Tag Archives: contruyendo redes

Una patadita (en tu trasero) pero con amor.

ValentineInspirada por el día de San Valentin – que ya casi llega – decidí escribir acerca de los diferentes colegas que nos rodean en el trabajo.  Si observas bien, en el mundo del trabajo hay dos tipos de colegas.  Hay los que juegan en tu equipo y los que juegan en contra de tu equipo. 

Y no me refiero a las diferencias que hay en sus preferencias de pareja

Me refiero a la diferencia que hay en las intenciones de aquellos que te rodean.  Si prestas atención, aunque nadie carga uniforme, es muy fácil determinar para qué equipo juega cada uno. 

Los de tu equipo tienden a apoyarte, a darte tu espacio, y a motivarte cuando estas teniendo un día confrontante. Y si, en ocasiones te dicen las cosas tal como son – aunque te sientas retada.

Por otro lado, esta el colega que juega en contra tuyo.  Aunque jamás te lo dirá, este colega te tiene envidia y/o miedo.  Por lo tanto sus intenciones son destructivas.  Le da pavor quedarse solo en la bufonería – por lo tanto trata de traer abajo cuanto colega se le atreviese.  Entonces tiende a interrumpirte – ya sea con chistes, chismes o quejas – o todos al tiempo.  Constantemente apunta a problemas – sin ofrecer soluciones. (y ¡que ojo el que tiene para los problemas!)   Es tan destructivo como un virus.  Y tenlo por seguro que te chupara de tu tiempo y energía.  Con amigos así – no necesitas enemigos!

Y entonces, ¿en el 2010 con quien escogerás rodearte?


¿Te gusta la foto?  Gracias ajatierra

Rejoice! Strategic Job Hoppers

For those of you who haven’t heard, last week was important for job hoppers around the world. UpMo, an online service with the tag line: GPS Your Career, turned 1!

Taken from their website:

“Your greatest risk during tough times is not unemployment; it’s the risk of losing career control and direction.”

As a self-proclaimed strategic job hopper, I’m an advocate of tools that empower people to manage their careers strategically.  For several reasons, UpMo achieves that.

It offers:

  1. Customized feedback that’s supported by actionable advice.  The “Network Readiness Evaluator” takes about ten minutes to complete.  As its name implies, it rates your networking readiness.  More important, it also offers personalized advice on the areas that you can improve upon. (Hint: answer honestly – as if no one’s watching)
  2. Benchmarking information.  The team at UpMo was not afraid to set the bar high.  They reverse engineered the careers of professionals earning upwards of $200,000.  That means that their advice is based on the habits of high achievers, offering you a unique opportunity to size up your career against theirs.
  3. A powerful tool to plan your career with the end in mind.  UpMo has a tool which lets you play forward your career decisions. For example, it will help you find out how an MBA will impact your longer-term goals. And what about taking time off?  All based on the paths of high achievers.
  4. Visually appealing tools.  For visual learners, UpMo will feel like candy for your brain.  For those who have trouble visualizing, the colorful graphs are likely to kick start your mental juices.
  5. Tools and templates for you to apply their feedback.  Almost from the get go you can start working on the areas of your career that need improvement.  UpMo offers several straightforward tools like “My Action Plan” which helps you track your immediate, weekly, monthly and longer term progress.

Indeed, UpMo set out on an ambitious mission.  For now it’s delivering on its promises by offering users a one-stop-shop career planner.

Careerists of the world, what are you waiting for to move up?

Not a sports fan? Don’t fake it…

(Networking for Loners revisited)

Shawn Graham’s post about networking over at Courting Your Career got me thinking about – well, networking.  Admittedly he makes a valid point about how following sports is a great strategy to break the ice particularly with people from different backgrounds.   I agree that as a Latin American if I were a football, a basketball or a baseball fan, it may have been easier to connect with others on the US college scene.   Now that I’m living and working in Sydney, I would probably find more connections with locals if I’d be a footy, a rugby or a cricket fan.  However, as much as I enjoy playing tennis, cycling and swimming, I have trouble faking an interest in watching others play – let alone memorizing their stats.  And even when I know that my tennis game is bound to improve from watching the pros at work, I have trouble stretching my attention span to watching a full match.

For those of you who are also at a loss for words when the conversation gravitates towards the latest sporting news, know that there are many other effective ways to connect – without trespassing no-go zones. (My personal ones are: gossiping, politics, sex and religion.)

  1. Food – As an experience we all share and most everyone enjoys, food is a universal glue amongst us all.  Thankfully, unlike sex, it’s acceptable to share our love for it with strangers. There’s also no need to be a gourmand to be an authority on the subject.  Sharing our finds of eateries around town, our sick & twisted encounters during our travels, or our own experiments and creations (whether successful or not) all make for a sure way to bond with people.
  2. Wine, beer and hard liquor – This is not reserved for snobs and it’s certainly not about sharing with strangers what a fool you made of yourself while drunk at last year’s company Christmas party (save that for the bar scene).  There’s more to speaking about booze than drunkenness and hangovers.  Not enough has been said about grape varietals, single malt whisky and boutique beers, seriously.
  3. Books – Only at high school parties it’s uncool to talk about what you’re reading. Sharing with someone what’s on your night-table or your favorite author is a sure way to connect in a non-threatening way.  Personally, whenever I meet someone I find interesting, I ask them about what they’re reading. That’s how I’ve found some really great reads – and bonded with bosses. (feel free to label me ‘geek’) Why if you don’t read? (which I find hard to believe if you’ve made it this far in your career), keep going down the list.
  4. All things culture –There’s no need to try too hard (or dress up) because whether it’s theatre productions, concerts, movies, exhibitions, or the opera, most people enjoy some form of art.  Speaking with others about the many expressions of art is such an easy way to keep your finger on the pulse of culture. As a bonus, you stand to find out about events that you would’ve otherwise missed.
  5. Travel – It’s more the norm than the exception to meet people who have travelled beyond their country borders (except for Bush Jr. – that’s as far as I’ll trespass the no-go zone).  Whatever you do, avoid giving someone a laundry list of all the places you’ve travelled to.  That’s what nouveau travellers do.  Besides, one of the easiest ways to connect with people is by listening.  Also, we all love stories.  Systematically running down a list of all the stamps on your passport is bound to bore people and make you come across as obnoxious. Focus on experiences you’ve lived overseas.   Feel free to throw in tips.
  6. TV shows – How much can you talk about Desperate Housewives at a business meeting without coming across as unprofessional?  For hours if your client is into it as much as you are!  DH aside, it’s likely that people watch some sort of TV show.  Aside from being an easy way to connect with people, finding out what they watch is a good way to learn something more about them. (For the record DH is my favorite form of brain candy and I indulge once a week – not twice – on Monday nights, Sydney time.)
  7. Sports – No, not watching them, playing them. And you don’t need to be a jock (like some have labeled me). In our health conscious world, it’s more common to find people who are active than those who aren’t.  And how refreshing it is to see how the business world no longer revolves around golf. You don’t need to look that hard to find colleagues and clients who regularly run, bike, swim, practice yoga, hike or play basketball, tennis or soccer.  In that sense, I’ve found that sports are a great conversation starter.
  8. Them – So you have this one-of-a-kind individualistic individual in front of you and you’ve failed to connect with them through any of the topics on this list.  What now?  Talk about them. I guarantee that will do the trick. We all love to talk about ourselves – especially with someone who shows a genuine interest in us.  Besides, as humans, you’ll find that we’re not that different from one another. We all have dreams, fears, feelings. Albeit the content of all those may be different, but we experience very similar things.

It is possible to network without faking it.  I know this after trying very hard to fake an interest in watching sports.   After a few failed attempts – marked by falling asleep shortly after the national anthem – I’m glad I stuck to my guns and instead looked for other ways to connect with people. Staying true to myself and sharing my real interests has made a big difference in my own path.  Beyond what faking it would have achieved. Guaranteed.


Photo by Dallas Photoworks.




Networking for loners (made easy)

I confess.  In most areas of my life I’m a loner.

Sports have been a major part of my life ever since I can remember.   And for the most part I’ve gravitated towards individual activities.  Singles tennis, running, skateboarding, biking, swimming.  All of which involve very minimal interaction with other people – if any at all.  Don’t get me wrong, I can handle having another person next to me on a court or a field, but more than that and it becomes a threat to my existence (kinda’ like what Warhol said about his nudity).

Even though I was nominated ‘best all around’ during my senior year in high-school (I can’t believe I’m sharing this with you) in college I was labelled a GDI (and proud). 

At work I tend to eat lunch alone at my desk.  I’m known for saying ‘no thanks’ to invitations – more so if they involve going out with a group.  It could be because I am a bit of a workaholic that I stay back working, but mostly it’s because I love to sit and enjoy the silence.  That’s how I gather my thoughts and psych myself up for the afternoon.

So how on earth does a loner like me end up making a good living in business development and getting several awards in the process?  When it’s a job that requires that I mingle with people?

Here are my secrets to networking and getting what I want from people:

1. Be genuine:  It is much more likely that people who care about you are those who will help you.  The best way I know how to get people to care about me is for me to care about them.  It really is that simple.  At work functions I apply the 80/20 rule and I only spend time with people I find interesting.  I know that if I bond with one or two people, chances are I’ll be able to get more out of our relationship than if I tap 20 people and move on.  And I’ll enjoy myself along the way because I’ll be dealing with people I genuinely like and who I feel I can be myself around.

2. Don’t wait until you need someone to approach them:  I don’t like being used.  That’s how I know that other people don’t like it either.  To avoid getting to a point where I only contact people when I need them, I stay loosely connected – because I care to know how they are (remember, we bonded at some point).  It’s just like practicing preventive medicine vs the curative kind.  If I approach someone when I need them, it’s too late.  They will sense that I’m using them.  And although they may play along and get me what I want in the short-term, chances are that I’ve lost a relationship.

3. First give:  I love to receive things from people – and it doesn’t have to be big for my energy levels to spike.  A sincere compliment has a similar effect on me as a bunch of flowers – both trigger my serotonin response.  And when someone gives me something – as small as a compliment – I feel good about being nice back to them.  That’s why I know others also feel good about reciprocating after I’ve given them something.  Making deposits in people’s emotional bank accounts has proven to be a good investment.  If you’re thinking that it’s too Machiavellian to go around complimenting people left and right, re-read my secret number one.

4.  Ask, ask, ask:  I admire people who persevere.  And I will go out of my way for people who believe so much in what they’re doing that they’re willing to do anything to see their cause through.  When someone I barely know asks me for something, I find it gutsy, not annoying.  More so, I feel honored that someone with such great qualities considers that I can help them.  That’s why I believe that anyone worth asking will not mind my own asking.

How have you loners out there made it in this network-crazed world?  I’d love to know…