PGAs of EuropeNetworking – PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com Home of the PGAE Mon, 13 Nov 2017 10:55:30 +0000 en-gb hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.3 Why Network? – Establishing Contacts for Your Personal Development http://www.pgae.com/ask/why-network-establishing-contacts-for-your-personal-development/ Fri, 20 May 2016 10:53:33 +0000 Coaching4Careers http://www.pgae.com/?p=15554 Many surveys show that networking accounts for up to 70% of job placements so establishing good industry contacts can really help your progression...]]>

Many surveys show that networking accounts for up to 70% of job placements.

Most people enjoy giving advice and being able to assist someone else. But for some people networking can seem a rather distasteful concept – something that lacks sincerity, and is using people for personal gain. However, when you think about it, we are always establishing contacts with others in our lives when we need information or advice:

e.g. ‘I want someone to flat-sit. Do you know anyone reliable?’ or ‘Can you recommend a good mechanic?’

In the world of work, most of us have or know someone who has obtained information about a job or a job itself by way of a contact; or have employed someone based on a colleague’s recommendation.  So ‘networking’ in the career sense is simply taking our social networking skills and applying them to our job search or career planning.

Networking helps you: tap into the hidden job market, that is, jobs that are not advertised; clarify your career direction by talking to people in the industry or sector in which you wish to work; and gives you the opportunity to support others.   So networking is an important skill in gathering information, gaining feedback, for referrals to other people, obtaining experience and doing the same for others.

You will need to identify what your aim is in networking. Do you want to:

  • make connections with people who work in a field that interests you?
  • gather information from people who will help you to determine your career path?
  • establish contacts with people who maybe in a position to offer employment
  • offer advice and support to others?

If you are clear about your aim/s, then the people with whom you network will also be clear about your intention.

Your closest networks will probably be your family and friends and you may feel more comfortable approaching them first. Make a list of other people who could assist you and begin approaching them e.g.:

  • Professional people whose service you use (i.e. travel agent, lawyer, accountant)
  • Former students from school, college or university
  • Current experts in your chosen field
  • Members of clubs to which you belong (i.e. sporting, community, political)
  • Work colleagues
  • Relevant professional associations

Keep a record of all your new contacts and the people who referred you to them. Ask permission to use their name when making contact with others. Remember that each person you speak to will usually be able to refer you to another, so your network will continue to expand.  Think about who you can refer new contacts to as well.

It is very important to prepare for the meeting with your contact. You want to make a good impression, so dress appropriately and do your preparation:

  • Research the organisation that your contact works for
  • Put together a portfolio of your qualifications, résumé, references etc.
  • Be able to talk about your skills and experience
  • Compile questions which will give you information regarding your aim/s

i.e.:

‘Can you tell me about your career to date?’

‘What is a typical day for you?’

‘What particular skills, experiences and qualifications do you think are important in order to be successful?’

‘How did you get into this particular type of work/role?’

‘What do you enjoy about your work?’

‘What are the career possibilities in this field?’

‘Where do you think the industry/sector will be in 5 years time?’

And

‘Do you know of anyone I could talk further with about…?’

Most people have limited time, so listen carefully, and make notes. If you can’t meet face-to-face, preparation still needs to be done before you make telephone or email contact.

Always follow-up contact with a thank you note and keep in touch with people who have assisted you. Networking is two-way process and you will be asked for help at some stage in your career too.

Networking is not always a quick fix, if you don’t like the thought of it, take out the word networking and think about having mutually beneficial conversations and building relationships.

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Why Network? – Establishing Contacts for Your Personal Development
5 Tricks to Remembering Someone’s Name http://www.pgae.com/ask/5-tricks-to-remembering-someones-name/ Sun, 24 Jan 2016 22:57:38 +0000 Coaching4Careers http://www.pgae.com/?p=10359 'Name-blank-itis': a surprisingly common modern-day affliction, particularly endemic among the older demographic. A clinical study by Psychology Today shows tha]]>

‘Name-blank-itis’: a surprisingly common modern-day affliction, particularly endemic among the older demographic. A clinical study by Psychology Today shows that as many of 85% of middle and retirement-aged individuals may, in fact, be sufferers.

But it’s not just the oldies among us that are affected; millennials are frequently hit with these ‘senior moments’ too. Perhaps there’s an argument for mandatory name-tagging for everyone? Alternatively, there are a number of simple tactics that can help ward off this most socially awkward of conditions. Here is a selection of the best ones to try:

1. Concentrate

Most name blanks are created at the initial meet and great stage when people tend to be distracted by all the other thoughts running through their mind. By listening and fully engaging you stand a much better chance of recalling specifics such as names.

2. Repeat

Having registered the name, the trick is to consolidate it with as much repetition and reaffirmation as possible. Asking your new acquaintance to spell it out in full will help lodge it firmly within your temporal lobe. Warning: this may make you look odd if their name is John Smith. But you could try “John with an ‘h’?”

3.Write it down

For those with a visual rather than aural learning style it’s helpful to write down the name at the earliest convenience. You might even look to carry around a note-pad for this very purpose, though this could also make you look like an undercover detective on a bad day.

4. Name association

Similar to the popular word association drinking game but with more names and less drink, this tactic involves creating links and patterns between the person’s name and those of celebrities or people you know. Always keep your workings to yourself to avoid causing offence.

5. Address it head on

If after all this your new connection still remains nameless, your best bet is to meet the situation head on and own up to your forgetfulness. Do this early while your forgetfulness is still easily brushed aside. Waiting until the office Christmas Party could make things awkward, especially if Secret Santa is involved.

With several potential tricks up your sleeve, compensating your name-blanking tendencies is easier than it seems. Don’t start reaching for the nametags just yet.


This content appears courtesy of Abintegro, experts in career management, transition technology & e-learning for today’s modern, mobile and technology-savvy workforce – Find out more at www.abintegro.com

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5 Tricks to Remembering Someone’s Name
New Year, New Job – The Importance of Promoting Yourself http://www.pgae.com/ask/network-your-way-to-the-top/ Fri, 27 Nov 2015 07:34:19 +0000 Club Inc. http://www.pgae.com/?p=8763 The beginning of a new year is traditionally the time for resolutions and planning, and new starts.  Here Niall Flanagan,...]]>

The beginning of a new year is traditionally the time for resolutions and planning, and new starts.  Here Niall Flanagan, Managing Director of Club Inc., the PGAs of Europe Career Services Partner, explains how making sure your networking skills are in top form can seriously help your new year’s career progression…


It is said most people spend more time thinking about where they are going on holiday than their career. For those golf professionals who really want to succeed you need to think what your ultimate career goal is in order to satisfy all the things you want to achieve. Having worked with hundreds of PGA Members every one of them has different goals.

Some want a top club professional job, some want to be the best coach, some want to work abroad, some want to turn to club management and become a General Manager. So its is important to research and understand what steps are needed to get to your individual career goal.

Networking and marketing yourself to the right people is one of the most powerful tools in getting you to the next stage. For example I knew my career goal was to be a General Manager at one of the top clubs in the world. I started writing to Dick Kopplin the leading headhunter in the USA in 1998.

At first I never got a reply as he didn’t know me and at the time I was living and working in Dubai. When I moved to St Andrews in I attended the CMAA World conference presenting the Opening Education Address to 1,800 people in 2004. This was the first time I met Dick.

PGAs of Europe - Club Inc_01

In 2005 I invited Dick to speak at a conference that I promoted which he accepted. In 2006 he got me the interview for the position of CEO at Loch Lomond that resulted in me being successful in fulfilling my career goal. It had taken me 8 years but the work I did along the way helped me pave the way to getting me what I had set out to do some 15 years before.

Improving your own PR is also vitally important, most golf professionals I know are confident in presenting themselves due to the hours coaching their students and retailing to their customers. Think about putting yourself forward to speak at conferences, writing articles for magazines or websites. This will grow your brand and attract potential employers as the more often your name and picture appear the more chance you have of being reminded to or meeting owners, CEO’s, headhunters etc.

For golf professionals I think Linkedin is a must to help promote themselves and open up career opportunities. LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network with over 120 million members and growing rapidly. LinkedIn connects you to your trusted contacts and helps you exchange knowledge, ideas, and opportunities with a broader network of professionals giving  you the keys to controlling your online identity.

You should Google yourself? You never know what may come up. LinkedIn profiles rise to the top of search results, letting you control the first impression people get when searching for you on line. You should know how to best set up your account and by having the right CV would help your Linkedin profile. Whether you’re looking for a career opportunity, winning new clients or building your professional reputation, LinkedIn can if used properly connect you to jobs, sales leads and ideal business partners.

So please remember that Networking can be very helpful to your career its just not a buzz word it actually works. Develop a network of friendly people who share information to help each other. I believe it is best known as a strategy for opening the hidden job market. Since 80% of jobs are not advertised, it is essential that you develop friendly relationships with people who can tip you off to job openings — perhaps even introduce you to the person who is doing the hiring. There is some truth in, “It’s not what you know, but who you know.”

Since the start of this series of articles on helping Professionals with the very best career advice in sport we are pleased to report that we are now working with a large number of PGA members currently 10 professionals a week are becoming clients helping them to have a better chance to improve their careers and networking opportunities which Club Inc can provide.

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New Year, New Job – The Importance of Promoting Yourself
Network Driving: Club Inc.’s Top-10 Tips on Getting Connected http://www.pgae.com/career-development/network-driving-club-inc-s-top-10-tips-on-getting-connected/ Thu, 15 Jan 2015 14:13:06 +0000 Club Inc. http://www.pgae.com/?p=8872 According to Niall Flanagan, Managing Director of Club Inc., skilled networkers are subtle, patient, determined, focused and consistent. They do what they say]]>

According to Niall Flanagan, Managing Director of Club Inc., skilled networkers are subtle, patient, determined, focused and consistent.  They do what they say they will do, when they say they will do it, and they connect people. 

Niall’s top 10 suggestions:

  1. Attend events that are relevant to you and your business.
  2. Arrive early so you don’t walk into a room full of people who are already in conversation.
  3. Be confident in your language and actions- people buy certainty and confidence, but turn away from arrogance- be careful.
  4. Listen more and talk less.  It is no coincidence that you learn more when someone else is talking.
  5. Become the gatekeeper and the go-to contact.  Build your strong contact network over time so that other people think of you first when they need help and advice.
  6. First impressions count, so make yours positive.  Everything from appearance and handshake, to your attitude and body language.
  7. Know your elevator speech – a short, sharp explanation of what you do.
  8. Self-management of your time.  Don’t spend too much time in one discussion.
  9. Be a farmer not a hunter – avoid selling and trying to get a deal on the day.
  10. Always follow up with the contacts you make.
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Network Driving: Club Inc.’s Top-10 Tips on Getting Connected
3 Ways Networking Can Take You to the Top http://www.pgae.com/ask/3-ways-networking-can-take-you-to-the-top/ Thu, 15 Jan 2015 13:18:55 +0000 Club Inc. http://www.pgae.com/?p=8795 Club Inc.'s Managing Director, Niall Flanagan, gives three reasons why networking can properly you up the career ladder...]]>

Club Inc.’s Managing Director, Niall Flanagan, gives three reasons why networking can properly you up the career ladder…


Networking and marketing yourself to the right people is one of the most powerful tools in getting you to the next stage.  For example, I knew my career goal was to be a General Manager at one of the top clubs in the world.

I started writing to Dick Kopplin the leading headhunter in the USA in 1998.  At first I never got a reply as he didn’t know me and at the time I was living and working in Dubai.  When I moved to St Andrews I attended the CMAA World conference presenting the Opening Education Address to 1,800 people in 2004.  This was the first time I met Dick.  In 2005 I invited Dick to speak at a conference that I promoted which he accepted.  In 2006 he got me the interview for the position of CEO at Loch Lomond that resulted in me being successful in fulfilling my career goal.

It had taken me 8 years but the work I did along the way helped me pave the way to getting me what I had set out to do some 15 years before.  My story illustrates just how important networking can be in your career – below are 3 more benefits of networking when it comes to advancing your career…

1. Improves your PR within the industry

Improving your own PR is also vitally important.  Most golf professionals I know are confident in presenting themselves due to the hours coaching their students and retailing to their customers, but think about putting yourself forward to speak at conferences, writing articles for magazines and/or websites.  This will grow your brand and attract potential employers as the more often your name and picture appear, the more chance you have of being mentioned or meeting owners, CEO’s, headhunters etc.

2. Helps unlock the job market

Networking can be very helpful to your career.  It’s not just a “buzz word”, it actually works.  Develop a network of friendly people who share information to help each other.  I believe it is best known as a strategy for opening the hidden job market.  Since 80% of jobs are not advertised, it is essential that you develop friendly relationships with people who can tip you off to job openings – perhaps even introduce you to the person who is doing the hiring.  There is some truth in, “It’s not what you know, but who you know.”

PGAs of Europe - Club Inc_02_m

3. Allows you to meet people that are outside your circle broadening your knowledge and skill sets

Finally attending events both inside and outside the industry can help you learn so much that you can add to your skill set.  It really is amazing the number of people you meet who play golf and will get talking to you because you are a golf professional – you never know where this may lead.

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3 Ways Networking Can Take You to the Top
CASE STUDY: Career Planning for Success http://www.pgae.com/ask/career-planning-for-success/ Thu, 15 Jan 2015 13:02:05 +0000 Club Inc. http://www.pgae.com/?p=8790 Club Inc’s Career Coaching service has helped more than 100 individuals since its inception a year ago, helping CEO’s, GM’s, Golf Club Secretary’s, Directors of]]>

Club Inc’s Career Coaching service has helped more than 100 individuals since its inception a year ago, helping CEO’s, GM’s, Golf Club Secretary’s, Directors of Golf and Golf Professionals with their career planning and objectives, and in doing this we’ve identified the common practices that are required when preparing for a new career opportunity application.

Golf is a fascinating and varied industry with much history and it employs many thousands of people across the UK & Europe offering a variety of roles and opportunities within different areas of the sport.

Most of us will spend 30 – 40 years of our lives working in different roles and organisations so it is important that we make the right choices and think through how best to make the most of our assets to create an interesting and fulfilling career.

Considering options when it comes to a career can be challenging and difficult, and knowing where to go for insight and advice can be daunting, which is why it’s important to review and assess where you are currently in your career, identify realistic and achievable goals that can support your progression within the sport and club industry, and also to create a clear plan to take you to where you want to go.

Two Club Inc. success stories are qualified PGA Professionals Matthew Hough and Karl Whitehead.  Matthew was one of our very first candidates having met me at a PGA course regarding working in China.  Matthew, 26, was employed as a qualified assistant at a traditional golf club in the North of England.  He was frustrated in his role, ambitious to take his career to the next level and had targeted Asia as the ideal place to work and live.

PGAs of Europe - Club Inc - Matthew Hough_m“At first I wasn’t sure what this assessment would bring me and it was going to be a big investment for me.  I worked with Niall to understand what my strengths really were, how I could turn my weaknesses into opportunities, how to grow those opportunities and realise any possible threats just like a business.

“Niall even sent me his CV and showed me a template that was clear and helped me to really highlight my achievements.  I grew to realise that a CV is not a job description – it really needs to show perspective employers very quickly who I am and what I have achieved.  With my CV transformed I was then eager to make the next step of undertaking a role-play interview.  This was just like an interview I even put on my jacket and tie on and felt really nervous.  Niall showed me a recording of the interview and offered his advice on where to improve, from this experience the next role-play session was much better and gave me confidence for when the real thing came along.

“We then looked at my LinkedIn and Twitter accounts and gave me a much better brand even changing my email address which made me look more professional.  Finally Club Inc showed me the importance of networking opportunities and I visited the Open Championship where they introduced me to so many people, which is really Club Inc’s unique skill as between Mark, Niall and their associates they know nearly everyone in industry.”

Another example is Karl Whitehead, now Head Professional at Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, who had a clear career goal of working in the Middle East:

“I contacted Club Inc, as I knew they could help me achieve my goal of working in the Middle East. Niall was a GM in Dubai I tapped into his knowledge about the area and his contacts.  My CV was transformed to be specific and was worth the time and resource investment to get my dream job.

“My CV and cover letter certainly played a pivotal role in my success in achieving my dream move to Saadiyat Beach Golf Club in Abu Dhabi.”

Both these examples show the difference that a clear, concise and targeted CV can make when applying for career opportunities.  But what they also highlight is that it’s not just the CV that is important – a full mix of skills involving your CV, interview technique and preparation of your own online presence is required to help you achieve your career goals.

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CASE STUDY: Career Planning for Success
Case Study: Club Inc. Career Coaching Service Leads to Fantastic Opportunities Overseas http://www.pgae.com/career-development/case-study-club-inc-career-coaching-service-leads-to-fantastic-opportunities-overseas/ Sat, 01 Mar 2014 13:37:56 +0000 Club Inc. http://www.pgae.com/?p=8822 Shaun Clark qualified as a PGA Professional with flying colours in 2012 and shortly afterwards, contacted Club Inc. for career coaching. Within 4 months of mee]]>

Shaun Clark qualified as a PGA Professional with flying colours in 2012 and shortly afterwards, contacted Club Inc. for career coaching.  Within 4 months of meeting with Club Inc. Shaun had successfully applied for, and become the Assistant Professional at the majestic Castiglion del Bosco (CdB) estate in Tuscany, Italy. 

Club Inc. offer an un-matched career coaching service in the golf sector, and Shaun is just one example of the great work they have done, and are capable of doing.  The PGAs of Europe are delighted to be partners of Club Inc. and it’s evident why.  Club Inc. fully support professionals within the industry, and are actively sourcing placements for those who wish to fulfill their potential at the world’s finest golfing venues.

Castiglion del Bosco #12 Green

“I wanted to further my career, set myself new challenges and make the most of my knowledge,” says Shaun.  “I knew that in order to do this I would need some help from experts such as Niall Flanagan, who has the contacts to help, so it was natural for me to turn to Club Inc.  After sitting down with the Club Inc. team and discussing my strengths, goals and aspirations, I felt confident in applying to Castiglion del Bosco and now, I’m living out my dream in one of the most spectacular estates in Europe.”

Shaun is working under English head professional Alex Douglas.  Together they are responsible for offering a high quality service to members and guests, as well as running a professional retail operation and giving their guidance through tuition.

Emanuela Setterberg, General Manager of Castiglion del Bosco said “We are absolutely delighted to have Shaun at CdB.  His passion for golf, and in helping people to improve is the perfect fit for the work we are trying to do here.  Shaun and Alex are becoming a formidable team who are paramount to the success of CdB.”

Club Inc. are also working with Castiglion del Bosco to develop their brand within golf in order to encourage more international players to visit the venue, and join the aspirational membership.

The estate is hidden within the Val d’Orcia, a renowned landscape of great beauty and universal appeal within the Tuscany region.  It plays host to the stunning Tom Weiskopf designed 18-hole golf course, spa and winery, and also boasts 23 luxury hotel suites and 9 villas.  Quite possibly, Italy’s best kept secret.

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Case Study: Club Inc. Career Coaching Service Leads to Fantastic Opportunities Overseas