EVER TALK TO YOUR BOSS FROM 10 YEARS AGO?
our co-workers from your last job? The neighbor you met last summer at the block party? The new coach at the tennis club? Your banker? Your hair dresser? The list goes on and on. These individuals and many more are your single best source of employment contact in today's job market. Long gone are the days when you were able to pick up the newspaper, select 5 good advertisements, mail resumes and get 3 offers. Today, in order to job search effectively, you must be aggressive, visible and determined.
Often individuals out of work for whatever reason (e.g., downsizing, family relocation), are "embarrassed" to let others know that they are in the job market. It's not their fault, times are difficult. However, we have all been brought up in a society where our self-esteem is directly related to our professional lives. We lose our jobs and we feel inadequate, no matter the reason.
It's often difficult to put these feelings aside, realize that downsizing and other negative activity in the job market is directly effecting thousands and thousands of individuals, and appreciate the critical impact and success of networking to identify job opportunities. The opportunities are there. It's time to speak up.
Developing your network of contacts is no mystery
Its hard work and constant communication. Each and every person you come in contact with, from the gentleman you meet in line at the post office to the manager of your favorite restaurant, can be an excellent source of employment contact. It's often amazing what other people know about job opportunities. And the only way that you are going to find out about this information is to speak up and let EVERYONE know that you are in the job market. Believe me, they won't think it's your fault.
They'll be sympathetic and often remarkably helpful
Informational interviews can also be a great source of networking. Call a potential employer and tell them you are exploring opportunities with numerous families in the area. Ask for 10-15 minutes (in person) to introduce yourself. Don't ask for a job interview, just ask for information - information about job opportunities with the family or company and information about opportunities with other families that they may be aware of. You will be amazed at the results.
Most important, use your job interviews to develop leads
Hopefully, each interview will reap an offer. But, let's be realistic. In today's job market that is often not the case. We recommend that when you leave each interview you take with you the names of 1-3 families (or individuals) to add to your network.
To support your networking campaign, develop a network contact lead tracking system (We recommend 3x5 index cards). Each and every time you get a lead, complete a card with full name, company, address, telephone and fax. Mail your resume, mark the mailing date on the card, and place it into a tickler file for follow-up in one week. And, make that follow-up call. It is a proven fact that:
Individuals who follow up once they have mailed a Resume will be more successful in their job search campaign.