Sunday, January 21, 2007

Networking for those in Career Transition, Part I of II

The essence of my Guide is based on one universal truth: the first thing you have to do when you relocate to a new place is to start NETWORKING, especially in USA. It will help you with most of your needs: finding a job, starting or developing your business, making friends.

If you have not actively networked before this concept may seem strange and unfamiliar to you but you have to get acquainted with it and master it. Here is a link to a great article by the Esquire Group about the value of networking for those in career transition:

The main message of the article is : "Statistics from the Federal Bureau of Labor indicate that 70 percent of all jobs are found through networking (personal contacts)." And this one sentence says it all in terms of WHY you have to do it (and my Guide will give you detailed information on WHERE to do it). Also this article gives tips on how to network and avoid typical errors in the process.

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Monday, January 8, 2007

About the Author

My name is Tatiana Sorokina and this is my first book. My journey to the West started when I moved from Russia to Budapest, Hungary to do my MBA in 1999. After graduation in 2001 I went one step further: I moved to London, UK to work. So when I was looking at the perspective of moving to the USA in 2005 I really dreaded the idea: too many life-changing events in just 6 years. But I didn’t have much of a choice: my husband was working in Chicago, IL at the time and one of us had to make the sacrifice.

My first feelings with regards USA were being lonely and being an alien in the New World. My friends, family, professional ambitions were left behind in Europe. My husband tried to help me as hard as he could but being a medical researcher he had no clue about Marketing/International Business field (my area of specialization), he didn’t know anything about business start-up or business development, women-related issues, etc.

So here I was standing at the crossroads and having no idea where to go and what to do next. Doesn’t this sound familiar? If you have relocated to USA or even within USA you probably felt pretty much the same way I did 1,5 years ago. According to various statistics 65 – 75% of jobs are found through networking, i.e. through people you know. That was good the news for a newcomer who didn’t know anyone.

Probably the same figures are true for your own business development. Now I meet a lot of people through various organizations I belong to and irrespective of the nature of their business most of them say that the majority of the clients they get are through referrals. If you want just to make friends in a new city you have to meet people somewhere somehow too.

It took me 4 months to persuade myself to go out there and meet total strangers and force myself to approach at least 1 person, make an introduction and ask for advice/help. I am sure many of you experience the same stress levels in these circumstances. A lot of you feel uncomfortable if not terrified just with the idea of networking and cold introduction especially in an unfamiliar country/culture. But I had to learn my hard way that you will not get anywhere without networking in America.

During the first 10 events I felt awful, then it started to get better. You definitely can learn how network and the whole process is so much easier when you know where you are going, what to expect, what is the structure of the event, what are the advantages for you, who you are going to meet, what is the environment, etc.

It took me more than a year to perform my research, analyze and filter the data, check out various resources so that you don’t have to! You would say that generally there are no easy ways in life but since I already “invented a bicycle” I will let you use it. Enjoy the ride!

If you want to contact me, please, write to:

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Wednesday, January 3, 2007

About my Book

So you have decided to relocate to USA... You may come here for a couple of years to work or study or relocate permanently but in any case the first thing you will do is go to the book store and look for information about the country. That's what I did in 2005 when I got married and made a decision to move to Chicago where my husband worked.

The only guides about USA I found were tourist guides talking about how to have fun in this country for a couple of weeks. There were also a couple of books about history and traditions. But I needed to rebuild my entire life in a new place. There was no one and nothing to help me.

Well, you might argue: there is Internet! Yes, there is, but first of all, you need to know where to look for information and even if you know that you are overloaded with tons of data your brain cannot possibly deal with. It took me more than a year to perform my research, analyze and filter the data, check out various resources so that YOU DON'T HAVE TO!

Now all the important data is collected and sorted out in an easy to use "Legal Alien's Guide. Chicago. IL. USA". All the information is classified by categories: resources for various minorities, age groups, nationalities and purposes (job search, business start-up, social, etc.) Each organization/network/resource comes with my feedback: what it is good for, its adavtages, structure and extras.

The great thing about this Guide is that it is usable not only for people who relocate to Chicago. I use Chicago as an example but 2/3 of organizations I describe are present nationwide and you can find their chapters anywhere in USA.

Furthermore, this Guide will be extremely useful to Americans too. If you lived all your life, say, in Denver or NY you will be as much lost in Chicago as a legal alien. You will definitely need the help of the local resources that I provide in my book. Moreover, I have a colleague who relocated from Chicago suburbs to Chicago itself and was shocked to find out that life in Chicago is VERY different form the suburbs and she felt lonely and lost for several month while she was struggling to find her place in the city and rebuild her network.

I hope my book will be a great help to all of you stuggling to find your place under the sun in USA. I suffered my deal to make a transition easier for you.

The Guide is coming out in Spring 2007 and I will be posting up-dates on where and when you will be able to get it.

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