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Networking Your Way to a Job

NIV ImageI am unemployed and currently looking for a job, a situation many of us have been in at some point in our lives. While I was working, I was an active networker and co-led a well known event in Vancouver meeting lots of people regularly, expanding my network, or was I?

Busy with work, personal life and enjoying my limited alone time, I did not stay connected to people I had met a few times but found extremely interesting.  Being in my current situation, I have learned a few lessons that I would have not taken seriously without unemployment.

By talking to people and reading articles I asked myself the following questions:

  1. What companies would I like to work for? List 10 companies; think about why you want to work for them and what value you can add. If you see gaps as to how you can add value, seek out opportunities at your current job or through volunteer positions to fill them so that when you are ready to apply you have all the skills!
  2. How would I feel if someone reached out to me to ask about my job? I think we are all willing to help someone who is at a different stage of their career as we can relate to being there once and have valuable information to share. Reach out to people whose job you are interested in and ask them for a coffee chat or an informational interview over the phone. If you are busy, do one a month, is 30 minutes in a month to much of an ask?
  3. When was the last time I talked to person X? Set reminders for yourself to follow up with people in your network. They may have changed jobs since you last spoke or have undergone other life milestones which you can contribute to. If it has been 3 months follow up with them and set yourself a reminder to connect with them again after.
  4. How often do I use social media to connect to people? We are lucky to be living in an era where everyone is heavily connected through social media and checks their accounts regularly – use that to your advantage. I have gotten the attention of top professionals through Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn Groups, what are you waiting for, start a conversation today!
  5. Have I prepared for my moment of success? I recently watched Jay DeMerit from the Whitecaps at TEDxVancouver and he said most people over prepare for failure and under prepare for their moment of success, so think about what you would say if you were to meet an idol of yours.

By focusing my attention on what I truly want to do, finding individuals who do that, reaching out and maintaining the relationship, I am on the path to finding a new job. For additional inspiration read http://50waystogetajob.com/.

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