Networking is responsible for more than 75% of all jobs. Hear about openings at Company X. A conversation with someone, even a new acquaintance, that says “Our company is looking to hire someone like you.” (OK, it’s rare but it happens!) Or “I know someone who’s looking for you”, and so forth.
Each of us is responsible for creating our “buzz”, gaining that understanding, interest, and support that could lead you to a new career.
Of course, there is also the other extreme. These are the people who have no hesitation whatsoever. They will email out their resume, call you up and ask you if you are hiring at your company or bump into you at a meeting, networking or association event and make sure you don’t leave until you have one of their resumes in your hand handily pulled from their purse/backpack/briefcase. The good news is that the job seeker is comfortable exploring all avenues for work. However, the bad news is they often put their network in uncomfortable situations.trial separation checklist
One of the first things we need to understand is that there are different levels of involvement that we can ask of our network/relationships. Most people will help those they know ….to a certain degree. The degree of trust they have in you is often a measure of how well they know you. Imagine a complete stranger, or someone you barely even know, coming up to you with a resume and expecting you to look at it.
Yeah, right! It’s up to you to decide whether or not I will immediately delete/remove the resume from your desk, or wait for a more discreet moment to dispose off this unneeded and unasked-for favor.
Let’s say you aren’t a hard-charging, ready to go job seeker. Let’s examine the three levels of involvement that can be used to benefit from our relationships.
Let’s begin with Level 0. You could be in transition or no longer employed. Or you might be working and looking for work.
Level 0 refers to the point where our network (friends and family, acquaintances, people that we have met) has little or no information about your job status. They may also know that you are “in Transition”, but that’s all.
Even those who are close to you will not have an exact idea of your past or what you’d like to do. It is unlikely that they will have an accurate idea of your abilities and experiences, or where you are going.
How could they possibly be of assistance to you if that is true?
Although they may be willing to assist, they won’t know how to find the right information. It’s not their responsibility for the details. You want to do the job. Let them know. If they don’t want the job, then your support network will be a huge zero.
This is something I recently witnessed. You could say that I am constantly in transition as a business coach who is always looking for new clients. A colleague of mine asked me what my specialties were at an association meeting, where I serve as a board member. My two-minute spiel consisted of Customer Service workshops/seminars. A board member stood nearby and said, “Oh, man, I wish that I knew that! We were looking for someone who has that experience last month to do a consulting job!” Missed the opportunity. This was because someone in my circle of relationships didn’t know about the skills/experience I had.
How can you get help? Let people know. To begin with, it is important to show respect for the other person’s time and efforts. The other person can decide how much help they want. It doesn’t hurt to ask and inform your network if you show respect and attitude.
This is where your friends, family, and other contacts can see you. Let your network know you are “in market”. Sending out cards or email blasts can seem tacky but can also be helpful if you treat them with respect.
Level 1 allows you to share your search with your network. It also gives you the opportunity to ask them for any suggestions or information.
Things that don’t work: A broadcast email stating I am interested in XX job. Attached resume. The chances of them sharing your professional life story are slim.
Some things that might work: An email to let people know your status (transitional, looking), and giving a brief outline of what you are seeking with a respectful –
It should be short and to the point. This is to let your network that you are interested in the market and give them an idea about what you are looking.
Better yet, meet face-to-face. Do not start the conversation by saying “I NEED A JOB!” Talk about a conversation killer! It’s likely that they will be interested in what you are doing. Let them know, but keep it conversational…”I’ve been doing XXX and I’m looking to get into a blah-blah position”. Do not verbally spit on your resume. They should be able to control how much information they want. They will be more excited if they know someone who is searching for someone like you. Woo-Hoo!