Job search networking and Christmas tree lights

Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family.  Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one. (Jane Howard)

I plug in a string of Christmas tree lights and they shine.   The next set of lights plugs into that string, and they shine.  String by string I build the decorations for a tree, the outside of my home or a wedding reception.  If one string isn’t working, I replace it with another.  I won’t hurt the feelings of the string of lights that is not working.

Three things are relevant to your job search:

  1. You plug in strings of lights until you get the coverage you need.
  2. Just because the lights worked last year doesn’t mean they work this year.
  3. Replace the strings that aren’t working.

Your network needs to be big enough to get you a job.  Your network starts with your friends.  Ask each one, individually, for help. Next come your acquaintances.  Next are the people you work with or have worked with.  Finally come all the people you meet while job hunting.  For each one figure out exactly who they know at companies that might give you jobs.

There’s a time and place for everything.  The time to ask someone who is interviewing you about other jobs is when they have told you that you are not suited for their job.  They may tell you to apply for a different job in their company, or at a friend’s company.  Build your network until you have the coverage you need.

Last time you looked for a job, it may have been someone from the synagogue or the Elks Club who helped you find it.  Definitely try that approach again.  Keep asking people about who they know.  Don’t rely solely on that single group of people this time.  Be sure and expand your network.  Use all your contacts.

Sometimes people refuse to help or can’t help.  So what?  Go on.  Find the next network starting point.  Plug in that network.  Try another and another.  Don’t let one person’s refusal stop you.  For example:  Our recruiting agency refuses to help half the people who contact us.  That just means you contacted the wrong agency.  We have a narrow focus on banking, accounting, computers and sales.  We just couldn’t help the two rocket scientists who applied for a job over the years.

You need to plug in enough networks to show a bunch of jobs to apply for.  It is hard work for most people.  It also pays great dividends.  It helps you get into that huge pool of jobs that are never advertised anywhere.

Something To Do Today

Make a list of companies you would like to work for.


Tomorrow:     Spaghetti networking

Later:              Calls to companies

Intelligent use of recruiters

Get famous, get a job

Sneaky no good cops set a trap for me

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