Somewhere in the spider web that is your professional and personal network is the link that connects you to your new job. Finding the link may seem daunting, perhaps even impossible when you consider all the people you know, but it can be done!
Here are some steps to point you in the right direction:
- Begin by focusing. Think about the field you aim to work in and zero-in on the people who are already a part of your target industry. If you already know people in this field, talk to them. Knowing just one person with their foot in the door can potentially connect you to their entire network of contacts. If you don’t know someone, don’t worry, there’s still a way in…
- Do your research. Whether you have a personal connection or not, you should be aware of the top players in your area. There is nothing creepy about using Google to get this information. When you know who they are, find out what additional organizations they are involved with. Many business leaders tend to be involved with networking events. Find out what gatherings they attend and get yourself to the next one.
- Be involved. Engage with your network through events, lunches, and even social media. Stay forefront of their minds, rather than pleading outright for a job. You don’t need us to remind you to keep it classy.
- Keep meeting people. Don’t stop meeting your connections’ connections. As the saying goes, “it’s all about who you know.” So why not try to know everyone? Don’t get discouraged if you don’t find a position through the first person that you meet, as something may present itself further down the road. Remember – networking works both ways. You, too, are a link and might even be the link to help another person reach a new job, so be sure to embrace other networkers.
Networking is an art. It requires charm, tenacity, and knowledge of your field and its players. But like anything, the more you do it, the better you become.