If you’ve been following my blog series, you have seen that Networking is a consistent theme that I’ve been promoting throughout my job search. It's unlikely that I’ll find my next big break from an ad in the Sunday paper. Plus, a great way to spend your time is talking with people over lunch. You gotta eat, right?
Getting important people’s time away from their occupation to talk to you when they don’t have a job to offer you is hard. But if they are genuinely interested in helping you invite them to lunch. I’m sure that you know that a lot of business gets conducted during lunch meetings already. I certainly could make time to meet with clients and vendors, alike, over lunch when I was employed.
Keep the agenda simple. Enjoy each other’s company, talk about your families, friends and activities, etc. Then work into your conversation (the reason you invited them to lunch) that you are looking to expand your network by finding out who they know that you should meet to further your job search.
This is important! The purpose of networking is not to ask for a job but to find contacts that can lead you to a job. I get the impression that a lot of unemployed folks are ashamed to discuss the fact that they are unemployed and need help with finding work. Have the confidence to reach out to your friends, family, colleagues and associates to build your network. The more people you have in your “circle” the better your chances of them hearing about a position that might be ideal for you.
I’ll give you a quick example that happened to me yesterday. A local college has an openign for an IT Manager position. A recruiter called my friend Todd, who happens to be the IT Director at a different college. Todd didn’t want to switch jobs, but he knew that I was looking and I got the referral. Now it is an opportunity that I’m pursuing. THAT is how it works. Get out there and talk to people!
Let me hear from you. If you’ve landed a position through networking, please share your story with our readers by posting your comments!
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