Leveraging Your Network to Find a Job by Jim White, Board of Directors, Career-Confidence.org

So, what do you do when events out of your control force you to reconsider your career options? In other words, you are out of a job, and you need to find a new one. First, don’t despair; there is a wonderful new opportunity out there for you—you just have to go for it. Second, there is a reliable, strategic way to identify that position. Let’s talk about the steps you need to follow to uncover your new opportunity.

The first one is easy, make Career-Confidence.org a required destination. The team offers a series of highly professional events each week. Check out the topics, show up early, and stay late. It’s called networking / relationship building. Have someone there review your resume, discuss strategies for your job search. Listen to them and act on it. They are experts and here to help. Be prepared to get out of your comfort zone. Have fun.

Second, reach out to your network of people and set up a time to talk. If they ask why just say you want to get their thoughts on the industry because you are thinking about making some changes. You do not want to make people feel awkward by saying, “I just got laid off. Got a job?” Besides, that should never be your goal. Focus on gathering information. At the end of the meeting, ask, “Who are two or three other people you think I should talk to?” or “Who do you know who needs to know about my availability.”  Follow up on those leads and repeat the process.

Third, networking events, especially industry-specific gatherings you should continue attending. If you are in the professional services industry, set up your own consulting firm, but do not name it after yourself. There are a few things to consider: a gap in employment can be a problem, and the older you are or the longer the gap, the more challenging it will be to explain it to a future employer. Consulting keeps you active and visible in your field of expertise until you land the perfect job.

Fourth, remember, if you are out of a job, then your job is finding a job. Career-Confidence.org has a presentation on how to allocate your time each week. It’s excellent advice. The key is to keep your enthusiasm up and stay confident. The job is out there. You just have to find it.

Finally, remember, as you are setting the meetings and attending events, it’s not just about “you.” As you meet people throughout your journey, look for ways to help others, especially other people who are also looking for their next great job opportunity. As you network, you become part of a community. Look for ways to give back.     

You are not alone. A job search can often feel that way. Career-Confidence.org is here to help guide you, but you also have your friends and family to help you. Keep your head up, stay positive, and go meet new people every day. You got this!

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