We’ve all heard that it takes networking…but what does that really mean?? What it means is that if you’re a job seeker, you need to let EVERYONE around you know that you are looking for an opportunity. And, you need to be specific about what you’re looking for. Don’t just say, “Oh, I’ll take anything at this point…I just need the income.” Well, even if you say that to your next door neighbor…how motivated is your neighbor going to be in endorsing you if he/she sees an opportunity??
Networking, face-to-face can include talking with friends, neighbors, former colleagues, your kid’s soccer coach, your personal trainer, your hairstylist, etc. about the fact that you are looking. Here is an example of how you might mention this to someone within a business organization of which you are a member: “Hi Sally, it’s great to see you at this month’s meeting! How have you been?” And, the question will come back to you, about how you are… Say, “Actually, Sally, I’m doing okay. Although, I’m really trying to put the word out that I’m looking for a new position. Unfortunately, I just got laid off about two weeks ago.” Let Sally respond and then say, “What I’m looking for, Sally, is a project management position with a telecom company, preferably a wireless carrier like an At&t, Verizon, or XYZ company. My background is in managing projects to install new cell phone towers, and I really want another opportunity just like the one I had.” Allow Sally to say a few words so you don’t dominate conversation… Then say, “Sally, would you mind if I connected with you on Linkedin?” She’ll of course say, “yes.” Then say, “If you wouldn’t mind, I would really appreciate it if you’d think about people you know who may have a contact at XYZ company. And, if they’re on LinkedIn, I’d like to ask you for an introduction to them. Will that be okay?” Again, of course it will be okay…you KNOW Sally. And, she’ll be happy to help you with your job search.
Networking is not necessarily about just tapping into your immediate sphere of connections, it’s about who your connections know…and who they know, and so on and so on. To make networking work for you, the first part is the hardest…admitting that you have to TELL PEOPLE YOUR’E LOOKING FOR A JOB. Get over the grieving process within TWO WEEKS of losing your job. That’s it! Any more grieving after that and procrastination (like doing laundry, giving the dog a bath, shopping, etc.) will set in. And, the more you procrastinate the longer it’s going to take you to find a job. Before you know it, you’ll be out of a job for six months or longer. The more time drags on, the more depressed you’ll become.
Now, if you’ve already done that and you’ve been out of work for longer than six months. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and plan a new strategy. Get some help. My firm offers services to help you, but even with the help of a career consultant–it comes down to personal motivation. All I can do is point my clients in the right direction. It’s up to them to execute…
So, what are you waiting for? Get goin’!! :O)