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Episode 74: Networks & Networking – More Than a Cocktail Party with J. Kelly Hoey

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Episode Description

Networking expert, speaker, and author of “Build Your Dream Network”, Kelly Hoey joins Carol to discuss the meaning of networking and how to bring your networks back to life after a career break. Kelly explains how she went from corporate attorney to a management role, landing in a newly created position after a conversation unexpectedly turned into a job opportunity. Kelly explains how networking should be a researched, focused and specific process, and how to thoughtfully ease back into networks that have gone dormant.

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Build Your Dream Network

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Carol Fishman Cohen: Welcome to 3,2,1, iRelaunch, the podcast where we discuss strategies, advice, and success stories about returning to work after a career break. I'm Carol Fishman Cohen, the chair and co-founder of iRelaunch and your host for today. Today we welcome Kelly Hoey, networking expert, speaker, and author of Build Your Dream Network. Kelly and I have been a speaker at conferences together, and I'm a big fan of hers, so I'm really excited to have this conversation with her about networking networks and special advice for relaunchers.

Hi Kelly. Thanks for joining us today.

Kelly Hoey: If my listeners could see me, I'm beaming, ear to ear on this recording morning because you said you're a big fan of mine. I've been a big fan of the work that you've been doing for some time.

Carol Fishman Cohen: Thank you so much. Well, I want to dive right in and, before talking about the whole topic of networking and networks, can you give us a little background about how you landed where you are today? Because I know you don't start out a career as a networking expert, speaker and author. You must have started somewhere else. So can you give us a little background on that please?

Kelly Hoey: Yeah. Sometimes in life, you end up where you least imagined or expected. So I am an attorney by, I want to say, education and training. Practiced law for 11 years, had that kind of career itch to do something more. And I say that sort of with a hesitancy, because I loved practicing law, and went to make a career change in 2002 over to the management side. We should maybe come back to more detail on that, because that was maybe an applicable time period, when I think about relaunchers, because it was an 18 month time period that it took me to make that career change.

So I do have that gap in my resume, where people were like, “What were you up to there, Ms. Hoey?” Moved over to the management side for five and a half years, then had the chance, I was a very active member in 85 Broads, some people will remember it.

Carol Fishman Cohen: I was one of the early 85 Broads members too, when it was still called 85 Broads.

Kelly Hoey: So I became a very active member in 85 Broads, back in 2009, because of the management role I was in, in the law firm building up their alumni program. And Janet offered me the opportunity to become the first president of 85 Broads.

Carol Fishman Cohen: Just clarify, that's Janet Hanson, the founder of 85 Broads. And just for historical perspective, 85 Broads was acquired by Sallie Krawcheck, who now runs it as the Ellevate Network.

Kelly Hoey: Yeah, exactly. Exactly. And it's so funny when that transaction happened, people would say to me, “Kelly, did you know what was going on?” And I'm like, “Yes, I was part of the due diligence.”

Carol Fishman Cohen: So you were heading 85 Broads. Okay.

Kelly Hoey: Yeah. So Janet was intrigued on what I was doing, but I sort of threw myself in as a very active member of 85 Broads because learning about it and being involved in the network was helping me do the job I was in building an alumni program, but that activity caught her eye.

And so she called me to sort of say, “You're asking interesting questions and you've arrived on the scene in the network and you're doing all this stuff. Tell me about you.” And when I did at the end of an hour long phone call, she said, maybe this is another lesson for relaunchers, at the end of the hour long phone call, she offered me an opportunity that hadn't existed an hour before.

So I became the first president and did that for a year. And that just, I'm gonna say, not only opened my network further in terms of how I perceived myself in it. It also gave me a chance to kind of think, “Oh, okay, what else can I do?” Because I'd had a very limited mindset before 85 Broads. And before that opportunity, a very limited mindset of what was my potential.

I was a lawyer by training. I had been in big law firms both in Toronto, in New York. I imagined I had been manager of professional development, and then manager of alumni programs, in all honesty, the best I could have imagined back in 2009 before the call from Janet was, oh, maybe I can go and build an alumni program at a big four accounting firm, and I say that with total sarcasm, but I mean I didn't see myself in the light that I'm sitting in now. I sort of imagined I had a skill set that would then be transferable to a big four, clearly another law firm, maybe there would have been a corporation.

I didn't imagine this startup. I didn't imagine in all honesty, writing a book, but this opportunity opened up all this other stuff. The universe has a funny way of keeping you humble and reminding you that you should keep pursuing.

And when people say, how do you take risk? I'm sort of always about when you have a marketable skill set and every once in a while, I'll get an email typically through LinkedIn, from a recruiter looking to place me back in a law firm and in a marketing or professional development role. And it's that moment that I'm always like, okay, I should keep going, because I know I can always go back.

Carol Fishman Cohen: Right. Well, it's so interesting. Even before we're getting into the meat of the discussion on networking and networks, you're already demonstrating, be open. You didn't even know that you were being open. You were, but you had this conversation and it led to something that you weren't even thinking about in terms of a job opportunity and also in terms of your own skill set and where it could be applied, and like you said, a limited mindset of your potential. So, wow.

Kelly Hoey: You think about the question that Janet asked me. She didn't say, “What's your title? And what's your, whatever, at the law firm,” she's like, “Tell me about what you do.” And I give a very detailed description of the types of activities I was up to in the way I thought about the job, the role I was in.

And when you think about it that way, all of a sudden, it's like this sort of bundle of experiences and skill sets. Well, that can go a lot of places. Sort of wedded to a title or maybe particular types of interactions, well that might have kept me in a very narrow swim lane.

That might've kept me in law firm management, one of these two roles, Oh, maybe she'll veer into the next swim lane and head to an accounting firm. But like I said, I had a very narrow perspective on where my opportunities were, and the reality is with that skill set I had, had far more applicability and far more opportunities than I had ever imagined.

Carol Fishman Cohen: So what happened after that?

Kelly Hoey: I co-founded a startup accelerator, got really involved in the startup community. Life took another interesting twist and I was like, okay, sort of life circumstances of divorce and all of that. And I said, “Okay, this accelerating thing is a nice gamble, but I don't have that luxury anymore.”

I need to really figure out what I want to do with my life. And in the course of that sort of introspective period, a couple of people reached out to me seeking my insights on networking for their books on networking. And that was when I sort of had this aha moment or maybe it was looking at the universe going, “okay, I got it, I got it now what my skill set is, I'm listening. Thanks.”

And I sort of thought, what the what? If I'm the experts’ expert on networking and if I'm being told by these other successful authors that I have this very unique perspective that no one else has, and they really need it for their books, maybe I should write a book, like hold on a minute here.

So that was late 2014, then I started on that odyssey. So that was 2015, I was writing a book proposal, getting a literary agent, landing a publisher, so forth and so on, and here we are. Yeah, 2015 writing, 2016 was getting all of that stuff. 2016 was delivering the manuscript and the editing and all the rest of it.

In 2017, the hardcover was released, in 2018 paper back was released. And yesterday I finalized the cover for the Chinese edition. So look at that! Kelly's been on the same career for, what were we talking about, four years? How amazing people will be impressed with me.

Carol Fishman Cohen: That's so exciting about a Chinese edition. That's awesome. Were you starting to do a lot of speaking while you were writing the book? How did your speaking career develop? Was it sort of alongside the writing or it happened just recently? How did that happen?

Kelly Hoey: I mean, some of that started back when I was still working in the law firm because of being involved in professional organizations, and then getting frustrated with other people who are mostly being moderators of panels and things, and going, "Forget this, I'm organizing these things, I'm going to get on stage." So there was that. There was speaking that started when I was involved with 85 Broads in terms of, Janet ‘Fantastic’ would organize things and then she'd look at me and go, "Yeah, anyway, you're the one who's going to be the MC." And I'm like, "What?", so really being forced into a speaking role. Again, I mean, I was a corporate attorney. I didn't seek the microphone and the litigators limelight.

So there was all of that. And then I was involved in the accelerator, I realized the time I put my book proposal together, because it's one of those things that a lot of people don't realize, it's one thing to write a book, but you also have to market your own book whether or not you have a publisher or not, that there was so much of the groundwork that the publishers were expecting to see that I had been laying out for years before unknowingly.

So the public speaking, previously writing in terms of blogging, I really got involved as sort of testing that as a tool, again, back to 85 Broads. So writing, contributing to other publications, all of that kind of stuff. And that all became quite essential when I put my book proposal together and was like, “Oh, they expect all of that too. And a book. Hmm. Okay.”

Carol Fishman Cohen: Wow. Well, listen, let's talk about networking and networks. And, and can you tell us, I'm just thinking about your whole background and how you ended up where you are today and how it must be informed, everything you're about to talk about. But, how do you define networking and networks?

Kelly Hoey: So from being a lawyer and wedded to the billable hour and expected to do client development, I got to ground it in all of that. I think of networking as every single human interaction. It's not the run around and meet strangers at cocktail parties. The thing that scares us, I'd like to think of Build Your Dream Network is sort of Alka-Seltzer for the networking, anxious people out there. But, it's everything we do. I mean, we live in a crazy 24/7, hyper-connected world. We all have immense demands on our time. And the last thing we can all think about is somebody, taking our time or adding more things on or doing that to somebody else.

So I sort of look at it and say, “Well, how can you do what you're already doing a little bit better? How can it be a little smarter? Where are the tweaks that you can make to make stronger connections and to network out to the world? What is it that you need, want and desire versus adding in a bunch of more sort of superficial crap that it's not going to get you where you want to go?”

Carol Fishman Cohen: So that's every human interaction is the networking. And then what about the networks part? Because I have to say, I'm a relauncher myself. And of course we have hundreds, thousands of relaunchers that we work with through the iRelaunch community. And we're all very worried about our networks because when we're on long career breaks, we pretty much let our professional networks go dormant and then we need to resurrect them again.

And that is one of the challenges of relaunching. And we have a lot of strategies about it, but I'm very interested in your take on that.

Kelly Hoey: Yeah. That's always, that's always an interesting one. And you know, one of those things you think about is there's lots of, sort of a poor salve for someone who has completely let the network drop, but we have so many more tools today that we can keep a network, a dormant network alive.

And it doesn't mean you have to be at the happy hour every Friday that you might've been at when you worked on Wall Street, or whatever the case may be. You think about a holiday card, you think about social tools. There was a piece, I think it was in the Wall Street Journal that sort of said, “The downside of the lack of Facebook use is people are forgetting other people's birthdays.

And I'm like, kind of that’s me, I've been relying on Facebook for that. But just wishing someone a happy birthday once a year may be enough to keep a network alive.

The cover of my book was picked by, it was an attorney that I used to always work with, he was in house counsel and did all the CMBS deals that I was on, and Dante and I get together for a drink or dinner once a year.

I stopped practicing law in 2002. But we had such a great working relationship that it kind of just happens. And, as luck would have it, he and I had dinner the night I needed to finalize the cover for my book and he picked the cover. So thank you, Dante. I'll give you another shout out again.

So there's ways to do it, and so if someone thinks, “Oh my God, I haven't kept it alive.” The first thing I would step back and say, is that really true? But if you've been liking someone's post, if you congratulated them on a promotion or a job thing, because you saw an update on LinkedIn, then you've been keeping it alive.

The question then comes, what's the outreach? What's the network? What's the thing that you do when you want to make that big ask? The other piece is I would say to people who have kind of let it go dormant, you have to ease in thoughtfully.

I had an outreach from a former colleague, so she had been an associate at the firm where I had been manager professional development, and she reached out to me on LinkedIn with an outreach email. And it was eight years after we had worked together. And what she did in writing, it was like the equivalent of that beautiful handwritten note.

And what she did in that communication was resurrect the beauty of a working relationship from eight years before, it brought back all the feelings and she had clearly done her research on me. This is sort of when, good stalking on the internet versus the creepy stalking on the internet.

She commented on what I had been up to and she said, “You know what? I've been following your posts. And I've just been amazed where your career has gone and congratulations on the book and this, that, the other thing.” And she did start the message off with, “You know, you may not remember me…”

You remember good working relationships. You remember really great positive relationships. And so she then said, “Hey, in case, this is what I've been up to.” And she told me, and I'm like, “Oh my God, you ain't gone from a litigator in New York to running a law firm in, I think it was in Nairobi, and you've had twins and, it was all this exciting stuff.”

You know, it's kind of great reading, catching up with this person. And then she said, “And I understand you're busy, but here's one of the reasons I wanted to reach out.” And she showed where the intersection of her life and my life were right now. And she really wanted to get a piece of advice, but because she had set it up in such a lovely way, It was an absolute pleasure and she was very specific in what she was seeking from me.

So the difference between saying, “Hey, I'm thinking about getting involved in startups and I was wanting to see if I could seek your advice.” That would have not reached the same enthusiasm with me instead, she was hyper specific on what she was doing, the app she was developing with someone, dah, dah, dah, dah.That's no problem. I can encapsulate that one. I can focus on it.

So that's the other thing I think in terms of. Not only do you have a network, is it truly dormant? How are you reaching out? Are you doing the homework beforehand? Not just going, “Oh yeah, let me call so-and-so, they'll know what to do.” “Hey, so-and-so, getting my career back in order and need your help…” Wrong answer. You know, where's the research, where's the thoughtfulness, and then where is a very focused, targeted ‘ask’ because that is the area we're hesitant to go. I don't know what it is. People like to make the general, broad ‘ask,’ but no, no, no, no, no. The hyper-specific one like a dart board. That is the one that is more likely to get you responses than the big general, “Hey, I'm looking for a job again. And I like to pick your brain.”

Carol Fishman Cohen: Yes. I'm so glad to hear you give that advice and I'm going to ask you a follow up in just a second, but I just want to remind those of you who might be tuning in that you are listening to 3,2,1 iRelaunch. This is your host, Carol Fishman Cohen, and I'm speaking with Kelly Hoey, networking expert, speaker and author of Build Your Dream Network.

And we're in the middle of a conversation about resurrecting networks. You know, Kelly, I remember when I was relaunching, I was on career break for 11 years. Every year I would go to an annual Christmas party that was thrown by my old boss of my old company, which didn't even exist anymore.

The company went under, but he continued to have this big reunion, Christmas party. And every year I'd go and every year I'd say I was on career break. And then finally in year 10, I said, “You know, I'm thinking about going back to work.” And boy, people were so excited and supportive and I was only seeing them once a year.

So a great illustration of the point that you're making. And this other point that you're saying about the very specific ‘ask,’ it's something I want to dig into a little deeper because we relaunchers get worried about being perceived as opportunistic. And we do caution relaunchers against going, you're not going to just talk to someone you haven't seen in 10 years or been in contact with and say, “Can you help me get a job?” You need to be, A) be very specific and B) as you're saying, ease in thoughtfully. I love that, and move away from that, can you help me get a job ‘ask.’ How do you rebuild these relationships again, from that kind of thoughtful, initial outreach that you were describing your former coworker did?

Kelly Hoey: I'd like to say to people, send the communication that you would be happy receiving, picture yourself in the other person's shoes. When I say that, picture their day, their life, their desk, their whatever. We live messy, complicated lives. And you don’t just sort of go like, “Oh, right. Oh God, they always have a 10:00 AM meeting. Why am I trying to call them at 10:00 AM?” You know what I mean? Really get into that head because some of your communication, your ‘ask,’ their desire to help you, what may be sort of holding them back maybe the time of day that you're sending the email,and it may be this other thing which I always sort of think about, asking someone, “Hey, You know, can you help me find a job?” I'm like, “Do you want your old job back? Are you looking for a new, like, are you looking for a startup job? Are you looking for a job at, like, what is it?” Now you've given me a weighty, heavy, undefined thing to help you with.

And I can't speak for somebody who receives those kinds of emails. I can't help you with that one. That's what I want to say, “Oh, the dog ate my email.” I want it to go away when I receive that kind of thing.

When someone says something hyper-specific to me, I can deal with it.

I can say, “I don't know that person.” “I don't have any contacts at that company” or I could say, “Wow, that's interesting that you're looking for that, you're looking for X role at Y company. I don't know anyone at Y, but I know that Z company is looking for that. Would you consider them?” If I can't give you the specific, I can give you something that is relevant within range, or I can give you someone better to talk to about it.

But the amorphous, “Hey, I'm thinking about getting back into work,” and, it's different from when you may be exploring ideas and brainstorming with someone about where is your new home for your existing skill set. But if you really like, “Hey, this is the job I want to go for,” when you're reaching out to your network, go for that jugular, this is what I'm looking for.

Carol Fishman Cohen: Yeah. Sometimes we tell people when they're getting back in touch for the first time, after they connect on LinkedIn or something, and it's been eight, 10 years, to say that you're on career break, but then go right into the, “I'm in information gathering mode,” so they know that you're not asking them for a job. And then ask them stuff about, “What experts do you follow?” Like one of these, I don't want to say it's a softball question, but it's an easier question to answer. I'm hearing you though say something slightly different, it's the specificity of the ask that is really key.

Kelly Hoey: Totally, totally key. And again, I mean, when you think about it, because sometimes people get kind of the people who are reaching out. They sort of think, “Oh, well, it's going to be weird if I tell them that I've been following them and watching their articles.” It's like, yo, we're putting information out there on the internet, wanting people to read it to start.

The stuff I don't want people to know about guess what? I'm not posting it. That's hidden away and you're not seeing pictures of it. I was at an opening on Broadway last night. You don't know who I was with,but you do know it wasn't an opening on Broadway. There's an Einstein quote where he is asked if he had an hour to solve a problem, how would he do it? And he says, “I would spend 55 minutes thinking about it and five minutes solving it.” I think what we do when we're doing outreach, when we're networking, so to speak, we rush into action.

And what I'm saying to people and what I'm hearing you're saying to your relaunchers is slow down. Think research, apply the intelligence and the problem-solving and the critical thinking that you've used in your career, apply that to your networking and spend more time plotting. And at the end of the day, if you move from having a list of a hundred people, you are going to reach out to five, I would say rock and roll.

Because now you're going to get five useful conversations as opposed to sending out a hundred spam emails.

Carol Fishman Cohen: Right. So let me just ask you a slightly different topic, a very specific question about references. So let's say you're networking and you're a relauncher, you've been out for 14 years and you know that at some point you're going to need to have a few people who will vouch for you and act as references. Do you reach out to your boss from 14 years ago and make that ask or do you have to figure something else out?

Kelly Hoey: Why not? Once it gets to a reference point or that you're going to be getting some interviews, you're gonna need that reference. Why not? Because that's a very specific thing to ask someone for, “Hey, I worked for you. I know it's been 14 years, but I worked for you for these years. The roles I'm looking for are particularly going to rely on this skill set, and those were the ones that I applied all the time when I was working for you or on these specific projects.

Can you write me a letter?”

Carol Fishman Cohen: You're almost scripting it out for the person to jog their memory and kind of give them language that they would actually use in the letter itself, which makes it easier for them to say yes.

Kelly Hoey: Yeah. That's exactly it. I think you're hitting the nail on the head. The easier you can make it for someone to undertake something else in their busy schedule and easier and, yes, jog memories. Because you know, all of us get a little bit older and I don't blame it on age. I kind of think of the brain, like the hard drive on your computer, like the memory, there's too much memory has been taken off and you got to dump some stuff out of it.

So we dumped stuff out of it, so jogging someone's memory, so they're like, “Oh, that's right. That was that file. I threw out, let me pull it back into my head and write that letter.” Give them the language, give them a prompt so they can do it for you.

Carol Fishman Cohen: And you're also automatically answering one of the other questions that we get a lot from relaunchers, is should I reach out to that person from a long time ago? A) will they remember me, and B) will they be mad at me because I haven't been in touch? How would you respond to that?

Kelly Hoey: Have they called you? Seriously. Go back to what I said earlier. We all have messy, complicated lives. If you have been ignoring their communications and then all of a sudden it's like, “Oh, hey, hey, hey, you're useful to me.” You know? a high school friend, it's like clockwork now, every seven years when she needs something she reaches out, and it is sort of like, all right, let's bring in the countdown, let's see what doozy of an ask I get in seven years. And it is entirely one sided. It is entirely self-interested. I now get to the point of, I enjoy, in a sort of Machiavellian-demented way, figuring out how I can politely decline.

Carol Fishman Cohen: That's so funny.

Kelly Hoey: Whereas, like I’ve said, I've already given an example of someone who I’ve had less of a relationship with, in some ways because I was the manager, this was the associate, but someone else can send me a really feel good email, and I'm just like jumping through the computer screen in excitement and trying to figure out ways to help them.

So it's all in that kind of care networking by definition is self-interested. But, take the self-interest of somebody else. Somebody else may feel really good in giving you that reference. Why would you want to deny them that? Just make it easy for them to do. Somebody else, maybe in their self-interest, maybe connecting talent with a company that really needs it. And then they're like, “Boom! Isn’t that good for my ego? I helped my friend who's the hiring manager and I helped someone who I used to work with. Boom!”

How great would you feel doing that? So some of this, when you think about your own self-interest in searching for a job, put the other person's self-interest and don't underestimate the value of making someone else feel good for helping somebody else.

Carol Fishman Cohen: And then let me ask you a couple other tactical questions. I'm thinking text, email, LinkedIn, phone calls. Do you recommend one medium over the other? And let's say you are reaching out to someone in the email. What do you edit? It's been a really long time. What is a good subject line?

Kelly Hoey: Oh, that's a great question. Listen, there's all of those kinds of things. I think one of the things I always say to people is like, connect with people. If you weren't connected to them before on LinkedIn, when you left your job, connect with them now and always personalize the message. It doesn't need to be long. It could be as simple as, “Delighted that LinkedIn recommended that you and I should connect, looking forward to reviving our friendship,” or, “Great to be back, have you back in my universe again,” whatever it may be.

It just doesn't need to be a little one-liner or don't use the default, “I'd like to connect with you on LinkedIn,” always personalize it, because even just that little one-liner is more likely that someone is going to connect with you. And then when you do reconnect on LinkedIn, you've got each other's eyeballs.

And you've got it in a way that is, I want to say it's, it's much less intrusive than landing in someone's email, inbox or voicemail in my mind because someone using LinkedIn can choose how and when they have someone in their line of sight. And then I would say to a relauncher, start using LinkedIn, maybe you post

articles or information that you're reading. Maybe you comment on the posts that are happening from the people that you are reconnected with. Because that, again, starts to build the relationship. Think of some of this stuff, like the LinkedIn liking, let's just focus on that as opposed to posting an update or an article.

How is that not different than when you were standing around in the office, listening to somebody else talk about some recent, whether it was research or deal or whatever it may be, and you're standing there and kind of nodding and agreeing, “Hey, thanks for sharing that information.”

That to me is the digital equivalent of that. And that starts to build that rapport. It may also be that when you do an email outreach, you can say, “God, I’m loving the articles that you've been posting. Did you ever see this one?” How is it that you can help that other person? Sometimes acknowledging, some of us posting so much online just like to know that someone's read things.

Carol Fishman Cohen: Right, you’re absolutely right.

Kelly Hoey: It’s like throwing things into an echo chamber. And so, there we go. So, email subject lines, those are always kind of a tricky kind of a thing. Again, there's an element of, how can you write something to attract their attention, but not come across as kind of smarmy and kind of jerkish? How do you write something that doesn't get caught by a spam filter if someone's still working in a company?

I sort of default to, keep it clean, keep it simple, and then in the email, be direct. But if you've already established some sort of a rapport that may have started, like I say, as simply as being on LinkedIn and connecting that way, “Hey, this is this what I'm looking for, and this is why I'm reaching out to you,” and really let them know why they're the one to help you, but also by them helping you, how it is beneficial to them.

Carol Fishman Cohen: That's very helpful. Thank you. We're running out of time, so I want to combine the final question that we ask people about your best piece of advice for our relauncher audience even if it's something we've already talked about, but I also want to ask what your top three networking tips are for relaunchers. So maybe that's almost the same question, but I want to know , after you give those tips, can you comment on whether those tips are any different for relaunchers than they would be for non-relaunchers?

Kelly Hoey: Probably not, I would think no different, because one of my things is, do your research and be prepared before you step out there, and understand what your specific goal is. My problem with generic networking advice is, there's often the advice about, go to one event, have your business cards, but if you don't know why you're doing an activity, you hesitate and you don't continue it. So what is your specific goal? My advice would be, rather than starting your networking with thinking about the activity, I want you to think about what your goal is. All right? What is your specific goal?

And you may have within a bigger goal, you may have two or three smaller goals... who is the network? Who are the people? It could be a community. It could be a professional association. Who are the people who can help you achieve that goal? Where is the best place to connect with them? And that's where you have to get hyper-specific because it might be your old boss. You know that old boss, she really hates email. She's a meet-for-coffee person. Well, guess what, you're going to have to get off your doofus and go and have coffee with her.

You know, hey, the other person I need to reach, they're a text person. Don't ask them for coffee, but start with, if you're a spreadsheet person, you put this in the spreadsheet. If you're like me and you like sticky notes, you can, whatever. But yeah. First brainstorming and drill down on what are your specific goals, and get hyper specific, not like, “Hey, I need a job.”

What are the, “Oh, I need information.” “I need information on X roles”. Alright. Within X roles, who is the right person or community to give you the answer now, how do I connect with them? Start teasing it out that way.

And someone's going to listen to this and say, “Oh my God, that's going to take time.” Well, do you want to spend the time sending out a hundred random resumes and get no answers or do you want to send out a small number of well thought out communications and get a response?

Carol Fishman Cohen: This is so important. I'm so glad that you said this because we have relaunchers, they will come to us and they'll say, “You know, I sent a hundred resumes out and I didn't hear a single thing.” And usually we say, “That's right. It's not a very effective way of getting a job opportunity.”

What you’re saying is much more labor intensive, much harder, but also much more fruitful.

Kelly Hoey: Well, I'm going to say a different distribution of your labor. Because it takes time to send out a hundred resumes. So how do you want to spend that time? And, you think about the response rate that you want to have and the impact you want to have on your own career. Just be smarter and think about it. I mean, there's a great case study in my book. It relates to getting a job after 9/11, in the really tough job market that was at the time.

But I think Jessica Peltz’ approach as a college grad seeking a Madison Avenue job at a time where there were no roles, and having to cold email and how she did it. I think her roadmap is really applicable in this situation because she did the research. She did targeted emails. She let the person know how she understood the challenge they were in the market they were in, what they needed in a skill set and, boom. customize it. And in a time when roles weren't being created and people were being laid off, she landed the job.

Carol Fishman Cohen: Wow. Well, that's a great reason for people to read your book, Build Your Dream Network, and it's a great place for us to end our conversation today.

Kelly, even though I'd love it to go on for longer, we're, we're already way over time and that went by so fast. So thank you for joining us. Can you tell us how people can find out more about your work?

Kelly Hoey: So, thank you so much. Yes, we could talk all day on this, jazzed up on a Friday morning having this conversation.

Find me that's my website or I'm on LinkedIn. You know, J Kelly Hoey, dang those parents calling me by my second name that they gotta have that initial there, or on Twitter @jkhoey.

Carol Fishman Cohen: And can you spell out your website? So people have the exact spelling.

Kelly Hoey: Sure. It is J K E L L Y H O E Y dot C O. Oh yeah. I'm a dot C-O.

Carol Fishman Cohen: Okay. Got it. Thank you. All right. Thanks Kelly. For joining us.

Kelly Hoey: Thank you.

Carol Fishman Cohen: You've been listening to 3,2,1 iRelaunch, the podcast where we discuss strategies, advice, and success stories about returning to work after a career break. I'm Carol Fishman Cohen, the chair and co-founder of iRelaunch and your host. For more information on iRelaunch go to

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