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Five Networking Mantras For Job Seekers

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Five Networking Mantras For Job Seekers

  1. 1.   Five  Networking  Mantras   Pushpinder  Lubana   2011
  2. 2. Five  Networking  Mantras  for  Job  Seekers    I  lost  my  full-­‐time  job  five  months  ago,  and  have  slowly  and  painfully  developed  my  networking  skills.  It  has  been  a  rewarding  journey  and  I  have  learned  more  while  looking  for  a  job  than  I  may  have  ever  learned  in  just  doing  my  job.      Here  is  what  I  have  learned:     1. Networking  happens  all  the  time.  Be  prepared  for  the  unexpected.  There  is   no  script  or  formula.  When  you  meet  someone  and  connect  with  them,  let   them  know  you  are  looking  for  a  job.  You’ll  be  surprised  at  how  quickly   people  want  to  help.  Be  genuine.       Two  months  ago,  at  my  favorite  café,  I  struck  up  a  casual  conversation  with  a   woman  on  the  adjoining  table.  She  happened  to  be  looking  for  employment   herself.  As  we  chatted,  another  woman  by  our  table  joined  the  conversation   and  shared  she  was  also  in  the  job  market.  It  led  to  us  connecting  over  coffee,   LinkedIn,  and  FaceBook.  We  formed  a  Professional  meet  up  group  and  held  a   very  successful  networking  mixer,  which  led  to  contract  work  for  several   people  including  myself.         2. Don’t  be  pushy  or  exude  desperation.  Don’t  hand  out  your  business  cards   at  a  casual  meeting  or  email  your  resume  unless  requested.    Ask  to  meet  a   contact  first  or  have  a  conversation  on  the  phone  before  sending  your   resume.  Even  better,  email  a  link  to  your  complete  LinkedIn  profile  if  you   need  to  provide  a  quick  overview.         3. Be  prepared  to  learn  new  things  in  this  phase  of  your  life.  Ultimately,   these  are  the  building  blocks  for  landing  on  your  feet.  Consider  all  your   activities,  such  as  attending  a  lecture,  researching  a  topic  of  interest  for  an   interview,  a  yoga  class  as  pathways  that  are  expanding  your  networking   world  and  adding  knowledge  and  information  that  will  be  useful  on  your   journey.       For  example,  recently,  I  snagged  a  30-­‐minute  meeting  with  the  CMO  of  a   leading  software  company.  Before  the  meeting,  I  surfed  his  company  blog   and  realized  that  one  of  the  topics  closest  to  his  heart  was  the  power  of  social   media  in  impacting  how  corporations  communicate  with  their  customers.    I   spent  several  hours  researching  and  reading  articles  on  the  internet.  Not  only   was  I  able  to  hold  my  own  in  our  conversation  but  I  also  have  been  able  to   use  the  knowledge  in  other  networking  situations.           4. Build  relationships  for  the  long-­term.  Network,  network,  network.   According  to  Jerry  McCreary,  the  networking  guru,  who  formed  a  networking   group  called  Coach-­‐onthego  on  LinkedIn,  the  best  breakdown  of  your  time  is   90%  networking  and  10%  applying  for  jobs.  Keep  logs,  invite  people  for  
  3. 3. coffee,  and  invest  time  in  these  relationships.  Help  other  people  along  the   way.  It  is  hard  to  put  yourself  out  there  but  it  gets  easier  with  practice  and   you  will  find  the  gold  at  the  end  of  the  road.  Here  are  some  statistics  from  my   own  case:       Time  elapsed  since  losing  full-­‐time  position     5  months   Number  of  online  applications         70   Number  of  interviews  from  online  applications     1   Number  of  part-­‐time  contracts  from  networking     5   Informational  meetings/interviews  from  networking   25   Connections  on  LinkedIn  at  beginning  of  networking   32   Connections  on  LinkedIn  at  present  time       137     5.  Don’t  take  it  personally  when  you’re  reaching  out.  Don’t  look  for  instant   returns.    Sow  the  seeds.  The  harvest  comes  much  later.  People  will  help  you   but  not  always  in  the  way  you  expected.  The  rejection  letter  or  the  no-­‐ response  to  a  networking  request  should  be  a  stimulus  for  you  to  reach  out   again,  strengthen  your  resolve,  and  go  out  and  network  more!      Consider  this  time  in  your  life  as  an  opportunity  that  needs  to  be  developed  patiently  and  positively.  Keep  yourself  open  to  the  possibilities  out  there  and  they  shall  come.    If  you  live  in  the  Silicon  Valley,  email  me  at  Pushpinder.lubana@gmail.com  to  meet  up  for  coffee!  

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