More networking tips even for those who don’t like to network

December 8, 2009 at 12:06 pm 3 comments

An email correspondent recently remarked that unlike the extroverts among us, he finds it difficult to approach people he doesn’t know, either online or in person, even though he knows that’s how he’s likely to find his next job. (Remember, experts say that a whopping 70 percent to 80 percent of professional jobs are not advertised — and this is likely true with journalism jobs, especially in this hotly competitive market.) Even those extroverts among us sometimes has difficulty with this, especially after a layoff where we may be feeling the sting of rejection and alienation.

Fear of rejection — even among hard-bitten, veteran journalists — is very real. But like anything else in life, the more you network, the easier it will become. And there are some low-risk, effective ways you can expand your network and develop networking skills that will serve you long after you land that next job. Tips from experts include:

*Look to connect with the well-connected. Those with large networks know more people and therefore can usually be of more help to you. And usually, if they are well-connected, they actually enjoy networking and want to expand their circle further. They do this all the time and likely — with the right introduction — will bring you in to their network. Watch how they make introductions and bring people together; it’s a good networking learning experience.

*Make a compelling case for yourself and find personal ways to connect. This requires preparation. While you should be honest and relaxed, you also should not be making this up as you go along. Before you attend a networking event, figure out who is likely to be there and with whom you’ll want to connect. Research their background beforehand (we’re good at that as journalists, aren’t we?). When networking online, do your homework on the individual you’re seeking to bring into your network and try to connect over personal similarities and especially others you know. Don’t get overly personal or familiar — people don’t want to think they’re being stalked online! — but find a way to mention things you have in common so they want to develop a further connection with you.

*Don’t ask people to do things for you, certainly not right off. Instead, find ways you could be helpful to them — this is an important way to “market” your connection to them. If a friend knows someone in an organization where you’d like to work, don’t start off by asking them to pass along your resume. Instead, mention how you’ve long respected their work, or their workplace, or mention some folks you know in common there. Try to think of a way you could be useful to them — pass along a source or some background information or a link to an article they could find useful. Only after you’ve developed the connection should you ask for help.

*Ask those already in your network to make introductions, in person and online. This is often the most effective way to be introduced. And a brief email from a friend to both your email addresses is often among the most effective ways to get started. Something like this: “John, please meet Jane. John is a senior manager at XX and Jane until recently was a senior manager at YY who is looking to transition to ZZ. I’m a fan of both of your work and I think you’d like each other and may be able to help each other on projects.” Then follow up right away, and always, always, thank your friend or colleague for the introduction — that will make them more likely to help you in the future.

*Stay organized. Keep a database of your contacts, how you met them, when you last contacted them and reminders on when next to contact them. Keep it updated with current phone numbers, email addresses, links to social networking sites and background information about them. And when you’ve become a networking pro and introduce others, keep track of that as well.

*More good news today — this time, about me! On Monday, Dec. 14, I will be joining the American Banker’s Washington bureau in a senior editing position. It’s a respected publication, good organization and they’re great people — I feel very fortunate to be landing well. And they are happy for me to continue writing this blog — though I may not be able to post every weekday once I start the full-time job. But I will keep this effort going; please help me with it!

*As always, some job leads to pass along…

*A good entry-level position: Tax Analysts in Falls Church is looking for an editorial assistant to support its publication Worldwide Tax Daily:

Tax Analysts, Falls Church, VA (Washington, DC area)– Editorial Assistant:
Tax Analysts, a nonprofit multimedia tax publisher, seeks an entry-level editorial assistant to draft and edit summaries of tax-related documents and provide administrative support to one of our publications, Worldwide Tax Daily. This person will be working in a casual, yet deadline-oriented environment. A great opportunity for an enthusiastic candidate. We offer a competitive compensation package with a wide range of generous benefits, including a casual dress code, 401(k) plan, tuition assistance, medical and dental insurance, and much more.  Tax Analysts resides in a spacious office building located midway between the East and West Falls Church metro stops. Our employees enjoy an excellent benefits package as well as an environment with modern office furniture, ample free underground parking, an exercise room, and contemporary training and conference facilities. Requirements:
Ideal candidate has a college degree (English or related field preferred), or the equivalent in experience. Excellent writing and oral communication skills required. Must be able to handle multiple tasks under deadline pressure. Must be computer literate and detail-oriented. Prior tax background a plus. To apply, please go to: Send cover letter and resume to: Tax Analysts, HR Dept, Code EDIT, via e-mail to or FAX to 703-533-4619. No phone calls, please. EOE

*A few journalism fellowship opportunities with upcoming deadlines:

Call for Fellowships for the
5th Annual Harry F. Guggenheim /Center on Media, Crime and Justice Conference at John Jay College of Criminal Justice:
Sixteen prestigious journalism fellowships will be awarded to working journalists to attend this two-day conference February 1st and 2nd, 2010 at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City. We are seeking applications from writing or broadcasting journalists in a variety of beats (education, politics, health, crime, courts, etc.) to submit project/research ideas based on the major theme of the upcoming conference: <> Criminal Justice Reform: What Works? What Doesn’t? What Don’t We Know? The topics could include: crime & punishment (sentencing; prisons); science & crime (forensic issues, etc.), issues linking crime with environment, the economy, urban affairs or education trends; race and criminal justice; juvenile justice; homeland security and civil liberties; courts; new crime prevention and policing strategies, etc.

Applications should focus on the intersection of reporters’ assigned beats with criminal justice, and be related to work in progress or proposed work slated for publication.  The project should be supported by a senior editor, with a letter attesting to their commitment. Freelancers are encouraged to apply. Their work will be published on, a criminal justice news service published by Center on Media, Crime and Justice and Criminal Justice Journalists.  Fellows will be required to attend both days of the conference in its entirety.  Fellows from outside the New York area will be an awarded an all expense-paid trip to NYC for three days. In lieu of travel expenses, New York-region journalists will be awarded a $500 stipend to be used towards their proposed news projects. Meals and local travel will be provided for all Fellows for the duration of the symposium. Applications should include: 1) A 150-word biography 2) A 300-word project pitch 3) A supporting letter from editor. Apply Online : Deadline :  11:59 P.M.  Dec. 16, 2009. Journalists can access applications, contest rules and contact information at Fellowships will be announced Jan. 4th, 2010. Questions? Please contact Deputy Director Cara Tabachnick at 212-484-1175 or

About Center on Media, Crime and Justice:  The Center on Media, Crime and Justice, housed at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY) since 2006, is the nation’s only practice- and research-oriented think tank devoted to encouraging and developing high-quality reporting on criminal justice, and to promoting better-informed public debate on the complex 21st-century challenges of law enforcement, public security and justice in a globalized urban society. For more information, visit

About The H.F. Guggenheim Foundation: The Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation sponsors scholarly research on problems of violence, aggression, and dominance. The foundation provides both research grants to established scholars and dissertation fellowships to graduate students during the dissertation-writing year. For more information, visit

*And the deadline for applications for next academic year’s prestigious Knight Wallace fellowships at the University of Michigan  is approaching:

Knight Wallace Fellows at Michigan: Call for applications. $70,000 stipend plus all tuition and fees:
The Fellowship is designed to broaden perspectives, nurture intellectual growth, and inspire personal transformation. With no deadlines to worry about, you are free to explore the expanse of scholarship available at the University of Michigan.  International travel is an integral part of this; current excursions include Argentina and Russia. Multi-platform training features a four-day workshop by a team from Poynter Institute and a “backpack” of professional-quality video and audio equipment supplied to each Fellow to take with him/her back to work. Leading academics and figures of major interest in journalism give seminars and discuss issues. Speakers have included Mike Wallace, Charles Gibson, David Remnick, Seamus Heaney, Michele Norris, Gloria Steinem, Ken Auletta, Michael Moore, Ellen Weiss, Clarence Page, Patrick liphant, Anne Garrels, Richard Ford, Brian Tierney, George Soros, Tom Friedman, Jill Abramson, Ira Glass, Bob Mankoff, Peter Osnos and Paul Tash.

Travel for Fellows and spouses/partners includes news tours combined with culture and politics to New York, Buenos Aires and Moscow and a family trip “Up North” to experience the color change in northern Michigan. Families are welcome to join the Fellowship experience and are invited to participate actively. Spouses and partners often end their year with a book in the works or a new career on the horizon. Housing is easy and the public schools are very good.

Mike and Mary Wallace House is a graceful, spacious home; a gift from the CBS newsman and his wife, it serves as headquarters for the Knight-Wallace Fellows.

Fellowships Awarded Include:
Daniel B. Burke Fellowship
Time-Warner Fellowship
Burton R. Benjamin Fellowship in Broadcast Journalism
Benny Friedman Sports Reporting Fellowship
William C. Richardson Fellowship in Public Policy and Philanthropy
Ford Fellowship in Transportation Technology
Mike Wallace Fellowship in Investigative Reporting
Karsten Prager Fellowship in International Journalism
Knight Specialty Reporting Fellowships in Business/Economics, Education, Law and Medicine/Health Sciences

One application offers consideration for any and all Fellowships available. Full-time journalists in any media with five years’ experience may apply. Application deadline: February 1 postmark.

Inquiries and applications to:
Charles R. Eisendrath, director, Knight-Wallace Fellows
Wallace House
620 Oxford Road
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48104
phone: 734-998-7666
fax: 734-998-7979

*And finally, for all you foodies out there (and I know you’re out there!) Atlantic Consumer Media is looking for a food-channel editor/Web producer in D.C.:
Food Channel Producer –
National Journal – Washington, DC
com is seeking an editor/producer for the Atlantic… in both print and online media, and strong communication and interpersonal skills. You should be able edit…
From National Journal

Food Channel Producer –
Location: Washington D.C.
Job Type: Regular
Division: Atlantic Consumer Media
# of openings: 1

Description is seeking an editor/producer for the Atlantic Food Channel, a Web site featuring original reporting, recipes, and opinion from respected chefs, home cooks, farmers, artisans, and winemakers, authorities on food policy and nutrition, and fresh voices on sustainability, food activism, and cooking for the joy of it.
The ideal candidate is detail-oriented, with a background in both print and online media, and strong communication and interpersonal skills. You should be able edit thoroughly and quickly and write snappy, attention-grabbing headlines.  A grounding in news and policy reporting, passion for food and sustainability issues, and familiarity with print and online food publications are also essential.

Responsibilities include:

-Working with Atlantic senior editor Corby Kummer to shape the vision of the site and maintain its editorial standards and integrity
-Managing a roster of 50+ contributors, including assigning, revising, and scheduling posts
-Preparing 4-6 articles per day for publication, including copy editing, formatting pages and slideshows in HTML, finding and editing photos, and writing headlines and summaries
-Aggregating food news items from around the Web and updating the site to respond to food-related news in real time
-Managing the social media aspects of the site (Twitter, Facebook, etc) and monitoring and approving comments
To apply, please visit
Atlantic Media Company is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Happy hunting!



Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Derek Wallbank  |  December 8, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    Congrats on the job Jodi! Sounds great. Consider it both a reward for your work experience, and a little bit of good karma coming around for helping the rest of us out.


  • 2. Danny Glover  |  December 8, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    Congrats on the new job! Thanks for this blog. I’m glad to hear you’ll be able to keep it going, even if not as a daily. It has been a big help in my job hunt (though I’m still looking).

  • 3. claudine hellmuth  |  December 9, 2009 at 6:32 pm

    congrats on your new job!! That is great news!


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