Preparing to Network
Preparing to Network For Job Search
Preparing to Network – here are some tips on how to prepare to network.
First make a list of all the people you know. They don’t need to be friends, or even acquaintances; you just need to have enough of a common link with them to initiate a conversation. If you can pick up the phone and call them, for any reason, they are potential networking contacts.
Prepare what you are going to say. You don’t want to just ring people up and say, ‘I work in HR. Do you know of any jobs going?’ Before you phone anyone, note down the specific details of what you’re looking for and exactly the kind of help you think they might be able to give you. Always start the conversation enquiring about them and their well-being and make sure this a convenient time to talk.
Contact the people on your list in a systematic way. Set yourself a goal. Maybe you’re happy to spend all afternoon on the phone to people and cross twenty off your list. Or maybe you just want to work through the list steadily, making three calls a day. If you find yourself losing enthusiasm, being less conversational and speaking more mechanically, it might be time to take a break.
Don’t be afraid to ask them for job leads. Make it easy for them to help you, ask them if they have any tips, leads or suggestions. Ask them if they know of any vacancies for a person with your skills. If they don’t, ask them to keep you in mind in case anything comes up. Most importantly, ask them if they can suggest anyone else you contact. Do they know someone else who might know about the kinds of jobs that you’re after? Do they know anyone who works for this or that organization that you’re interested in joining? If they can refer you to others, contact those other people and ask them the same questions.
Follow up contacts. Often people will tell you, ‘I’ll ask around and see what I can find out for you.’ Sometimes they do ask around; sometimes they forget almost immediately, or a crisis happens at work and they haven’t the time. If you don’t hear from them within a week or so, call them back to see if they’ve managed to find anything out.
Sometimes it seems as if no one will do anything for you or ask around on your behalf. It can be frustrating, but you should stay very polite and pleasant in your dealings with your contacts. After all, you’re asking them for a favour.
Follow up leads. After your initial networking efforts and research, you’ll probably have a long list of new people to try and make connections with. A phone call may be enough, or you might want to arrange a meeting with them to introduce yourself and ask them more specific questions about their company or industry.
Keep networking. Even after you’ve found a job, keep networking. Networking isn’t just for getting a job; it can help you do your job better, and it’s a way of being part of your community and society. The secret of networking is reciprocity. If there is something you can do for your contacts in return, make sure you do it! Never forget a favour done for you and if you can’t return to the person who did it, then make sure you do something for someone else.
Other resources for the job seeker
As a job seeker, there are lots of useful techniques to learn or to refresh. From writing a modern CV to wooing at the interview, you’ll find lots of tips in my handy little pocket book.
A concise and practical little work book. For all who have the courage to go out and learn the new skills necessary to find a job now.
Find this and my other books on my Amazon page at this link; http://ow.ly/BRSAL
Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues.