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Career Advice - Career - Daniel Porot expand
 

Networking (8)

I fell out of touch with my former colleagues at a company I left three years ago. I'd like to get back in touch with some of these folks because I know maintaining a network is a good long-term career strategy, but I'm having trouble figuring out what to say after such a long time. It's been about two years since we've spoken. Any suggestions on how to break the ice?

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I've been unemployed by choice for almost two years after selling a mortgage-lending business in the US. I'm interested in working again on a project basis. I'm living in Paris and would like to stay here, and be placed on a project basis in Europe or the Middle East. I have strong interpersonal skills and great experience as the founder, owner, chief executive officer and seller of a business. I can sell myself; the difficult part has been getting in front of the right people. Any suggestions?

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I'm a manager in a top-tier strategy-consulting firm and would like to return to line management at a U.S.-based global technology firm in a strategy/corporate development/marketing or business development role. I have an M.B.A. from INSEAD, worked several years in line management for a CAD software company in Europe, speak four languages and have a strong international background. As a former programmer and hardware designer, I also have a good understanding of technology.

I've read that U.S. companies need high-caliber business people with international experience and skills and have sent my resume to quite a few. However, none seem interested in me because I lack U.S. experience, don't have a work permit or they have no international positions. I'm convinced I could be successful working for a global hardware or software company. What am I doing wrong and what should I do differently to reach hiring decision-makers?

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I've read your columns about networking, and my problem isn't about establishing a network -- I have about 300 people I consider contacts. It's that I'm uncomfortable asking them for help. What do you recommend?

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I've attended networking events and met people from companies I'd like to work at. What's the best way to approach them about securing a job at their firms without being seen as a pain?

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I've got a master in mechanical engineering and an MBA from one of the leading European Business schools. In the past I implemented ERP's as IT consultant. Actually I'm managing a business unit in the manufacturing industry, exporting machine components worldwide. Now I'm interested in a new challenge outside good old Europe. How can I find offerings and build serious contacts in the Gulf region, mainly the UAE, where I expect strong economical movement in the future? What do I need to consider when investigating offers in the region?

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I finished my master's degree in business administration a year ago. While I feel fortunate that my job pays well, is challenging and offers great responsibilities, I want to start my own business in Prague or elsewhere in the Czech Republic. I don't have a concrete business plan, but I see trends and have ideas. Where can I find like-minded people or organizations other than chambers of commerce to flesh out ideas?

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I live in Southern New Hampshire, and have had a strong career as an art director. I have reached a roadblock in seeking out positions at advertising firms in this area. Newspapers and web sites have few positions, most in the Boston area. I just joined a networking group to work on these skills. Can you suggest any more avenues to search for openings?

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