We all know networking works to land a job. So why aren’t you doing more of it?
Your mind is getting in your way. It is coming up with excuses to stop you from seeing who you can find to talk to ANYWHERE they use your skills.
Yes, keep applying. Then find people you can network with. There always is someone more you can find. Experience shows that it is ONLY by networking much more broadly that you will find a job.
Talk to EVERYONE you know – dry cleaner, laundry, folks at the supermarket, neighbors, old employers and colleagues…everyone!
- One client got her job by telling her hairstylist she was looking.
- Another got hers by connecting with an old colleague she was afraid to contact because “too much time” had passed. Nonsense!
If you knew the person well enough to remember their name, they will remember you with a few prompts and compliments (e.g. “I remember our work together with a smile” or something less corny but no less genuine). And if they don’t, so what? You’re no worse off than you are now.
What’s the worst that can happen when you reach out to someone and they don’t respond? It’s already happened! They didn’t respond! And so what? Again, you’re no worse off than you were before you reached out to them. (And they may be the ones who are worse off, because you may not be so willing to help them when they need it…although you’re not such a small person, are you?)
The worst that can happen in networking is you don’t get the help you ask for.You already don’t have it! So there’s no excuse for not networking.
When you reach out to others, they can help you. If they don’t know you need help, they can’t help you. It’s as simple as that.
Be clear about the help you want. Here’s a sample e-mail/LinkedIn request:
“I would love 20 minutes of your time to get your advice and guidance on my job search. I’m looking for work that will use my xyz skills, in abc industries. I can see myself in such-and-such roles. Would it be possible to schedule something in the next week? I so appreciate your willingness to share your wisdom and experience with me. I’ll be in touch to set something up. Thanks so much.”
Your mind will come up with a million excuses for why you should not contact this one or that one. Pay it no attention. Your mind is messing with you and only wants to stand in your way.
Use your brain as a tool, not as a coach. Do what you know is the right thing to do even if you’re scared or sure it won’t work. Do it anyway, and see what happens.