We’ve heard that a million monkeys at a million keyboards could produce the complete works of Shakespeare, now, thanks to the Internet, we know that is not true. (Robert Wilensky) Sending a million random emails is not networking either.
A new way to find a job: Spaghetti networking
Take the box of spaghetti in your kitchen. The spaghetti is hard, aligned in rows, carefully packed, ready for a mission. Now throw it in a big pot of boiling water. Stir it up. Keep it stirred. In ten minutes you have noodles ready to eat. Now put it all back in the box. It doesn’t work, does it? Try to get all those noodles aligned again. What a mess. If you add some more uncooked spaghetti and cook the two together you get a mess with some pasta that is ready to fall apart and the rest ready to eat. So start a new pot instead.
How is this mess like networking?
- Plan your networking. Write a plan. Figure out who should be contacted. Practice what you will say.
- Now start networking. Like cooking spaghetti, every lead will do something different. Each one will take its own path and change over time.
- Give your network 10 days to work. Check it and stir it up with phone calls halfway through. Make more phone calls, and where it makes sense, personal visits after 10 days.
- Figure out what happened. Where did the leads go? Some got you closer, some didn’t. Investigate the noodles or network contacts. Why are the starts and ends different? Are there patterns you can exploit? This really is like investigating cooked spaghetti noodles. It seems useless, but in this case an evaluation can give great insights.
- Follow through with all leads that are working. Eat the pasta. Keep working with the networks you have started that are going somewhere. Set a plan when to follow up. Don’t let that network turn into a congealed mass of pasta left out in the bottom of a strainer with no water.
- Take what you learned. Plan a new network. Avoid the temptation to wing it. Write a plan. Get a fresh pot of water boiling. Write down what you will do different. Who is on the new list? Practice being different. Learn. Do better.
- Do it all again.
Networking is not easy. It always starts out neat and planned. It always ends up going all over the place, where you least expect it to. Don’t try to randomly network. Sure it may work, but it will take a lot longer than it needs to and you will drop a lot of promising leads. The trick is to learn, continue to plan, and make it work.
Something To Do Today
Make a networking plan. If you need more networking hints, look up “networking” at
Tomorrow: Calls to companies
Later: Intelligent use of recruiters
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