It's very common to assume that your network is too small or cannot help with your job search needs.
Trust me, your network is bigger than you think!
Rather than allowing your mind to race with contacts and resources, take some time to write down your networking contacts so you don’t forget anyone during your search.
Create a list with not only your contacts’ names, but also his or her occupation and your relationship. To start your list, consider people in the following categories:
Start with those who are present in your day-to-day life. Are you a weekend volleyball player? Mother? Friend? Volunteer? Pianist?
You know lots of people through those avenues, in addition to your professional life, and they should all be labeled as important contacts.
A client recently shared with me that her close friend is a famous Spanish guitarist. I never would have known or guessed that she had that connection, but it is there.
It would have been a mistake to dismiss her as someone with no connections in the music industry only because she works for a tech company. You just never know who could connect you with your next role, so don’t exclude anyone as you talk about your job search.
For this group, brainstorm a list of people with whom you have positive personal or professional relationships, but haven’t spoken with in over six months.
I think of these as the people whom you wish well and smile when you see their Facebook or LinkedIn updates, but don’t regularly speak with. This list can be even more valuable than your ‘Easy Asks’ because you probably do not run in the same circles and that further expands your reach.
This is your wish list. You know you want to contact these people, but you’re not sure how to make the connection. Consider finding them at industry events or asking those in your first two lists for an introduction.
It might take some creative thinking to determine how to get in front of the people on this list, but it’s surely worth the effort.
Now you have three lists of people who could help you with your search. Devise a plan to reach out and make sure they know what you’re looking for and the value you bring to a company.
Once you land, be sure you stay in touch with regular updates. Networking is valuable far beyond just your job search and you’ll find that creating and nurturing relationships with people in all three groups will pay dividends throughout your career.
Alyson Garrido is passionate about helping women advance their careers and find jobs they will enjoy. As a career coach, she partners with her clients to identify their strengths and create a path toward a more fulfilling career. Alyson provides support around preparing for interviews, performance reviews and salary negotiations, ensuring that you present yourself in the best possible light for job search and career advancement. Learn more or book a session with Alyson by visiting www.alysongarrido.com.