June 19, 2018

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Job Seeking? Network!

Very often, people on the job hunt pursue the process quietly, hoping no one will notice. This may be due to embarrassment about being unemployed or to protect their position with a current employer while searching for another opportunity. While its always important to be selective in sharing information when you may risk a current position, uncovering opportunities often requires networking. This becomes particularly important as you climb the corporate ladder, advance in your career or change industries or roles.

You can and should keep your contacts, even if you leave a job. Relationships with customers, vendors, suppliers or coworkers may be a benefit at your next juncture. Keep in touch, e-mail makes it easy. Pick up the phone. Send out a quick note. Just because you change organizations, doesn't mean that you have to leave relationships developed while employed there behind. You invested time and energy in getting to know people, don't let those connections fall by the wayside.

Always actively continue to develop new contacts. One great way is to volunteer. Not only can you make a difference in your community but also many volunteer organizations have prominent members of the business community working with them. Even if you don't have much time to devote, one or two carefully chosen projects, seasonal or annual ones are great, can improve your network. Through relationships like this, you can gain access to valuable contacts which you may otherwise not have had access to. Be open to everyone you meet, you never know who may assist you in the future.

Tell friends and family that you are job seeking. They may be unaware of opportunities, which would be great for you, but they don't realize that you are in the market. Uncle Bill's tenure with a production firm has given him exposure to his company's opportunities, competitor's positions as well as many others connected to his industry and other industries.

Your friends and neighbors can be helpful resources to find out quick synopsis of various industries and introduce you to contacts. They may know you personally but not professionally. Let them know what you are seeking and get their suggestions. By building on personal relationships you can continually expand your network.

Make an effort to vigorously make connections any chance you get. In the course of a friendly conversation, you can let it be known that you are pursuing employment opportunities, just by talking about work in general. You may be surprised how willing others are to assist you, if you ask. Also, you may learn something about a field, which you never even considered. This is good advice, even when you are not job seeking because you aren't always able to plan ahead when you are.

The old saying, "It's not what you know, it's who you know," is still true in the business today. Maintaining as many relationships as possible not only keep you connected to people, it also can provide great rewards, career and otherwise. It is critical to network through out your career by making an effort to meet as many individuals as possible, being open to everyone you meet and talking to others about your career. By developing and building personal relationships you increase channels to professional opportunities as well as become a more interesting and diverse person.

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