Yesterday I talked about the importance of cultivating relationships when preparing for your job search campaign. Today I will share my suggestions as to how best to go about doing this.
Someone once said, everyone knows at least 250 people. I don’t know if that’s true, but I suspect it is, especially when we take the time to look beyond our circle of relatives and friends. Whatever the number, it constitutes your personal and professional network. Begin there.
How? The first step is to get the word out that you are looking for work. You can do this by email, phone, or postcards (very effective by the way). This assumes that you are already very clear and specific about the type of career and job you are seeking. If not, return to Go and immerse yourself in a deep process of self-inquiry. If you need help, please contact me; the Life-Work Discovery model will give you the answers you are seeking.
The second step is to ask them for their help. This is no time to be proud. Most people, when asked, will be more than willing to get involved on your behalf.
The third step is to tell your network members what you are looking for: the type of job, company/job sector, location, etc. Be as specific as possible. Don’t overwhelm them with too many details. Keep it short and simple. Make it easy for them to get their minds around what it is you want.
The fourth step is to tell them you will be contacting them in the near future to follow up and see if they have uncovered some opportunities. This lets them know you are holding them accountable to make a true effort in helping you.
Throughout this process, please listen carefully to what your network members have to say. Draw them out. If they seem hesitant or uncertain, emphasize how simple the process of helping you really is, and tell them how important it is to you that they actively involve themselves in your quest. By cultivating the art and science of deep listening, you will be better prepared for the next phase of your job search, informational interviewing.