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Now that the market is stronger, let's say you finally will make good on your goal to find a new job.
Now that the market is stronger, let’s say you finally will make good on your goal to find a new job. Maybe you’ve seen that Google is hiring 6,000 people, and you want to be one of them.
Test The Strength Of Your Network
Understanding Career Reinvention
Ready For Your Next Step? Take A Brand Perception Snap Shot
Make a Commitment to Reach Your Career Goals
The Shy Person's Survival Guide To Holiday Networking Events
Google was flooded with 75,000 resumes in the week after they announced their projected hiring. You’ve heard that networking is the best way to get a job. Do you have friends who can get you into Google (or Citigroup or Pfizer or Avon or wherever it is you really want to work)?
Your network is not just your immediate friends. A lot of job seekers equate networking with speaking to friends. While friends are one part of your network, they are not the likeliest job leads.
First of all, unless they are in your target job or industry, they may not know anyone in that space or even understand it well enough to be helpful.
Instead think of your network as anyone who would have a potential affinity to help you. Go through your entire life and career, and look for classmates from your alma mater, colleagues from all of your past jobs, members of a religious or community group that you belong to.
LinkedIn makes it very easy to find people from a specific organization, say your college who are or have been at Google or at least in the role you seek.
Help your network help you by being clear about your value. Don’t ask your network for a job outright. That’s presumptuous, especially if you are pushing out into people who don’t know you as well.
But definitely ask your network for information. Let them know that you are doing research into a specific area, such as technology. Have something intelligent to say about your area and a clear agenda for your discussion so they know you are serious and won’t waste their time.
There is a lot of bad networking out there. You can differentiate yourself just by being prepared. A lot of people ask for informational interviews and spend the time without a clear purpose for the discussion and without having done any research of their own.
These interview-squanderers ask basic questions whose answers could have been uncovered with the most basic research. They come across as lazy or unprepared or just not knowledgeable — definitely not characteristics you want people to think of when they see you in a career-related situation.
Adjust your network as needed till it supports your interests. Yes, networking is about building relationships and giving. This is why the best informational interviews are a two-way exchange, where you share your research, in addition to asking questions.
That said, are you getting questions answered? Are you getting leads for more networking? Are you getting encouragement and support? A two-way exchange means that you are getting something as well. If your networking is not forwarding your career, then you need to expand your network.
It doesn’t mean dropping everyone who is already there because your network serves multiple purposes other than career (you may need a restaurant recommendation, the name of a great realtor, etc.).
Is your network helping your career goals right now? Your network was set up for who you were. If you’re pursuing something new, it is likely that you will have to add new people.
Don’t be afraid to expect something back from all of your networking. In fact, if you aren’t getting information, leads or support for your career, then you need to adjust your networking strategy till you are getting that support.
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