Your Networking Strategy for Career Transition

Aly AnlikerAly is a creative organizational and career consultant with over fifteen years of experience in Training Management, Executive Coaching and Instructional Design. She has a background in Human Resources and Marketing and has worked in a variety of industries including telecommunications, high technology, manufacturing and non-profit.

Your Networking Strategy for Career Transition

From any career coach worth their salt, you will hear that networking is the best pathway to employment. Listen to them. When I hear stories from people who have “landed” and whose search took a long time, it is often due to their job search methods. Certainly our current employment rate and economic situation is a huge factor in the length of time it takes for people to find work, but if you spend most of your time responding to online job leads, your job search may take awhile. Not that sourcing and replying to job leads is not important, however the bulk of your job search work week should be spent networking.

There are three types of networking that are key to job search:
• One on one meetings
• Groups that meet for the specific purpose of networking
• Social and professional groups

A good job search campaign will include all these types of networking.

An important first step to conducting effective one on one meetings is to clarify what you have to offer the marketplace and be prepared to talk about yourself, your strengths, skills, accomplishments and traits that will be of value to a potential employer. Depending on what information will be helpful to obtain from your contacts, you will want to research the background of the companies and people you are meeting with and have key questions prepared beforehand. As you build your list of contacts, consider friends, family, colleagues, former colleagues, other professionals you know, vendors and clients you have worked with in the past, members of social and professional organizations you belong to, neighbors, recruiters, and anyone who might be willing to meet with you either in person or over the phone for twenty to thirty minutes.

Your goals for these meetings is to get a chance to spread the word about what you offer, obtain potential additional names of people who could be helpful to you and finally gain information that will help you learn about the marketplace . Remember, you are not using these opportunities to ask for a job. In most cases your networking partner won’t have one for you, but someone they know and can connect you to may have a job for you now or in the future, and if your networking partner does hear about a position, they will remember and think of you.

Groups that meet for the sole purpose of job search networking can be found through your local employment office. In addition, you can Google the name of your city and “networking groups” to uncover groups that meet on an ongoing basis. The strength of these meetings lies in your ability to communicate your message, tap into the ideas and resources of group members and build your second tier contacts list. This is also true for any social and professional groups you participate in. The more people you know who are willing to suggest others who could be helpful to you, thus expanding on your current network, the closer you will be to learning about and getting hired into a great job.

Some final thoughts on networking tools – explore eNetworking groups like Linkedin. More and more employers are discovering candidates through these sites. It’s also a great way to research who key decision makers are. Linkedin offers tutorials on how to use the site both from the standpoint of a job seeker and networker.

Remember, you only need one job offer. Someone you know has a great job lead for you or knows of someone who can hire you. Your job is to discover that person.

Finally, view networking as a way to meet a new friend, learn more about other professionals and potentially make connections that can last a lifetime.

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2 Comments on “Your Networking Strategy for Career Transition”

  1. accredited life coaching courses Says:

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Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Career Transitions: Having a ‘Quarter Life Crisis’? « Career Transition: The Inside Job - July 26, 2012

    […] who will lead you to information that ultimately will get you hired.  For detailed advice, go to https://ccppblog.wordpress.com/2011/01/23/your-networking-strategy-for-career-transition/ by Aly Aniker, and take a look at the 7 other networking entries in Career Transitions: The Inside […]

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