Networking: Why Would Anyone Want To Talk To Me?

Uncategorized Jun 21, 2022
J. Stuart Bradley MBA, CFA
Networking: Why Would Anyone Want To Talk To Me?

If you let it, it will change everything for you.


“Stuart, The main thing I can't figure out about networking is why anyone would want to talk to me.” 

Let's talk about why and if anyone would be willing to talk to you, 

This is the time of graduation. The time of vacation and if your job hunt and everything is figured out, or you're going to grad school or whatever the reason is -  you feel like you have time to take a vacation. 

And it's also a time to double down on the job hunt for those looking for internships still, or for full-time roles. 

Now, one of the things that you may have discovered is that some people seem to succeed very seemingly easily in the job hunt. And there's a vast majority of us that continue to struggle with this, like I did. 

What I've seen is that online applications are really not where it's at anymore. 

The technology has been, um, sad. The tech technology has made it, uh, it's really seduced us and caused us to fall asleep and lose track of what it is that actually leads to hiring decisions. 

And that thing is: the opportunity to actually meet other people, the meeting of people. 

If in the back of your mind you think there is such a thing as a perfect candidate out there, and you are or are not that person - you are wrong - in both directions.

There is no perfect candidate for any one role. Hiring is a matter of who shows up at the right time and is good enough - fighting within a range along a set of qualifying factors. 

The way we can solve job offers systematically for anyone -  for all of my clients in my career accelerator program -  and how people ultimately solve this problem -  is through networking.

It is through meeting other people, getting them to know us, developing a relationship that can lead to next steps in that conversation.

Networking does or doesn’t work? Could someone please tell me. 

So we're talking about professional networking here and for virtually all of the people that I've spoken with about the job hunt, the concern is - or one concern is  - why would people want to talk to me? 

This is a sentiment that is understandable because if you just think about all of the the training, the messaging that we have been receiving since our youth, especially in certain parts of the world and in certain cultures, what's that message?

Message #1: don't talk to strangers.

Message #2: you're not allowed to talk to the leader or the leadership.

Or as they say in Mandarin, the Lingdao, you're not allowed to talk to those people. So when you pair those two things together, oh, and by the way,

Number #3: you're not good enough and good is never good enough. That's another common thing we're drilled into.

So you, you and I, we all have this history of being drilled in these 3 messages. 

Now that we're in the job hunt hoping to get paid to talk to people every day (That's what a job is), we are faced with this issue of now needing to meet people and wondering why anyone would want to talk to us.

It's a good question to ask. If you're asking that question, that means you're sensitive. That means you are aware. That means you have a desire to find a great professional home and be successful.

So, uh, there's nothing wrong with asking that question.

The only issue that comes up is if we consistently come back without a good answer. The only way we'll feel comfortable in our job hunts is coming to understand how and why people would want to talk to us.

So let's start with the main issue here. Why would somebody want to talk to me?

You know, honestly, maybe nobody would want to talk to you at this point. okay.

So it is possible that if your current job hunt approach is to talk to people and not add any value and not have anything to say, and just, could you please refer me to this job? Oh, can I, can I talk to you? Can we speak on the phone?

If there's professional approach, no value add on your part, then you know that inside of yourself. You know, for example, that  you know nothing about the firm you want to join and you’re not aware of the fit. In that case, then there is no fit. Okay. Fair enough. What you're saying truly would not be interesting to people at this time. 

However, if you are willing to understand the needs of other people and position yourself as somebody who wants to help them solve a problem - it could be any problem - then already there, you have the reason why someone might want to talk to you. Just willing to ask people what their problems are and listen to the answer is also a start. 

People will be very happy to tell you about their challenges or problems. 

Think about all of the people in positions right now who need to sell more stuff, who need to close more deals, who need to reduce this or that cost, who have pressure to increase that efficiency, or extract more insight out of that data set, or who need the data set to begin with.

Or maybe they have the data but can't clean up the data to get the data set to work with -  everyone around us has certain needs. 

Getting unstuck

One of the great ways to get unstuck from this question about “why one would anyone talk to you” is to find in yourself any desire to help others. You can choose to become aware of what the needs of others are. You speak to that need, too, as somebody interested in solving that problem. That is why people would want to talk to you. And you don’t need any prior experience, fancy degree, GPA, language skills or special visa status to do that. 

Energy needed to get unstuck

What I also recommend you to do in order to break free of this question entirely is to see that there are three levels of job hunt energy, or vibration out there, and consider that you're gonna belong to one of these three. 

Either you are in an inert, just zero energy state, in which case you're not engaged with the job hunt, or, you are in the second or next level of energy which is focused on “what's in it for me”. “What can I get out of the job hunt? I need a job. I want a job.” And this is about creating a status for yourself, getting a brand on the resume, getting a social recognition, getting money, getting things, getting freedom.

This second level of energy can be a motivating level at which to be a job hunter, and at which you can succeed. So you can be successful in the job hunt with that focus on yourself and what you can get as the primary driver.

Or you may be at the ultimate or highest level of job hunt energy or vibration. This is where you are other-focused, where you're focused on other people, helping other people achieve what they need achieved. You're curious about that. You may have no experience, but you're already researching about what those things are that others need or struggle with, with the goal of one day assisting others. 

Operating at this third, highest level of job hunt energy is ultimately the solution to the conundrum of why would anyone want to hire me? So, how to get there? 

Well, simply you just choose to operate at that highest energy, your frequency level, where you are focusing on the needs of other people.

Through research, through curiosity, you can discover what those needs are. And then you can brand yourself as somebody who is interested and able to help other people.

And that is a message that people will be receptive to. And that is ultimately how you can solve this whole issue of why anyone would want to talk to you once and for all. It’s because the need to hear from you! 

Solving this problem on your own

You can solve for yourself the question “why people might want to talk to you.” And that is because you are interested in helping them. You are going beyond just the inward, “What can I get” approach. 

If you’re feeling “bad” about job hunting. That’s not unique to you or the job hunt. It just doesn't feel good to be going around as a human being always focused on or asking for what you can get. You are aware that that is selfish. You are aware that that feels one-sided to you. And so as a result, networking feels uncomfortable. Moving up to that higher energy level will allow you to surround that big obstacle that keeps so many people from networking and getting a job they love. 

The other thing that can help you break through to the “other side” so to speak is to realize that other people are busy.

So why would anyone want to talk to me? Well, if you're coming to them with a great message and an understanding of what they want, you're still gonna come across situations where people don't respond to you or they don’t accept your request to connect on LinkedIn or these other things that you perceive to be rejection, but which are not. 

There is going to always be a core group of people out there in the market who would love to talk to you, who would love to meet new people and who are responsive.

We could explore why that is the case, but for now, you just need to know that they exist and are out there. If we had to explore why people would be willing to speak to you, another reason is because they have been helped in the past. 

And if you message them, they will respond. So we have to keep in mind that our target audience for our networking is always gonna be those people who would likely respond, and feel assured that they exist.

So we have to keep in mind that we're always targeting those people who are willing to engage to begin with. We already acknowledge that people aren't going to respond immediately for the most part to messaging, to outreach, even when it's really well scripted. 

So just part of this understanding as to “why other people would talk to you” is to have the faith that there are people out there who would be willing to do so. And then as you start to execute, you start to verify this for yourself: “Oh indeed, yes, people are talking to me, I'm getting these calls”. 

Following up matters

The other part of why people would talk to you is because you follow-up with them. You decide it’s important enough that you’ll do that. 

If somebody agrees to speak with you, it may not be tomorrow. And it may not be next week. They may put you out on their calendar two weeks from now. And even then, for some reason, they may have a conflict. Or the meeting gets canceled, or situations where someone doesn't respond to your request to meet. What do you do? You follow up, “Hey, wanted to follow up with my interest in meeting you” -  these types of messages.

So following up is just “a matter of course”, type of thing with the faith that there are people out there who are human, who have compassion, who are professional. 

A real professional is not somebody who holds a particular title or works at a particular company. A real professional is someone who is focused on helping other people solve their problems. In the work force, that also means there is an allegiance to of course their company, but generally speaking, interested in helping humans in general. 

Once you decide to sit down and actually start doing the outreach, that's how you're gonna be successful. So why would anyone talk to you? It's a great question. If you find yourself having zero interest in the needs of other people or exclusively concerned with yourself, then you may be reasonable to conclude that not many people would want to talk to you.

If you are in a state of high anxiety and emotional distress, if your every move and every conversation puts a strong, emotional burden on somebody else (“help, I need a job”), that’s an approach that will not work. 

Once you raise your energy frequency, become oriented toward other people and solving their problems and curious about that, that's all you need. Pair with that the awareness that there are portions of this population in the world who are happy to speak with you. Yes, they may be one of either a giver or a taker or a back scratcher, right? There are those different personalities that Adam Grant defined in the book, the go giver. But generally speaking, you can engage with those people simply by reaching out and trying. 

So think about why people might want to talk to you because that will be the threshold question or the gate keeping question when it comes to you making progress in your job hunt. And if you would like more advice on how to succeed in the job hunt, consider applications, my application for the career accelerator program, which will take you from wherever you are right now as a new grad or someone seeking an internship and into the role of your dreams by following the process. So thanks for listening.


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