“Is there anybody out there?” – “The Wall”, Pink Floyd
When we’re looking for the right career opportunity, we think of ourselves as alone. As if no one has ever had to do this before. Some of us see the path to success glimmering in the sunshine, while others are searching for the bread crumb trail that was left behind to follow.
This is the time to call your network. Have a purpose in mind when contacting people. This is not the time to throw a pity party, to whine, complain, and moan; but to help you get back on the road toward a new, exciting opportunity for your future by finding out what’s out there.
DO YOU KNOW ANYBODY HIRING:
Reach out and touch someone, anyone you know. Your friends, family, former co-workers, classmates, your kid’s friends parents, their teachers, people who work in the store you shop at are the start of your list of contacts. The easiest way to get your foot in the door of a company is by someone opening the door for you. This is what a person in your network can do for you and why it is so important to stay in contact with people.
Remember one reason why you’re doing this. You don’t know who these people know, who they talk to on a regular basis. And while the company they work for might not be hiring at the present time, someone they know may know someone who knows a company that is hiring.
And people like to help others. But they don’t know if you need any help unless you ask for it. So make up a list of your contacts, go over it twice. And make those calls.
ENCOURAGEMENT, DIRECTION, SOMEONE TO BOUNCE IDEAS OFF OF:
Who do you know who can become a mentor? Somebody you respect, who has handled adversity and has not only grown but thrived as a result. Who do you know that owns their own business? Here is a problem solver who can recognize an opportunity and create a way to profit from it?
When they asked Aristotle Onassis, who was the richest man in the world at the time, what would he do if he lost everything, he had a great answer. He said he would take any job he could to survive, save his money, buy a suit, and take the richest man in town out lunch. His reason was that the “crumbs from a rich man’s table is worth more than a banquet with a beggar.”
Find someone who you trust, who believes in your talents and abilities. They can provide focus and help you plan the next step. They can help you rehearse your answers to the interview questions. It’s your journey, but everybody needs someone to lean on for guidance and strength. Who is yours?
PUTTING IN A GOOD WORD:
Once you know the career path that you want to go down, the next step is to come up with references that can help you. The best references are people in the industry that you want to be a part of, in positions of authority. They can speak about your intangible qualities, the skills you possess, and the type of person that you are. Former supervisors are an excellent reference since can give a first hand account of you as an employee and the quality of your work. Co-workers can talk of your team spirit and your problem solving andor training abilities. There are many other people you can put down as references like your teachers, friends, and even your pastor.
When creating a reference list, the following information is imperative:
Person’s Full Name (no cute nicknames)
Name of Company they work for
Address (either one, home of office)
City, state zip (that matches the above address)
E-mail address (if they have one)
Here are a few additional notes to help make your references meaningful. Ask them first. These are some of the first people you contacted when you started looking for work. This lets them you know that you value what they say and their opinion county. Make sure that the contact information is accurate and that they are employed. You are known by the people who you know, so an employed reference will reflect better for you. Give your references a copy of your resume so they have an idea of what skills you want them to talk about. If you want them to talk about why you’re perfect for the job, make sure the message stays consistent.
Is there anybody out there?” Yes, if you know who to ask and what they can do to help. So you have no reason not to make a list, pick up the phone, and invite someone to lunch to talk. See where the trail of breadcrumbs leads.