Networking for a Skin in the Game Job Search




The Association for Corporate Growth is based in Chicago, and is dedicated to sound corporate growth. Founded in 1954, ACG is a global organization with fifty-six chapters and over 14,000 members. Doing business is at the heart of the ACG membership experience. Chapters in the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Asia bring dealmakers together to help them achieve their business and professional goals.

ACG is a trusted and respected resource for middle-market dealmakers and business leaders who invest in growing companies. ACG provides members with powerful business-building resources including, face-to-face events, online tools, structured networking opportunities, exclusive member benefits, and leading-edge market intelligence.

All ACG sponsored networking events are “platinum” productions in terms of their organization, sponsorships, educational topics and expert presenters. In addition, menus, food, libation and servers are always “five star”. ACG breakfasts/lunches and all events are also held in first class locations. These are high powered networking experiences, unlike any other association events I have ever attended. The ACG annual membership fees vary by chapters and run between $425 for Boston, $550 for Connecticut, and $595 for San Diego, as of last year.

Try to attend their C Series monthly breakfast as a non-member by going to its registration site and signing up.

These ACG C-Suite monthly breakfasts officially run from 7a.m. to 9a.m. EST/EDT but informally run longer. They typically sell out quickly. The SITG C-Level candidate may not be a great networker personality but it helps if he attends an ACG networking event. Research your network for a local ACG member to meet with at an upcoming ACG series breakfast. Again this is not an event or organization for just any C-Suite Executive looking for a job. Only those seeking to either try to buy or sell a middle market company or invest in and help grow their next employer’s stock need to involve themselves in the ACG.

Each ACG breakfast features a guest speaker, frequently an expert on a topic of interest to association members. The tables are set for ten attendees each. Be sure to offer and receive business cards from everyone at your table; they will generally be doing the same. My best advice at the monthly ACG breakfast is to arrive early with 100+ of your business cards and no resume. Try to exchange them all with fellow participants. Don’t sit at a table too prematurely. All around the room are hundreds of businessmen and women exchanging cards and handshakes, many discussing LBOs or M&A opportunities, or potential deals.

Mingle, go with the flow, shake hands, introduce yourself by name, and mention it’s your first ACG breakfast. You are seeking a skin in the game opportunity to help grow a portfolio company profitably in your sweet spot which is OEM engineered products manufacturing, or whatever. That short explanation is about all the time you may have to give your “reason for being there elevator pitch”. Always offer your business card and try to get one in return. That’s almost as important as your elevator pitch.

Reminder: On the back of each of your business cards print the following words: seeking a skin in the game (job title here) opportunity. Do not bring any resumes with you. The coffee urns section at each ACG breakfast is where members put on their name tags. It’s good to position yourself in that vicinity. Make your “elevator pitch”. Be on the lookout for name tags with ribbons designating a local ACG Chapter officer who is circulating. Introduce yourself to him and deliver your “elevator pitch”.

An icebreaker question the SITG job candidate can always ask as he mingles into an animated group of participants is: “How do you like ACG networking events? I am thinking of becoming an ACG member.”

Observe their name tags, join in their circle and exchange business cards. The sooner you can get the words out that you are “seeking a skin in the game job opportunity” to invest some of your own money in your new employer, the more likely a PEG will exchange business cards with you.

The C Series breakfasts are just one of many super high powered networking events for M&A and PEG professionals and business owners. As an ACG member for many years, I can vouch that ACG sponsored events are constantly well attended and world class in all aspects. Everybody who is anybody in the M&A middle market sector attends ACG networking events. Especially those seeking to close deals, expand knowledge and develop contacts active in middle market growth. Become involved with ACG as soon as possible and step up your networking efforts there. For most SITG job seekers, ACG could be the difference maker to attaining their ultimate hiring objective. ACG sponsored events are the Emerald City of M&A networking!

 


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