Michael Salmon has come up with a book that is truly for everyone. If you are stuck in a dead-end job or just hate your job in general, if you are unemployed and trying to get back into the work force, if you suspect your company might be downsizing soon, Salmon’s book, Super Networking, is for you. Drawing on his years of experience as founder and CEO of a leading training and consulting firm, and as a speaker at seminars and workshops, Salmon offers a book that is full of helpful advice and suggestions for effective networking.
The basic premise of Super Networking is that finding the job of your dreams is less about what you know and very much about who you know. Salmon offers statistics to back up this concept. Studies have shown that only about 25 percent of available jobs are posted in newspapers or on online job sites. The other 75 percent actually get filled with people who network. Sometimes they are filled even before they become vacant. Obviously, if you are to have a fighting chance at that hidden 75 percent, you, too, must learn to network effectively.
The 11 chapters of Super Networking teach us exactly that. Chapter 1 stresses the importance of being organized: having a clear and honest picture of who you are and what you have to offer is one step. Salmon provides a sample self-analysis test to assist you with this process. This analysis should better prepare you to come up with a plan of action that is focused, strategic and provides results. This chapter also brings up the idea of an “elevator pitch.” Essentially, this is a 30- to 45-second speech designed to concisely list what your qualifications are and what you are looking for. This may be used on contacts, so that they have a clear idea of whether they can assist you.
The second chapter teaches how to categorize personal and professional contacts by order of importance. Basically, Salmon suggests listing everyone you know and then putting them into categories such as “family,” “close friends” and “people you know through others.” The people listed can now be further separated in order of importance as contacts for networking purposes. For example, someone on the “A” list should be considered a heavy hitter who is well connected and gets the job done while someone on your “D” list is a person who you believe will be of little help, if any, but you haven’t given up on them completely.
Later chapters show you how to create an effective road map to ensure that every move takes you one step closer to your primary objective of finding that job. One chapter emphasizes the importance of having a mentor to help you maintain focus. You will also learn how to make a great first impression, whether by phone, in writing or in person, by being prepared. This entails gathering critical information about the company so that you are able to stress specific skills on your résumé or when speaking to a company representative.
Perhaps some of the most important information is found in chapter 10, where you learn how to negotiate an acceptable salary. After all, there is no point in getting the job of your dreams if the money isn’t right!
Overall, Super Networking is a very easy read. The chapters offer clear information. Essential points are broken out in bulleted text. Salmon uses examples and illustrations throughout the book to better explain and emphasize various points. These are especially helpful because they allow you to really see networking in effect and the possible results. There are also charts, checklists and several worksheets to help you keep track of the various steps toward your goal. In addition, there is an appendix that provides extra copies of the worksheets to enable you to continuously work toward a better job.
Michael Salmon appears to have come up with a winning formula that could potentially impact everyone in the work force. It is also quite timely, since there is much concern these days regarding the economy and job availability. In an environment where there is less and less job security and more layoffs and contract disputes, it seems prudent to consider Salmon’s approach. It certainly appears informed and well prepared, which is what we should be as we look to rejoin the work force, upgrade to a better job or change careers altogether.
Author: Michael Salmon
Publisher: The Career Press Inc.
Reviewed by Soroya Brantley