If you’re asking why reaching decision makers is a good idea — here are just a few reasons:
- To establish a mentor/mentee relationship
- To know someone who has access to those in power
- To broaden your knowledge base
- To find a role model
Here are tips to help you get started.
Even if your goal is not an immediate job search, you should always be thinking of your next career advancement move. Which means you need to join at least one professional organization, two or more would be better.
Which organizations? Ask colleagues for specific recommendations. Make sure you ask: who usually attends meetings? If it’s mainly vendors, it’s the wrong organization. Attendees should be director level and above, in other words, decision makers.
Next, call or email the membership chairperson, he/she is usually listed on the organization’s website. Say something like — “I’m thinking about joining your organization, and would like to attend a meeting as a guest.” Would that be possible? If it’s a yes, ask the membership chair if he/she would introduce you to several people at the meeting. The membership chairperson will be happy to make introductions, as this could result in signing on a new member.
Before you attend a professional meeting, peruse industry publications online, or get an RSS feed on companies/people you would like to meet.
Not sure who those people are? Read the Wall Street Journal and other industry online publications. Better yet, target a person who has written an article that you admired.
So, you’ve found a person who you would really like to know, discuss industry developments with, etc.
How do you approach this person?
More tips in next week’s blog to help you gain access to decision makers.