Tribute to a manager

The cat is out of the bag: this Friday is my last day at Right Management. I’ve taken a position with a local SaaS company as a Customer Success Manager. It’s something that I’m excited and passionate about…but the leaving is bittersweet.

There’ll be lots of time to talk about what I’m up to as I immerse myself in Customer Success. I want to pay tribute to my manager at Right Management, Caroline.

From my first interview with Caroline it was clear that she’s a huge advocate for her team. On the day we met face-to-face she came straight from her team meeting and glowed with pride as she told me how they had worked to find solutions to some issues that had cropped up.

Caroline has stood with us through a number of challenges and difficulties, rallying us together to push through roadblocks and find solutions. She’s also been there to celebrate our successes individually and as a team.

She’s in touch with the interests and strengths of all of her team members and goes out of her way to find us projects and teams where we can grow our skills and let our knowledge and expertise shine. When I make mistakes her first response is always “how can we make this right?” or “what did you learn from this?” rather than laying blame. I’ve seen other team members besides myself flourish under her leadership.

I’ve never had a manager who has worked like Caroline has to help me succeed. Now that I know how  effective working hand-in-hand with a manager like this can be I won’t be able to settle for less. She’s open, provides great coaching; both for opportunities for improvement and for ways to excel. It feels like she genuinely celebrates our recognition and successes.

Aside from all these things she’s fun and fun to be around. When she isn’t able to come into the office everyone misses her presence.

She’s made it clear that she will miss me, and make no mistake: I will truly miss her too. I’ve learned so much from her and hope that if I manage a team again that I can do it a fraction as well as she does.

Life is a funny thing. Even though we won’t be working together after Friday you never know what the future holds…I would welcome an opportunity to work with Caroline again.

Where am I going in 2017?

I’m excited for 2017 and what it’s going to bring at work!

This all came about due to career conversations I’ve had with my manager. This is why having these conversations throughout the year and on a regular basis is so important. I didn’t understand the importance on both sides of the desk; I’ve always had conversations with managers about what I want to do, but I didn’t know how to persue the issue. I’ve also never worked with a manager (and director) who has initiated these conversations with me. It makes an enormous difference from talking about it once a year during a review. Having a career goal that both my manager and I are working towards throughout the year makes it seem much more attainable.

Since discovering my passion for Customer Success (I call it Candidate Success at Right Management) I’ve known that it’s my niche. I spent a lot of time in 2016 becoming educated on the fundamentals of Customer Success Management and created a pilot Candidate Success program for Right Management. CSM was developed by and for SaaS companies but I really believe that it’s a must-have for all companies that provide a service.

Now that I have a Customer/Candidate Success program to work with, what are my next steps?

  1. Figure out the best way to segment our client base.
  2. Create playbooks:
    • Candidate’s lifecycle
    • Growth
    • For when things go wrong
    • There are a lot of things you can  – and should – design a playbook for!
  3. Design and measure metrics
  4. Continue to advocate for CSM within the company
  5. Continue to learn about CSM and learn from the community

I haven’t felt excited about the direction I’m heading in since I was a veterinary practice manager. It was much the same; I became interested in being one; became one; then had to learn how to make it work for the clinic I was working in. Being able to be hands on and creating something new is really exciting for me. I remember the days of pouring over articles, textbooks, courses, and interent forums to find out everything I could and then sitting down to create it all for my clinic.

This isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. My strongest archetype is the Creator, so you can see why this type of work excites me. The point is that you need to find what’s going to resonate for you and go for it this year!

2016 in review & looking forward to 2017

This is inspired by Iris Cai’s post on her blog. The questions she asks herself and her honest answers inspired me to try it out for myself.

The wins

  • What were your accomplishments (big and small) in 2016?
  • What about these accomplishments are important to you?
  • What kind of person have you become because of them?
  • What have you learned about yourself?

The “fails”

  • What disappointed you in 2016?
  • What about them are important to you?
  • What were you avoiding?
  • What were you tolerating?
  • What were the voices in you that you were listening from?

Looking forward

  • What would you like to create for yourself and your community in 2017?
  • Who do you need to become in order to do that?
  • What do you need to start doing/doing more, and stop doing/doing less to stay committed?

The wins

2016 was the year when I found something in my fulltime job to be passionate about. I discovered the concept of Customer Success Management and I know this is where I’m going to make my niche and be successful.

CSM has changed the way I look at interactions with Candidates and Clients and I practice its principles as much as I can without being in a formal CSM role. I made a pilot Customer Success program for Right Management that I hope to try out in 2017. CSM isn’t only for SaaS companies; I believe it should be embranced by most (if not all) companies. What better way to show your track record than being able to quantify your company’s contribution to it’s clients’ successes?

I worked on saying “no” to projects that I didn’t have the capacity to take on or finish with the attention they need. That was one of my biggest “personal goals” in the workplace for me. I did better with it than I thought I would.

Saying no has forced me to confront my worst trait: avoidance, especially avoiding conflict. Saying no inevitably will cause conflict and it happens so fast there’s no way to get around it other than to deal with it. It’s very uncomfortable for me and will be something I address with myself in 2017.

My creative writing classes have helped me find my voice as a writer and exposed me to different forms of writing I hadn’t tried before. I have a piece that I’m shopping for publication (on the advice of one of my instructors) which was one of the most difficult writing assignment I’ve done, even though it’s fairly short. I received my first rejection letter, which was personalized. Even though it was declining to publish my piece at this time it was still thrilling in a way to get individual recognition for the effort I made.

The “fails” lessons

Failures often bring us the best lessons, and I find lesson to be a more positive word.

Breaking my leg – because I didn’t say no! – in September was a low point in the year. I wasn’t able to master a new form of riding (enduro) and I trashed my motorcycle. Oh yeah; all in front of one of my bosses at Pacific Riding School!

I didn’t find time to write outside of coursework as much as I had hoped to. Even with all the free time I had I wasn’t able to bring myself to do it.

My sleeping habits are still terrible; as soon as I have three or more days off I go back to being a night-owl. I’m working the days in between Christmas and New Years and it’s tough to get into bed at a reasonable hour when it feels like I should be on vacation. I’m naturally a night-owl so once I get back into that sleeping pattern it’s tough to

As mentioned above my avoidance of conflict is a major issue that I need to work on. Very few issues get smaller, disappear, or resolve themselves if ignored. They just get worse! Intellectually I know this; I just need to but the knowledge into practice.

Looking forward

I want to expand my knowledge and use of CSM as well as widen my networking circle of Customer Success Managers. I’d love to attend Pulse 2017, but I’m not sure if I can justify it to my current employer as I’m not formally in CSM. I’ll be keeping an eye on Lincoln Murphy’s schedule. I missed him both times he came to Vancouver; the first time I was off on disability leave, and the second time was the same day I returned to work!

I’m thinking of getting my Six Sigma green belt certification, but I don’t want to bite off more than I can chew between my BA coursework, full time job, part time work with PRS, and free time.

As I said above I’ll be continuing to work on saying no and working on my tenancy to avoid conflict.

I’ll also make more time for writing outside of course assignments as well as being open to messy and mistake-filled writing. Sometimes when things don’t come right away I give up on them, and my work on Sea-Changed taught me that pushing through can result in something great.

Much to some people’s chagrin I will be getting on a motorcycle as soon as I’m able! I won’t be dirtbiking or doing anything like I was when I crashed. I’ll be sticking to pavement and very easy logging roads at for at least the upcoming season. The tibial intramedullary rod can bend if it’s impacted too hard while the bone is healing (and I imagine if it’s hit hard enough after healing is complete). The thought makes me shudder. I’ve learned to be quite protective of my left leg!

I think that 2017 is going to be a big year for me because I’m heading into it with a clear vision and goal of where I want to me. 2016 was challenging on many fronts but brought about growth personally and professionally.

Someone please kill the cover letter

I’m surprised that so few hiring managers and industries have made the move to get rid of the cover letter. What do they really tell the hiring manager? Mostly that you read the job posting and agree that you have the skills and requirements they want. Of course you think so – you’re applying for the job! If you don’t think that you’re a good fit then it’s possible you’re using a buckshot approach to job searching…and your chances of success are diminished.

Get rid of the cover letter and replace it with something useful

Source information about current problems or challenges your target company or industry faces and  show examples of your skill set or prior successes that will make a direct impact. It’s a great opportunity to show that you’ve done your reasearch and you’re confident in your skills and abilities. A cover letter is dry and wordy; data visualization (infographics) such as a networking brief probably work better.

Killing it softly

Because a cover letter is the norm and expected I understand why job seekers are reluctant to embrace something new. The push to kill the cover letter has to come from hiring managers.

  1. Stop adding “please reply with resume and cover letter” to all of your postings. You know that applicants play it safe and use the cover letter to sell themselves.
  2. Ask for the applicant’s LinkedIn, blog, and/or other social media accounts.
  3. Ask a behavioural interview question. That’s probably a better way to screen applicants than using a cover letter.
  4. Ask for a specific example of a skill, challenge, use of a tool or resource that’s essential to the position to understand the applicant’s grasp of it.

Your alternatives

What can job seekers do to give potential employers an idea about their skills and abilities?

  1. Have an engaging LinkedIn presence. Share articles that you find interesting, and comment about what you think.
  2. Use Twitter to tweet and re-tweet interesting industry-related content.
    • Follow companies that you’re interested in
    • Follow bloggers and other thought-leaders and engage with them and their followers
  3. Have a blog or portfolio. Some examples of what you can post:
    • A blogroll with your favourtite industry related blogs with the reasons why you like them
    • Descriptions of career highlights (awards, milestones, successful projects, examples of how you overcame a challenge)
    • Infographics that illustrate your skills and interests
    • Your own blog
    • Your resume

What do you think? Job seekers – would you prefer to kill or keep the cover letter? What about hiring managers? Am I wrong in thinking that a cover letter does little to enhance a job seeker’s personal brand?

Dispelling the introvert myth

“But you’re great with people!”
“You’re not shy!”
“You put yourself ‘out there’ too much to be an introvert!”

I’ve mentioned before that many people are surprised to learn that I’m an introvert.

I’ve known that I’m an introvert since I first took the Myers-Briggs when I was 16. I’ve re-taken it more than once and my results continue to be the same (INFP for the record). Anyone who knew me as a child would have seen me swing from being the boss of the playground to holing up in my room with a stack of books for days on end.

People have become more aware of the introverts amoung us thanks to books like Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking and The Introvert Advantage: How Quiet People Can Thrive in an Extrovert WorldI liked both books, however there are parts of them that make me uncomfortable. If you’re an extrovert and you read material like this it’s easy to come away with the idea that introverts can be fragile and have a hard time handling meetings, phone calls, or crowds. One author gives suggestions on how to “temporarily become [an] extrovert” in some situations to be successful.

Let’s talk about one of the main differences between introverts and extroverts: where they get their energy from. Extroverts get their energy from being around other people; they almost seem to feed off of it. they may come home from a party or networking event too keyed up to settle down. Introverts get their energy from alone time. They’ll feel refreshed after a quiet night in. They’ll come home from the same party or networking event feeling exhausted. The extrovert may feel bored and listless when spending too much time alone. I work with a very extroverted extrovert. After an event we’re completely opposite: he’s ready to go for another six hours while I’m ready for bed.

It doesn’t mean that he’s better at representing our company at events. We both do it differently and I think we both do a great job. We connect with different types of people and widen the audience that we appeal to. This is the strength of recognizing your personality type and working with it, and building a team that complements each other.

Intoversion is not the same thing as shyness, social anxiety, being cold or aloof, or “not being a people-person” (although you can be one or more of these simultaneously). While I was off work recovering from my broken leg I was starving for human contact. You’d think being homebound would be an introvert’s dream if you buy into the superficial explanation of introversion. By the end of the first month I really wanted some interaction with people. At the end of the second month I was resigned to being isolated forever. When I finally made it back to work I was happy to be able to talk to different people! The parts of both of my jobs that I enjoy the most are interacting with Candidates (Right Management) and students (Pacific Riding School). I particularly enjoy facilitating training sessions at both places. One co-worker once told me “you know, for an introvert you’re quite the ham!” 

So how does it work, then?

There’s more to our personalities than just being an introvert or extrovert. Sticking with the Myers-Briggs we each have four dominant functions that shape us. An INFP has the following: Introversion (I) iNtuition (N) Feeling (F) Perception (P). That’s four pieces, not just one. My skills and experience and Emotional Intelligence are also important in making up who I am as a person and an employee.

Misperceptions about introversion (and to a lesser degree extroversion) can hurt us at work or in a career transition is when it’s used as a label to describe the whole person. Just like using the shorthand of a person’s generation, splitting people into introverted and extroverted only tells you a small amount about someone.

Where do I belong? Does it matter?

We talk a lot about Millennials and Baby Boomers and their culture clash in the career transition world. On December 14th our Right Management Vancouver Leadership Forum had a roundtable discussion with some entreprenurial Millennials (most of the Leadership Forum are Boomers). Two of the interesting points that were raised were: Boomers and the Millennials are doing what they must to be competitive in their respective job markets, and the danger of categorizing someone solely on how old or young they (appear) to be.

I don’t identify much with  Millennials, but I don’t fully identify with Generation X either. So where do I fit in? Depending on the source, I was born on the tail end of Gex-X (making me a “young Gen-Xer”) or at the beginning of the Millennials (making me an “old Millennial”). Wikipedia has this to say:

Due in part to the frequent birth-year overlap and resulting incongruence existing between attempts to define Generation X and Millennials, a number of individuals born in the late 1970s or early 1980s see themselves as being “between” the two generations.Names given to those born on the Generation X/Millennial cusp years include Xennials, The Lucky Ones, Generation Catalano, and the Oregon Trail Generation.

Why does this concern me?

If I’m honest with myself I feel some resentment for the way the Millennials have been crowned the disrupters, the innovators, the idealists. Because I don’t embrace being a Millennial it worries me that people might be attaching labels to me that don’t fit and making decisions based on them. When I hear Boomers talk about their fear of agism in their career transition I can empathize. They don’t want to be tagged with being something they may not identify with.

I’m not sure why we rely on the generational labels to sort and categorize people. It is a quick and easy shorthand; but like anything else it has it’s dark side. Millennials can be seen as  fickle, too connected with technology. Boomers can be seen as being behind the times. As the workforce evolves the Boomers, Gen-X, and Millennials are sharing the same workspace and bringing their ideas.Each of the three generations has it’s upside and downsides and employers and employyes would do best to leverage each generation’s strengths. But be careful how you do it; sometimes I think it’s not too far away from using astrology to describe groups of people (my idealism comes from being an Aquarius!)

 

Honesty is key

There are some questions that come up in an interview that makes almost everyone cringe (myself included). Here’s my thoughts on how you can choose to tackle them:

1. What are your salary expectations?
2. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
3. What is your greatest weakness?

What are your salary expectations? 

This can be tough when it’s asked up front; doubly so if it’s a gate keeping question during application or the first interview. Generally it’s best to try to defer this question as long as possible; until an offer is on the table or you’re confident it’s close. That’s not always possible though. So how do you handle it?

  • Know what you want/need to make
  • Research what similar positions in the industry and at similar companies pay
  • Be honest

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I generally don’t know where I’m going to be in the next five months. Not because I’m on a furtive job hunt, but because of my nature; I’m always drawn to new projects, and I’m happy to careen off-course for something interesting. Five years ago I didn’t see myself where I am today.

Obviously, an answer like this could make me seem unreliable at best. How do I address it to turn it into a positive?

I speak in generalities and play up my flexibility. I might say something like:

“I want to work for a company that has many different opportunities to grow. I enjoy the ability to work on different types of projects with different team members as well as continuously acquiring new skills. I can’t say for sure what type of position I’ll be in five years from now, but my expectation is that I’ll be doing something that keeps me engaged in the business and contributing to its success.”

I just came up with that off the top of my head, but you can see where I’m going with it. You need to come up with an honest answer that is true and puts you in the best light.

What is your greatest weakness?

No one is fooled by “being a perfectionist” as a valid answer!

My greatest weakness at work is trying to do too much and not asking for help. Earlier in my time at Right Management I over-committed to some projects and found myself overwhelmed. Instead of asking for help (which I saw as admitting that I wasn’t good enough to complete the projects when it was an issue of not having the bandwidth to do it) I dug myself deeper until my manager intervened. With her help I was able to see that not being honest about my time was damaging my personal brand within the company. After we identified the root causes of the issue it became a personal KPI. I now know that it’s okay and better to raise my hand and get help for any reason; time, lack of understanding, etc. I always want to be the one who helps everyone with everything, and it’s just not possible.

This is the type of story I’d use in an interview.

  • It’s a concrete, true weakness
  • It affected my job
  • Once aware of it I took steps to resolve the issue/weakness
  • I monitor myself and my workload to prevent it from happening again

This example works because it shows I can take feedback to correct an issue, and I’m now aware that it’s something I have to watch out for.

The key is the honesty. Being dishonest or less than honest may land you a second interview, an offer, or even the job but if you haven’t been true to yourself there’s a good chance that it won’t be a good fit.

Making use of time

I’ve unexpectedly found myself with a lot of time on my hands. Due to a broken leg and surgery to repair it I’m off work for eight weeks. It’s been about a week and a half. Now that my pain is under control I have to come up with activities to keep myself occupied. It’s similar to being in the midst of a career transition; in both cases there’s something unexpected and negative that’s happened and shouldn’t become the focus of every day.

Here’s what I’m focusing on while I’m off work; some of these might be useful to those of you getting ready to look for a new opportunity or already engaged in a job search:

Keep a routine

If I have more than three days off in a row I revert back to a night owl; staying up into the wee hours of the morning and sleeping until late morning/early afternoon. I’ve made my peace (somewhat!) with the fact that in order to do the type of work I enjoy I need to fit myself into the “lark’s world”.

I’m giving myself time to rest and recuperate after surgery; I listen to what my surgeon recommended and what my body needs. In order to make the transition back to work easier when it’s time I’m still getting up within an hour of my regular wake-up time and going to sleep at a normal time.

I’m doing this because I know from experience going back to work after being laid off for a number of months is hard when I’ve had to make an abrupt change to my schedule.

Sharpen your skills

There’s lots of free and paid opportunities to grow your skills; anything from Microsoft Office to PMP/Lean or other project management designations. This is particularly important if your MS Office skills are dated or rusty; it’s expected that employees know how to utilize the basic functions of Word, Outlook, and Excel at minimum.

Places to look for training:

Further education or credential completion/upgrade

Do you have an incomplete degree? Or do you have a degree that you’d like to transfer into something else (for example, a Bachelor’s of Technology)? Now might be the time to look at completing that degree or turning it into something more useful.

Create a blog/portfolio/set up social media

Here’s another way to add to your personal brand’s arsenal. You should know by now that LinkedIn is an important tool for both job seekers and recruiters/hiring managers…right? What about a blog that showcases your thoughts on what’s happening in your industry? Partner that with a career-oriented Twitter account and your ability to network could grow exponentially!

Work on a project or volunteer

Giving time and energy into a project of your own or joining a cause you believe in has many benefits:

  • It keeps you busy
  • Giving time to a project or cause can help you feel useful
  • You may gain new skills or discover something about yourself
  • It can be another way to network
  • It may add to your resume

You might ask what I’m doing to keep myself busy. I was already enrolled in two (online, thankfully) university courses for my degree; I re-developed my personal blog and started keeping a record of my journey as I heal (the Broken Leg Diaries). I’m planning to make an attempt at NaNoWriMo this November, as I won’t be away on vacation for the first time in a few years. That means I’m actually going to take advantage of September and October to pre-plan my writing. Generally I’m more of what’s known as a “pantser” and like the blog post suggests it works for poetry and flash fiction for me, but not so much with longer narratives. So it looks like I’ll be learning a new skill, too!

How a career transition & learning to ride a motorcycle are the same

When I started working for Right Management I was surprised at how much crossover there is between my two jobs. Teaching adults to ride motorcycles and working with individuals going through career transition don’t sound similar on the surface, but if you peel a few layers back the issues are very close, if not identical.

Adults don’t often have to learn a new cognitive skill while working on new physical skills. Learning to ride is almost all about thinking, and how we think in our jobs (analytically, multitasking, focused on performance) doesn’t work on a bike. Same with a career transition. What worked for you in your former position may not be helpful as you look for your next opportunity. Learning how to network, market yourself, use social media, etc. all sound daunting but you can do it. Just avoid these four pitfalls that are common to learning to ride and a job search:

1. You expect perfection

This is a killer for both activities. There is pressure associated with both, and definitely more tangible ones associated with a transition (money being a big one). Many people who are finding themselves looking for a new career expect that they’re going to write a perfect resume, interview perfectly, and apply for the perfect job by coming across a job posting. New motorcyclists – even those who have never ridden before – often think that they’ll pick up the exercises easily and do them perfectly in a short period of time. But it’s their minds that defeat them.

When’s the last time you had to go out and find a job? Was it before the advent of social media? Do you have a cohesive brand to market yourself with? Is your resume tired, or dating you? Are  your interview skills below par? You probably relate to a lot of these questions and it’s okay. There’s a lot to learn, and in order for you to have an effective targeted job search you need to slow down and take some time to learn and focus.

2. You’re looking for “fool’s gold”

“Fool’s gold” is what one of the Lead Instructors I work with calls learning to ride focused on getting your license, not surviving on your bike. The license doesn’t prove that you know how to ride; it simply proves that you followed instructions on a couple of tests satisfactorily. These students are much more concerned with what’s going to be on the tests than the skills needed to get them out of a bad situation (or better yet, avoid it altogether).

Fool’s gold in a job search is spending all your time chasing job postings and LinkedIn connections. Most jobs are found in the “hidden job market” which you can only access by networking. Networking is much more than watching your follower count on LinkedIn go up. You have to get out there and network and reach out to those connections. Fool’s gold is sending out your resume and cover letter in response to a posting and sitting back waiting to be called in for an interview. A job search is an active process. Being passive prolongs the process and often leads to frustration.

3. You’re letting your emotions and instincts get in the way

Human instincts evolved to keep us alive, but are harmful when it comes to riding. When you’re under a critical amount of stress your brain gives control to your limbic system which is where the flight/fight/sublimate responses come from. It’s also the emotional centre of the brain. Instincts are extremely hard to overcome.

If you’re in a career transition because you lost your job (for any reason) it’s normal to feel angry, hurt, betrayed, sad, etc. The problem comes when these emotions leak into your job search. If your instinct is to get defensive, be bitter, or ignore dealing with the normal emotions that arise from losing your job it will come across in your interviews and it will hinder your ability to make a good first impression.

4. You’re not doing your homework

Many new riders don’t know much about motorcycles other than they’re awesome and they want one! That’s okay. The problem is when it comes to purchasing one. If you buy based on looks or what your friends ride you run the risk of being unprepared to handle the type of bike you bought. Leaning over in the rain on a decreasing radius turn is not a good time to discover your cruiser doesn’t turn like a sportbike!

Nailing your interview requires preparation and homework. You need to be able to answer competency-based questions, behavioural interviewing questions, questions designed to probe your Emotional Intelligence, as well as demonstrating that you know about the company and the position you’re interviewing for. How’s your 30/60/90 second commercial? Can you deliver it smoothly and naturally? Have you worked on your reason for leaving statement so it’s positive and upbeat? What are you bringing to the company that differentiates you from the other applicants for the job? You need to be able to answer these questions and think on your feet. Waltzing in to an interview without preparation is a good way to end up lacking confidence and not getting called back for a second round.

When learning to ride students are anxious, nervous, excited, fearful. Sounds a lot like the emotions one feels while looking for a new job. The feelings are normal!

Living inside your phone

I can appreciate the wonder and technological achievement that has put the whole internet in the palm of my hand; emails, news alerts and dancing cat gifs alike. If an appointment or event isn’t in my Google calendar it may as well not exist, and I know that I’m not alone. I send out dozens of meeting requests electronically every day.

For better or worse we are connected 100% of the time. Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) causes some people to feel phantom vibrations in their pocket when their phone isn’t even there. I see people experiencing events through the screens of their smartphones as they clamour to take a picture or selfie of the moment. Is getting a photo worth missing out on the bigger picture?

In our first Social Media camp this year on January 11th we discussed how younger Gen-X and Millennial job seekers give themselves a leg up by instantly connecting to networking leads they meet in “real life”. We discussed that older Gen-Xers and Boomers need to embrace technology and use it the same way or they run the rick of being left behind.

In my cynical moments I think that as helpless as we feel, we created this culture of living in our phones; be it by our calendars, emails, cameras, or social media. Everything is served up and consumed so quickly. Of course like anything there needs to be a balance; just because I can spend two hours noodling around on the internet with my phone doesn’t mean I should. 

Using technology like smartphones and social media to enhance your job search is necessary but not all that needs to be done. Face-to-face networking is still the gold standard, and it’s pretty hard to do that with your face wedged behind your phone.