Posts Tagged ‘workshops’

Ten Tips to Off-line Networking for Career Success and Personal Branding

June 26th, 2011

Hi All!

Nowadays, most people seem to be solely focused on social networking online. And, yes, while I am a firm believer that Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are AMAZING tools for making professional connections, I find that many Millennials (aka: Gen Y), and even members of older generations at work, such as Gen X, Generation Jones and Boomers, forget about “the other” type of networking…attending industry mixers and professional association gatherings!

Quite honestly, I find that attending in-person networking events can typically yield me positive business results faster than relying on social media networking. Therefore, I make an effort to include in-person networking to my personal brand-building mix.

But, I also find that many people are not that great at using their valuable networking time wisely. As a result, I make sure to include tips on “effective networking at events” in the Personal Leadership Branding seminars and Millennial Business Boot Camp workshops that I conduct for corporations and college students. It is key to your career success!

So whether you’re a job-seeker or simply wanting to expand your professional network outside of your office to “increase awareness for your personal brand”, keep reading!

Here are Ten Tips I suggest to make your off-line networking efforts successful:

  1. Show-up with your business cards! People often forget their cards, or only bring a few, and that’s embarrassing. Bring a substantial stack so you don’t run out. And, if you’re a job-seeker who is unemployed, make your own cards and consider making them 2-sided so that you can list your qualifications on the back. Plus, bring copies of your resume “just in-case”!
  2. Don’t be shy. Remember, everyone is there to meet new people, so you are all in the same boat. Find someone standing alone or a small group of people, walk up, extend your hand (for a FIRM shake), smile and introduce yourself. It may feel odd at first but people who network a lot are used to strangers approaching them. And if you say it’s your first time attending the mixer, they’ll normally want to help you meet other people.
  3. Practice your 15-second “personal infomercial” (aka: elevator pitch) before you arrive. When someone asks what you do or why you are there, be able to explain yourself in 15-seconds or less. DO NOT bore people with a long personal pitch or a bumbling explanation about who you are and/or what you’re seeking.
  4. You should take an interest in the people you meet first. It’s common to ramble on about yourself when you’re nervous, so make a serious effort to ask people questions and LISTEN to what they share closely.
  5. Depending on the length of the mixer, try not to spend more than 5-10 minutes with each person. You’re there to meet a lot of people! Now if you’re really enjoying yourself with someone, maybe spend a bit more time. BUT, KEEP IN MIND, they may want to be moving on to meet more people, too, so don’t monopolize their time. They might be too shy to excuse themselves, so be mindful of time, and watch their eyes and body language!
  6. If alcohol is being served, don’t overdo it. I’ve seen quite a few people early-on at an event making a great impression and then, after a few drinks, it goes downhill. Remember: If you’re an employee, everything you say and do at the event will not only impact your personal brand but will also reflect on your employer’s brand!
  7. Make a lot of eye contact with people and smile! It’s all about human contact, and smiling will draw people to you. However when most people get nervous they tend to stand on the sidelines and hope people will come to them. A genuine, sincere smile will relax people and will make connecting with you more inviting…exuding confidence it key!
  8. Practice being a good conversationalist. Rather than JUST talk about you, your job and your purpose for being there (or theirs), have a few interesting questions memorized, and ask about kids, travel, previous jobs, pets, sports, current events, etc. This can help you quickly bond with people beyond “business”. Also, by really listening to people (which many people are NOT great at!) questions will come up naturally that you can ask to keep the conversation going. And, personally, I avoid topics around religion and politics…there’s no need to get yourself into a potentially controversial conversation!
  9. If someone approaches a group you’re talking to, immediately extend your hand, smile, and make them feel welcome. Remember, they are probably nervous, too!
  10. Send a hand written follow-up note to all the people you meet (mail them within 1-2 days). The immediate thought, especially by Gen Y, is to send an e-mail or text message, but a good ‘ol fashioned “Nice meeting you” greeting card, sent via snail mail, makes a BIG impression on people, from ANY generation…because people rarely send them nowadays!

Okay, now find some good association mixers and industry events in your area, and try to attend at least 1-2 per month, consistently. There is a very good chance you’ll reap the benefits of your off-line networking efforts fast, such as: See your professional contacts database grow quickly; find career-building opportunities otherwise missed; and, for those of you job searching, potentially get leads on good job opportunities!

Here’s a great quote I read a while ago (but I can remember who said it): “Take your online connections off-line, and take your off-line connections online”. Great advice!

 Bye for now!


27 Ways to Prepare Gen Y Employees for Leadership Roles

May 18th, 2011

Hi All!

Why do smart companies, large and small, spend so much time seeking ways to retain Millennials (a.k.a. Gen Y) and groom them for leadership? It’s truly boils down to basic math.

According to the Employment Policy Foundation (EPF), our country is at the beginning of a labor shortage of approximately 35 million skilled and educated workers, which is estimated to continue over the next two decades – especially now that Baby Boomers are starting to retire at an estimated rate of 1 every 8 seconds.

Out of necessity, Millennials – many of whom may only have one to three years of career experience – are moving into management roles much sooner (and younger!) than the generations before them did – and are expected to perform in these roles successfully. That’s why many companies also hire me to conduct my leadership training workshops and seminars for their Gen Y workforce!

Based on these facts, invited me to write a 3-part series addressing this topic to help employers better retain and groom their Millennial talent for leadership.

And, they also decided to run a contest where you can win a copy of either of my books, Millennials into Leadership or Millennials Incorporated!

All you have to do is submit a 1-2 sentence answer to this question: “What advice do you have for working with Millennials?”  (submit to in the comments section of the third article below).

Ten (10) lucky winners will be drawn at random by! But their contest ends tomorrow, May 20th, so submit your answer today. Click here for entry info!

To read my 3-part series, simply click on the links below:

Part One: Six Ways to Retain Your Gen Y Employees

Part Two: 9 Ways to Teach Gen Y Employees a Leadership Mindset

Part Three: 12 Problem Solving Tips to Teach Your Gen Y Future Leaders 

And many thanks to Mary Lorenz, staff writer at and manager of CareerBuilder’s popular blog, Mary is who contacted me about writing for them. Thank you, Mary, for your interest and support! 

Bye for now,


Educating Employees on How to Develop a Personal Leadership Brand

September 04th, 2010

Hi All!

I’d like to share some info about a newer workshop that I’ve been conducting that is getting great reviews. Yes, this is some shameless self-promotion, but I’m entitled to do this on occasion on my blog…so don’t get upset!

I’ll be conducting it on 9/14 for a large technology company in Silicon Valley, and I’ve presented variations of it for other well-known corporations. The topic of Personal Branding for career success has become very popular, and that’s what this workshop is all about.

Plus, I even included a whole chapter about this, and how to create a personal brand at work, in my most most recent book on Amazon (written for Millennial employees): Millennials Into Leadership.

So if your company is interested in having me present this workshop for your Millennial (aka GenY) and younger Gen X employees, let me know!

Here’s the info:

Workshop Title:

“Your Personal Brand is in Your Hands: The Ins & Outs of Why Defining Your Personal Leadership Brand is Critical to Career Success”:

This 3-hour workshop is (primarily) targeted at Millennial and Gen X employees (ages 21 to 35) who aspire to be effective, respected, leaders in the workforce. The purpose of this presentation is to educate and empower your employees to “adopt” a leadership mindset NOW (regardless of their current “status/position”), and to understand that the foundation of their career success is based on defining their Personal Brand Platform.

In this workshop, attendees will learn:

  • What Branding IS and is NOT
  • What a Personal Brand impacts (inside of work, outside of work, and online)
  • Why defining a Personal Leadership Brand can improve career growth
  • What “true” leadership is (ANY position level at work is a leadership role!)
  • Key differences between a “management” mindset and a “leadership” mindset, and why understanding that is important to creating their Personal Brand.
  • How developing their Personal Brand will impact their communication with others, related to: Problem Solving, Employee Engagement, Supervisors and Co-workers.
  • Personal Brand attributes of effective, respected and successful leaders
  • (3) ACTIVITIES INCLUDED: Core Value Exercise; Brand Personality Exercise; Personal Brand Positioning Statement Exercise

As you’ve seen from a few of my recent blog posts, successful executives understand the importance of creating, building and actively managing their personal brands, so this isn’t “just me” saying it’s important.

And as the workshop description says, my goal is to educate younger employees, regardless of their current positions in the workforce, on why it’s critical to start thinking about this as early in their careers as possible.

Starting to develop and create your personal brand at work isn’t something that starts AFTER you’ve reached a senior executive position. It needs to start on Day One of your first job to help you REACH (and successfully sustain) a senior executive position…

Bye for now!


How Developing a Personal Brand at Work Can Impact Your Career Success

July 11th, 2010

Hi All!

I conduct workshops and seminars for employees of corporations (many attendees are Millennials) on how and why developing a Personal (Leadership) Brand platform for themselves is important to their career growth, success and advancement. And I also discuss this quite a bit in my second book, “Millennials Into Leadership: The Ultimate Guide for Gen Y’s Aspiring to Be Effective, Respected, Young Leaders at Work”.

Here is a brief overview, that I call D.A.C.C., which explains why, even if you’re an employee and not self-employed, developing your own Personal Brand in the workforce is necessary (and you should start creating yours NOW, regardless of your role/level…even if you’re an entry-level employee!!!):


  • Makes you stand out in the sea of other employees
  • Communicates who you are to your peers, leadership, employees and clients


  • Allows you to speak and act authentically
  • Prevents you from being “fake”
  • Gives you clarity “about you” and what you stand for
  • Great Quote: “To wish you were someone else is to waste the person you are!”


  • Makes people know how you will act and handle situations, consistently
  • Enables others to know who you are and what they can expect from you, consistently
  • Regardless of who are interacting with, your personality and demeanor, are consistent


  • You know what you stand for and act accordingly
  • Gives you clarity, and others clarity, on your core values
  • Helps keep you on track: “If I do this or say this, is it supporting or diluting my Personal Brand?”
  • Keeps your moral compass in-check when faced with questionable situations that could tempt you

Take some time to think about your core values, work ethic, personality, and unique attributes that you bring to a work environment, and write your own Personal Brand Positioning Statement. And then once it’s crafted to your liking, proclaim it, live it, and BE your brand!

BTW: I even know some employees who have taken it a step further and added a “visual brand” element to their overall branding. What do I mean by this? One woman I know always wears striped socks at work, and she is known for that (as well as her positive personal attributes); and one young man I know is known for always wearing funny hats to work. Think of this in terms of Donald Trump and his hair…we all may laugh at it, but he is keenly aware that it’s part of his visual brand, he knows it is a topic of conversation, and he loves that the media talks about it.

In the book that I wrote (mentioned above), I have a whole chapter with quotes from senior executives about the importance of personal branding, as it pertains to leadership, in the workforce. One that I love, and that really sticks with me, is: “Be aware that people are watching what you say and what you don’t say, and what you do and what you don’t do. Your next opportunities, and indeed reputation, will be impacted by the actions and decisions you make day-to-day…everyday.”

By determining your personal brand at work, and living it consistently, you are building and creating a “reputation” that can foster career success – faster than the employees who choose not to.

Bye for now!


Gen Y: Can You Answer These Business and Dining Etiquette Questions?

July 07th, 2010

Hi All!

Recently I was contacted by a large, well-known corporation who is interested in having me conduct my Millennial Business Boot Camp for a group of their Millennial (aka: Gen Y) employees. Their main reason for contacting me was because they knew my boot camp includes a section on Business Etiquette, covering: Meeting etiquette; dining etiquette; communication etiquette, dress etiquette, and general manners etiquette.

The person who contacted me explained that they noticed most of their Millennial employees struggled with these “etiquette areas”. I’ve also conducted workshops, boot camps and seminars for other companies who expressed the same thing.

This is what prompted this very important blog topic. And, Millennials, don’t feel bad! I know generations at work of all of ages who also struggle with these etiquette principles! But the sooner you can get a grip on them, the better for you.

So, let’s get started…can you answer these 8 questions?

Business Etiquette:

1. What is the proper time to arrive for an appointment?

2. Can you exchange business cards while dining?

3. How can you get more privacy in your cubicle (if you work in a cubicle environment)?

4. How much perfume/cologne is acceptable at work?

Click here for answers to these questions and more!

Dining Etiquette:

1. Is it considered rude to take a sip of your drink while you’re still chewing?

2. After the completion of a formal dinner, where do you place your utensils?

3. How should you fold a large napkin before placing it on your lap?

4. What direction should food be passed at a dining table?

Click here for answers to these questions and many others!

As you can see, there are a lot of things you need to be aware of in the world of etiquette. And, remember, having good manners all reflects on YOU and your personal brand at work (and outside of work). So take some time to learn proper etiquette…your boss, co-workers, clients and potential clients, will be impressed!

Bye for now!


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