Are you having a hard time networking? Run out of people to meet? Here’s an idea that will help you recharge your networking effort:

host 4-5 friends from different spheres to brainstorm with you about jobs and fields for which you are suited based on your resume. This is not to rewrite your resume, simply to use it as a tool to spark brainstorming. Out of such talk should also come a list of potential people to whom you can connect. Usually, people remember people and things more easily when they are in a group talking freely, than when they are talking one-on-one and perhaps feel put on the spot.

Still having a hard time figuring out what you want to do next? Follow your interests to find work. Several people have realized that hobbies and things they see as fun could potentially lead to pay. This is especially important for people returning to the labor force after a period away.

One person said: “food, music, art is the stuff I love – I see it as fun. Other people get paid to do these things, so it could also be a job possibility for me…oh, I get it now!”

Another person wants to create a training and personal development company. Yet she has struggled to narrow her focus. Today it occurred to her that she could look at the advice, help, support and suggestions she gives to her friends and colleagues as the basis for a training program. Clearly, she loves helping people. Also, her guidance has really helped people. If she writes up those “case studies” she’ll be on her way to developing a training curriculum. She doesn’t have to be the world’s best at helping people lead a balanced life (her focus), she just has to do it pretty well and better than anyone who might pay her for her help.

Have you decided NOT to apply for a job based on something you read in the job description? Or are you conflicted about whether or not to apply for something?

Think it through. Do you really know enough to reject the job? If it looks like it won’t meet three of your “must have” items, then it’s a good idea not to apply. Unless…you think you might get more information if you get an interview. Job descriptions are simply “small talk” in terms of letting you know what a workplace or job is REALLY like. Your application is your “small talk” response, an indication that you would be willing to continue the conversation.

Remember the goal of an application/resume is to get an interview. It is NOT to get the job. Take one step at a time. You need to find out whether the job and role is all it seems, if the people are “your kind of people” and the culture to your liking, whether the compensation will meet your “live with” number, and whether you like it well enough to move forward in the interview process. Of course, the employer is doing the same thing. Perhaps you’ll decide together to move forward, perhaps one of you will end the process after one interview. At least you’ll be doing it based on facts, not feelings.