With the resumption of “The Laid Off IT Guy!” blog my hope is to dole out good advice about what I’ve seen that works and what doesn’t work while performing a job search. In this addition, let’s talk about finding job leads. There is time well spent and time wasted. Doing it the right way will save you hours of time spent in front of the computer.
For those that have looked for work in the past 5 years you already know that your next job isn’t in the Sunday paper. It’s probably not on the large job boards, either. Instead, I’d encourage you to spend your time networking. That is, time spent meeting and talking to people who know people will be your best bet towards finding your next opportunity.
I mentioned before that I did things wrong before. I was embarrassed about losing my job. I kept the news to myself. Even my closest friends didn’t know anything and were unable to help me until I was finally able to humble myself to ask for help. I’m here to tell you that it is OK to ask for help. In fact, as soon as you leave a job you should immediately update your status on your social networking sites to indicate that you are looking for work. Don’t be ashamed to post to all of your followers that you are looking for work. To make the most out of the announcement be specific about what you are looking for. Your network, potentially made up of hundreds of friends, colleagues and associates, will feed you leads.
To do things better this time I immediately updated my LinkedIn status as “Senior IT Leader Looking For a New Opportunity”. This was direct, “I’m looking,” and specific, “looking for IT Manager level work”. You don’t have to hang on to your old job title if it isn’t want you want to do next. Go ahead and post your title, one of the key things that people see about your profile, with specific information about what you are looking for. That way, communication is clear and your network will send you good information about who to network with.
Spending your time networking and getting responses such as, “My company is hiring,” or “Such and such company needs people like you,” hopefully, including names, phone numbers, web site links, etc., will get you on your way. When I posted my update I received 20 responses within 3 days with offers to help me extend my network. Those leads, along with an email to associates in 2 other organizations that I belong to, have generated over 60 leads for me to follow up on. Believe me. There is a job opportunity in there somewhere. I need to take the time to follow through on them, and I have been. I’ve been getting out of the house and meeting people for coffee and having meaningful conversations about actual jobs, or getting introduced to other networkers that have led to a handful of interviews, thus far. I’m less than a month into my search and I’ve got 60 leads and 5 interviews. THAT is doing it much better than I did last time.
Let me hear from you. I, sincerely, hope this is good advice for you that you can put to use right away! Please share your story with our readers by posting your comments!