In my 12 Step approach to effective job search, the first EIGHT are meant to prepare you, and build your confidence, in conducting an efficient and productive job search. Do not take these prepatory steps lightly as they will dramatically influence your success in securing your next appropriate employment. In Step Eight you create your Personal Marketing Plan… Step Nine is where you finally begin to implement your plan… regularly and consistently! Your implementation is built around effective and constant development of your network. Read on…
Building a network is a vital part of today’s strategic career development. Each planned contact can lead to others if you ask the right questions and explore the possibilities. Networking is a two-way street, sometimes with you, the information seeker, being able to provide information to the same person from whom you are seeking it, and at other times being a source of information to other people. In order to get information from others, we must be a good source of information. All it takes is being willing to share information, ideas and resources. It’s the INTER-ACTIVE, front-end of relationship building.
To put it another way, “What goes around, comes around.” A network is not something you establish overnight. It requires work and time, but the rewards are incalculable.
If employed, be aware of confidentiality issues and scale down your efforts accordingly (There is an excellent article inside of LinkedIn: Conducting a STEALTH Job Search). If you are unemployed and in active job search mode, and do not have a good network already in place, there are several ways you can begin to build one.
- Start with people you know from previous employment. However, most jobs are not found at the first level of networking. In fact, very few jobs are found simply by calling the people you know.
- Constantly build the layers of your network. Even at the second level, the number of job openings you will find is still modest. Networking does not usually start to pay off until about the third level, and sometimes even beyond that.
- Attend professional association meetings and network. Most of us probably work in a line of work that has a national professional association to which we could belong, and most of these associations have local chapters.Get the Most From Networking…
Remember TIME MANAGEMENT…
Allow for regular time in LinkedIn in order to direct and focus your networking activity.
Make networking calls in a block of time. Each call is more comfortable than the one before. Do not call people and ask them if they have any openings at their company… This is almost always totally non-productive.
Be sure to ask the person if they have a minute to talk to you, and when finished talking thank them for their time.