The Power of Partnership

How to Network for Employment Opportunities

Whether you are newly out of work or in the process of making a career change there is power in partnerships. We live in the information age making networking both easy and confusing. It’s easy because all you have to do is get on your computer and it’s confusing because there are so many options available to you it can be daunting to know where to begin.

I personally like to begin with making a list. Lists make it easy to see what needs to be done and provides you with a step by step guide to getting it done. You decide what you want to do, write it down, break it into steps and cross off each step as you go along. Let’s begin with what you want to do. You are tapping into the power of partnership to network for employment opportunities and this means we need to look at who you know. It’s amazing really how many people we know from all the varied venues we participate in daily.

Take an inventory of who you know they are all potential prospects to network with. There’s the person you get coffee from, people you went to school with, former coworkers, people you interacted with on the job, your friends, family members, and people you’ve never met but have interacted with on social media. This gives you plenty of people to work with! How about the person you get coffee from, so many of us go to coffee houses on a regular basis to by a cup of Joe. Thousands of people stop on their way to work in the morning to grab a cup and over time become friendly with the person pouring their morning coffee chatting about the day, discussing plans for the weekend, even talking about upcoming political elections and in all of these conversation the type of work they do is often a topic for discussion.

Lets look at more obvious options people you went to school with, former coworkers, and people you interacted with on the job. These groups of people are in the same or similar industry of your potential job market. Someone at a competitor could be hiring, your school mates may know of a potential opening where they work or have heard someone is looking to fill a specific position, and former coworkers could have family members, friends, or business associates who have information about an opportunity that would be perfect for you.

Let’s not forget your family members and friends. When you tap into the network of your family and friends, your reach expands exponentially giving you a fresh pool of potential connections. And we must not forget our social media LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. There are potentially thousands of people there for you to connect with who would help you along your way to making the right connection putting you back into the work force!

Pick a number! You now need to decide how many people you are going to reach out to each week. I like to keep things simple and easy so I would go with the number 5. There are 5 days in the week and reaching out to 5 people a day is simple and this won’t overwhelm you and keeps you focused and on target giving you 25 people in a week you have reached out to. If you are feeling ambitious you can do more then 5 in a day but you want to be careful you don’t burnout on your process.

What do you say to the people you are networking with? You let them know you are looking for a new opportunity. By the way you need to know what type of job you want, the industry you are looking to work in, and what you would like to do in that industry. It is important you do this because you need to give the person or people you are networking with the best opportunity you can for them to help you. We always want to help our friends but we need guidance on how to best support them so let others know what you need so they can help you get it.

I also recommend you create a spread sheet so you can keep track of who you are networking with, the medium you are using i.e. calling them direct, email, IM, connecting on social media whatever medium you are using you want to keep track of the last time you connected, what you said, and when you told them you would follow up… your conversation could go like this, “Hi George! Do you have 5 minutes? Is now a good time for you to talk? There have been some changes with my employment and I’m looking for a new opportunity working in an IT department, do you know of anyone who works for a company with in house computer support? Could you make an introduction for me?” If they can’t think of anyone at that moment ask them to think about it and ask around to see if they know anyone who knows someone and let them know you will call them back and give them a date in one or two weeks that you will get back to them and make sure you follow through on your return communication.

I think it’s best to make a in person phone call because it increases your personal connection and it is more likely they will remember to keep you in their thoughts. An email or text is less personal and the person or people you are contacting will not have as great of a commitment to help you as they would from a phone conversation or in person meet.

Follow up is key to networking! I can’t stress enough how important it is for you to follow through on your connections. If you tell someone you are going to call back or reconnect give them a day and in some cases narrow it down to a specific time and make sure you don’t forget! This is why I recommend the spread sheet or some form of keeping your conversations organized for follow up. This demonstrates to the person you are networking with you are reliable and you do what you say when you said you would. No one wants to refer someone they don’t trust or can’t rely on to follow up on a conversation.

As you go through the process of being in the job market it can seem endless and daunting but when you reach out to your connections and ask for guidance and support your partnership can open doors for you that you would have never known were available. I have found amazing results in my own life just from asking. It’s incredible the things you can obtain if you simply ask!

About the Author

Janine Elias is Your Money Coach guiding you to Financial Freedom. Janine has specialized in relationship development, male female communication, and moving people toward change for two decades. She provides individual and group training to support you in learning how to how to talk about and ask for money, changing and improving your relationship with money and ultimately increasing your earning potential. It's important for you to uncover your blocks change limiting beliefs and create new habits for you to experience Financial Freedom. Read Janine's blog at Janine has a Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology, is the Founder of the Elias Relationship Academy and resides in Redondo Beach California with her family.

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