You’re stuck with your job search. You need to look for a new position, either within your current company, our outside. But you believe you are stuck because you don’t have a network.
There are a few situations where this is a legitimate excuse such as you just relocated to a new city and truly don’t know anybody. You moved to a new country and are unfamiliar with the resources to connect with people. You’re fresh out of college and have not been networking since you have been studying so hard.
But for the millions of people looking for their next job right now, “Cut the Crap, Get a Job”. In this case, the crap is this excuse. So let’s cross this excuse off your list and help you maximize your opportunities through people. I’m going to break this into two categories: One, you do have a network but you’re not tapping into it well. Two, you have the resources to build a network very quickly.
1. You DO have a network. You’re just not using it effectively.
Step one: Take out a piece of paper or Microsoft Word or Microsoft OneNote and write “My Network” at the top. Right below that, write down your job search goal. Example: “Searching for a restaurant manager position in Chicago within a large chain.”
Step two: Now, with that goal squarely in front of you, write every name or type of person (title if you don’t know their name) who might be able to help you.
- Ex-Peers, co-workers
- Family Members, including extended family
- Ex-Teachers, Counselors
- Friends, both close ones and those on Facebook, neighbors
- Professionals who are one step away from you on LinkedIn. Find them by learning how to use the search functions in LinkedIn.
2. You need to build a network quickly and effectively. And you’ve exhausted the resources in letter A.
Step One: Same as above. Take out a piece of paper or Word or OneNote and write “My Network” at the top. Right below that, write down your job search goal. “Searching for a restaurant manager position in Chicago within a large chain.”
Step Two: Spend HOURS researching a fresh list of people you will contact. Set an initial goal of finding 10 people then find 10 more. If you don’t have access to a PC, go to the Library, borrow one or find an internet café to rent one. Here are some of the best resources:
- LinkedIn: You should have a 100% complete profile on LinkedIn and, now that you have a job search goal, you can search for people you may know or who are 1-2 connections away. You can now ask to be connected to them.
- Local city Business Journal. Go to American City Business Journals to find the one near you.
- Your local newspaper online. They publish job fairs, networking events, “people on the move” and many more resources.
- Chambers of Commerce
- Associations in your field, based on your goal. Associations often host networking events, job fairs and even have job postings on their own website. There is an association for virtually any industry (e.g. manufacturing) or function (e.g. marketing, engineering, and nursing).