Wondering what you can do to enhance your ability to get that job opportunity you want? In this economy, competition is stiff. You could be competing with people with a PHD or Diploma and 20 years experience. So just what may make the difference to opening the door to that new career opportunity? The answer…getting to know people. The more people you know, the greater the opportunity for you to have access to people who may know about opportunities that aren’t always announced in the local papers or internet job search sites.
Networking is going to be key to getting your name and resume in the hands of the right people. I know…”I’m not comfortable networking!, Networking isn’t my thing!” OK, then be willing to recognize that it may take you longer to find your next job opportunity. Sure if you’re not accustomed to networking, it is definitely going to be a challenge. But as with every new thing you learn, practice makes perfect.
A great place to start would be to make a list of 100 people that you already know. Make them aware of what your career interests are and what opportunities you’re seeking. Chances are they may know someone who could possibly turn into a credible lead on a great opportunity. Also, consider that your family and friends may have access to a number of people outside of your immediate circle. A good idea may also be to consider attending different functions with them. They may be able to introduce you to key people that may be in the know about available opportunities. It could ease the tension if you attend a function knowing at least one person. But don’t spend your entire evening only socializing with the person you came with. The object of networking is to get to know different people.
When I began my career in real estate, my broker stressed to me the importance of networking. He gave me a tip to being able to talk to anyone. He told me to remember the acronym: FORD, Family, Occupation, Recreation, and Dreams. He said it’s the one thing that is most natural to speak about without sounding like a used car salesman. One of the easiest questions to ask someone is “Tell me what you do?” or “What’s do you do for a living?”. People like to talk about themselves, so it’s a great way to see if this person would be of great value to your network. However, your efforts won’t be rewarded if you spend too much time getting to know someone, without revealing what you do or want to do to the other person. Remember, your objective is to build a strong network that will be beneficial to both parties involved. You need to make sure you makes your positive attributes known, and vice versa.
This is enough to get you going for now. Come back next week for tips to building a strong network in part 2 of “Guess What? It Really Can Be About Who You Know!” Remember, the more people you know…the farther and faster you’ll go!