TUESDAY TIPS: Network Your Way into a New Job
Years ago research was performed with Bell Lab engineers, some of the brightest professionals in their field, to find out what set apart the top 20% of these engineers. The research results indicated one reason that the top 20% were so successful. That reason was because they "networked." Networking or "connecting with others" gave these top engineers access to others for collaboration, information share, etc.
With that in mind, if you are looking for a new opportunity, the first place to go and seek assistance is to people in your network. And, it's never too late, to re-connect. Linkedin makes it very acceptable and easy to reach out to former colleagues and friends whom we haven't seen, sometimes for decades. When you reach out, be prepared to let the person know how they might help. Also, be prepared for a wide range of responses. Everyone has different skill sets and some will be more inclined to help you by making an introduction or forwarding a resume to someone. Don't take it personally if they aren't able to assist you. Move on and continue to "network."
Something encouraging and interesting to do is ask everyone you know, even those in your more professional networking meetings, how they landed their last position. You will hear a lot of great stories about how someone in one's circle of contacts played a part in it. I do contract work at a major biotech company in the San Francisco Bay Area. One of the people who put in a good word for me was formerly on the executive team at the company. I had sent her a short email letting her know I was looking, so she was aware. Low and behold she ended up on the elvator with my future boss and put in a good word. Lucky for me! You can't make those connections happen but, as we call it in the career development world, you are ready for this planned happenstance*.
So, get on linkedin, set up coffee dates, phone an old friend or colleague, and talk to your neighbor and the person behind you in the grocery store line. You never know where that connection will lead you.
~For more ideas about linkedin, stay tuned for next Tuesday's Tips! Have a week of connecting and re-connecting.
*John Krumboltz, an eminent psychologist at Stanford University coined a term for the process of scientific research – 'planned happenstance'.