How many times have you bought a product or seen a film based on a friend’s recommendation?
Have you or anyone you know ever worked for a company with an employee referral program?
You may not like it, but learn to network! Few people can get a job by simply emailing a resume to a job posting or hiring manager. So, make a list of all the people you know, even if you’ve been out of touch for years, and get back in touch! Explore connections with professional and trade associations, your undergraduate, graduate, or technical school alumni network, or an appropriate affinity group (FENG, TENG, SENG, veterans, women in technology, women in communications, and so on).
Things to remember:
- No matter what, people like to help others!
- Don’t do an elevator pitch – find and craft your personal story and share it.
- Interested people are interesting: become curious about others. Put on your curiosity hat and ask people questions about themselves and their work.
- You never know who knows who and where or when.
- Volunteer to make yourself feel connected.
- Remember that you are a potential value to another person’s needs.
- Move out of your niche and comfort one.
- Become a “thought Magnet” for others.
- Talk to everyone, anytime, anywhere, as long as there is some common thread: movies, on the bus or train, organizations, family.
- If you are nervous, ask yourself the question: “What’s the worst that could happen?” You will probably be surprised once you say it out loud and challenge the belief with the reality of it.
- Believe in yourself. Yes! You are a viable and valuable solution to someone else’s problem.
- Ask more questions than giving answers. Networking is like surveying or “schmoozing”.
- Check your negative beliefs about asking for” help”. You didn’t get to where you are now without having interacted and helped others.