self regard and hot air.

This short article took my fancy as it showed one of the principle advantages we have as members of ISA – the International Society of Automation. This is the power of NETWORKING.

“You just never know!  That’s one great reason to network. 

The more people you meet, the more people you know and who know you.  Everything may be great at the moment but who knows what’s around the corner. 

I wish, how I wish, that I had practised what I implore delegates: “Keep every business card that you receive because you never know when you might need to contact that person again.”  When you are looking for your first or new job or you are in self-employment and decide to move into a job, networking is the best way to find the position you’re seeking.  The chances of being introduced to the right employer, who will tell you whether this is the right job for you, will be far greater than looking for a job through the newspaper or via recruitment agencies. As an employer, you have more chance of being introduced to the right person, than taking someone on following a one-hour interview having used an advert or recruitment agency.  When you are in a bigger organisation, internal networking keeps you in the job, keeps your profile high, and increases your chances of promotion.

As we go through the process you’ll find it’s all about who we know and, as importantly, who we know knows. Looking for a job should be organised and the first action is to draw up a list of everyone you know. It will surprise you how many there are.

Make sure as many people as possible know you’re in the market. Do your utmost to communicate exactly what you are good at, what you like to do and what sort of a position you’re seeking. And, rather than just producing a CV in a chronological list, make sure your paperwork demonstrates your skills, accomplishments and how you can bring value to a new employer. Whether you are looking for a new position or new clients, references and testimonials are a must.”

In the ISA we have a vehicle of great potential for networking. In the local section you learn who’s who in the automation industry in your area. By attending district, division and Society events you not only increase your knowledge of your chosen discipline but you also have the opportunity to meet new people, all of whom have the same interest in automation you have and some of whom are leaders and opinion formers not to mention inventors and innovators. That is why events like next October’s Automation Week or last week’s Sales & Marketing Summit are vital for those who wish to progress and develop in automation.

But how do you network? What’s the secret? This particular newsletter concludes with 10 tips which we might find useful.

10 Key Skills and Personality Traits of Great Networkers

  • Be enthusiastic – about yourself, your work and the company you represent
  • Be organised – i.e. plan and prepare before attending events
  • Be a nice person – be friendly, polite, courteous, open and respectful to everyone
  • Be generous – don’t think ‘What’s in it for me’ but ‘what’s in it for you?’
  • Be reliable – to build trust, do what you say you’re going to do when you say you’ll do it
  • Be persistent – if you spot an opportunity. Don’t hear ‘no’ only ‘not yet’
  • Be patient – it takes time to build relationships and let people to do business with you
  • Ask the right questions – by doing this you get better answers and create more business opportunities
  • Listen actively – we learn nothing by talking, only by listening
  • Get your timings right – know when to talk, when to listen; when to move into groups when to leave; when to follow up and at what intervals

So now you know! I look forward to all that networking at Mobile in October where you can join all those enthusiastic, organised, nice, generous, reliable, persistent, patient, listening people.

And remember the unfailing ISA rule. Have fun!

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