Networking – what’s it all about…

Here I am, looking through my portfolio of work, and I notice that I don’t have anything that represents any radio work. So I think to myself, “Self, what can we do about this.” Self says, “Well, since you’re learning quite a bit about networking as you develop this new career, why not do an item on Networking?”. Self is a pretty smart guy, sometimes. So, here it is, in MP3 format, my (just under) 3-minute item on Networking. Comments?? You know where to post ’em.The full text is in the extended entry…below

Ok, got the email open, scanning the plethora of messages from auto-alert-career-finding-bot-agent-thingies run by online workfinding sites (of course I’m applying to all that I’m remotely qualified for),

Re-scanning my contact list for names of folks who may know folks who may know folks who can help me find folks who may have a job,

I’m also researching all the industries/companies/workplaces that I think would be funky/cool to work for places with foosball tables, lounges and great benefit plans.

Then, when there’s time, I check out the industry related online message boards at Yahoo!, and the groups.

These are just some of the activities undertaken in an average job search, in today’s high-tech and connected world.

Some of them, such as massaging the contact list, rely on the concept of the’s not what you know, it’s who you know.

This is networking strategy is considered the number one job-finding method by many, including Richard Bolles the author of the venerable workfinding bible, What Color is your Parachute.

Networking the key concept for the Not-working. Get out, and find out who can help you out. People like to help, just don’t put your network members on the spot by asking them for a job, they’ll be uncomfortable and it’s quite likely that they don’t have one.

Instead, let them help you out. You work your network to get contacts in the industry you want to work in. Your network is large made up of family members, friends, co-workers, clients, neighbours everyone you know and they want to help.

Working the network is important it’s how people who want to hire you, find out that you are available. So talk to them. Find out who they know in that industry you want to get into. Want to be in the airline industry? The odds are pretty good that someone you know, knows someone in the airline industry. Get an introduction to that person! Buy them coffee, and pick their brains for 15-20 minutes on the industry. Get them to refer you to someone else in the industry, someone who may be better qualified to judge your qualifications and advise you how best to walk down this career path.

So, you say you don’t know anyone, sure. Start with your family. They don’t want you living in their basement, so they have a vested interest in helping you out!

Did you take a course at a community college? Call up that instructor offer to buy them coffee, and pick their brain! If they’re any good, they will have a list of people to refer you to. Use them nicely, but use them.

Someone knows someone with that job for you, you just need to be persistent.

And learn how to become the master of this process. You are offering your services to them they need you. Remember that.

Network, persistently. That’s a key way to succeed.