Do you want to be known as the person who can solve any problem?
Then go to where people with problems are: online. I assume you are an expert at your profession. Go online and find an online forum where you can contribute. You can ask your co-workers and teachers what online forums they suggest. I just did a Google search on “Sarbanes Oxley audit forums” and got a very specialized list of forums. Spend a few hours getting to know your forum and its tone, then hop right in and offer some help.
Did you know there are recruiters and researchers that specialize in finding smart people in online forums? They do it for accountants, programmers, truckers, pilots and a lot more occupations. More important, the people who rely on the forum often let others know where jobs are. Generally they take the conversation offline, where others are not involved. That’s why you don’t see it.
So let’s say you let slip that you are from Harrisburg, PA. Someone else says they are from York, PA. You send an email outside the system to that person and place each other in your network.
Want to extend this? Add people who give you their business card at a class. For all the people you have in your network, keep two email address lists. One for the occasional, “How are you doing,” contact. Send an email every few months with a little personal update. Have another email list for the folks you want in your close network. Find a reason to email them more often. It could be with a note about something you saw in an online forum you want to make sure they noticed. Make sure both lists know when you are looking for a job.
Two ways to Robo-network: Contribute to online forums and make email lists to keep people in your network.
Something To Do Today
Find an online forum about your expertise. Help someone there with an answer they need.
Tomorrow: Giving your way into a job