Initial research and the pulling together of your INITIAL contact list are in place to create focus to your efforts… What are the trends in the market that are attractive to you, and which target organizations are most needy of your value proposition? Your evolving contact list will take you through the A-B-C’s of networking and the development of your distribution channels…
This Week’s Session, Thursday, August 16th… Implementing Your PMP, How to stay focused and organized with your networking efforts.
A. Start with people you already know or have reason to “should know,” as they are the most likely to be receptive to your initial efforts.
B. As you develop your network, identify key bridge contacts that can give you specific information or introduce you to key decision-makers and hiring authorities.
C. Critical to your success is building relationships with people who can influence your hiring. This ‘must see’ list of influential contacts and hiring authorities is the epicenter of your job search campaign!
Develop your networking prowess with your “A” List contacts, people you already know, have cause to know, or have known in the past… connect or reconnect with this less-threatening ‘audience.’
Then, exercise and practice your newfound skills within the job search support, local networking groups…beginning to reach toward a bigger “B” list, those people that you are referred to that can bridge your efforts to the people who can influence your hire. Begin to fold-in professional associations and trade groups as a way to strengthen and accelerate the development of your “B” list.
“See” list contacts WILL happen!
BABY STEPS Revisited
Be your own best coach… pay homage to the demon in the room, TECHNOLOGY, specifically social media… and your own communication preferences. Even the most passive communicators must learn to engage and interact… but with whom?
Use your FREE LinkedIn account to organize your contact list and to function like a road map of who to network to next.
Once identified, get on the phone and meet your newest “A” list contact.
You’ll never know when a ‘hidden gem’ of a “B” or “See” list contact will materialize in the process. When you’re networking, ask for a reference, not a job. Whether you’re doing catch-up drinks or grabbing lunch to reconnect, your main goal is to get an ally, not a tally of job listings.
Recruiting a helping hand to your search is your aim. So don’t ask your college buddy if he knows of any jobs for people like you. How would he know? And don’t ask your boss from two jobs ago if she has the names of any people who are currently looking to hire somebody like you. It puts her on the spot.
No, instead, ask for information, advice, or a reference. (A.I.R.)
Mention that you’re going to be moving on, or you’re already looking, or that you’re actively “out there looking.” Let them know the type of positions that are a good CareerFIT for you, and what you’re hoping to achieve in your next opportunity. And, if appropriate, ask them if — when it gets to the actual interviewing process — it would be OK to use them as a reference.
By letting them know that you hold them in high enough esteem to potentially use them as a reference, you’re actually paying them a compliment. By not putting them on the spot about specific job openings, you eliminate making them consider you as a Yes-NO-Maybe “applicant,” thus reducing the awkwardness inherent in the networking conversation.
You’re also making it easier for them to say “yes”, or convey useful information… or simply to feel good about themselves for being a good friend and helping you out with this little favor. All of which means that you have a new buddy in your search — one who’s going to be thinking about keeping an eye out for new opportunities and an ear open for fresh possibilities for their reference-able friend: you.
Now, this doesn’t work for just any old person you meet on the street. There’s probably a pretty good match between people you’d take to lunch and those you could ask to be a reference. So my advice would be to stick to asking those you know well enough.
Being realistic, the widely offered and deeply wrong advice from past decades of job search tricks and tips… that you should try to extract favors, concessions, names, jobs, and career assistance from people you’ve only met over the phone is not only useless, it can be counterproductive to your aims by antagonizing your broader network.
Reserve actual “information networking” for its more productive uses. By making your networking about positive interactive conversation and compliments, you’ll find it pays dividends.
A network is not something you establish overnight. It requires work and time, but the rewards are incalculable. If you are in a job search mode and do not have a good network already in place, there are several ways you can begin to build one. In the ‘challenging waters of career transition,’ your network development should be happening in waves…
The WAVES of PMP Implementation
The concept, here, is to keep a pulse of activity going consistently and regularly into the job market. When you let up, if you take time away from the marketplace, they will tend to forget you…the job market has no memory. It’s up to you to achieve top-of-mind awareness.
Get the Most From Your ‘first wave’ of Networking… Your purpose in this ‘first wave’ of networking is to gain information, advice, and most importantly names of other individuals you can call. The lifeline of networking is to always get more names. Be sure to ask each person if they have a minute to talk to you, and when finished talking thank them for their time.
Make networking calls in a block of time. Each call is more comfortable than the one before. Do not call people and ask them if they have any openings at their company… This is almost always totally non-productive. THE PRINCIPLES BEHIND A SUCCESSFUL JOB SEARCH ARE ALWAYS THE SAME: the search process itself is time consuming work, and the more productive time you spend on your job search the more interviews and job offers you will generate.
So the question at this point is “Where do you find out about job openings and on which avenues of job search should you spend the most time?”
THE BEST (And Worst) OF BOTH WORLDS
Technology has done a terrific job of consolidating posted job leads. Web crawling software can reach out and consolidate classified ads, recruitment posts and company posted job opportunities. We know these consolidated sites as Internet Job Banks… and some of them contain a huge amount of postings.
Unfortunately, their very size makes it challenging to stay current and eliminate redundancy. Also unfortunate is the fact that these very same job banks have consolidated your competition and rejection from Corporate America.
Solution? Use the Job Banks to generate your most attractive leads, then network your way into those targeted organizations.
JOB SEARCH IMPLEMENTATION…
Initiating an effective work-seeking campaign during ANY economic condition presents a terrific opportunity to embrace the concepts of Personal Marketing in The OTHER Job Market… with the focus on job search issues and the creation of a personalized knowledge base and an effective network for the rest of your career.
In the ‘first wave’ you will increase the REACH of your efforts and begin to reestablish old relationships, develop new ones, and identify opportunities. Each opportunity is its own ‘tipping point,’ where you initiate your ‘second, more focused, wave’ which is directed at targeted organizations.
This is one of those measurable, predictable ratios… the more regular you are with your ‘first wave’ contacts and follow-through, the more likely targeted organization contacts will begin to generate INTERVIEWS.