Welcome to the next step in the Job Search Series, a series of posts that revolve around getting yourself into a new job. Today we’ll be looking at networking. Networking is reaching out to all of the people that you know to see if they happen to know of any jobs or any ways to help you. Unfortunately if you haven’t been actively networking this process might take a while since your network will be comprised of your friends.
Surprisingly networking can get you a great many leads. I’ve gotten just as many job offers through networking as I have through regular channels. In my current job search the person I’m going to be taking a contract with I knew from my old job. He got in touch with me when he found out I wasn’t working. This is how networking can be very powerful. Companies are always on the look out for good employees, possible clients, and great vendors. Most of these deals don’t happen through direct open channels but through networking.
By relying on people in your network to get a lead on a job or even on a sale you’re essentially coming into the first meeting pre-qualified. For example if your close friend Mike knows a plumber he’s worked with in the past and you need a plumber. Are you even going to bother looking for one or just calling Mike’s friend? This is how networking gets you an in with your job search. Don’t discount it and don’t burn bridges when you change companies. Remember you’re not the only person that will change jobs, you might find that if you change jobs your clients might come with you.
I’ve had a lot of great success relying on the people I know to help open some doors. This doesn’t mean I was forceful or pushy. I would simply let a few people in my industry know that I was looking and if something came up they would let me know. I’m sure you’ve had friends and co-workers mention they’re looking for something and you respond by saying that you’ll keep an eye open. If you can help them out then great if not no one is upset.
When you’re searching for work don’t forget about the network of people you know; you might be very surprised where a job lead might come from. On Monday we’ll cover the final step in the Job Search Series, Following up.