Monday, November 3, 2008

Networking in Job Hunting

I was recently asked how best to enter a new career field. There are many aspects of career change that need your attention including education and learning about the culture and norms of that industry. An important part of accelerated learning is to NETWORK!

Please begin networking in your new field as if you have already entered it to get the most out of a growing circle of mentors and friends in the profession. Changing jobs and particularly changing industries take work. It can be a full time job, so expect to put your effort into learning new skills, meeting new people and doing your home work.

Our best advice is to network like you are already in the field!

*NETWORK
*VOLUNTEER
*TRY BACK DOORS
*WORK IN AS A TEMP
*ASK FOR REFERRALS

What if you don't know "who" to begin to network with?
Try working temp to break in......
Many people have entered their dream jobs by working first for a temp service which has a contract with the Target company.

Please read industry publications and know that going to conferences will help you meet people who are serious professionals in the field you Target. Try to quickly bring yourself up to speed with the culture and norms to better understand the potential fit for you. Not everyone will love the new culture in a changing field. There might be good reason you have always worked in the not for profit or educational sectors! If I had a dime for every unhappy lawyer or Wall Street type... hey!

Doing your home work takes time but good news, you can do much of this from home, On-Line and by reading periodicals from the news racks.

One great way to enter your target field is to get a "trial" job by signing up with a Temp Service. Try to register with the ones which specialize in your field. Of course I recommend you try one of the 250++ offices of www.selectstaffing.com but there are many temp services for management, for newer grads, for US Veterans and others who wish to "try before you buy" a career niche. Let your interviewer know that you wish shorter term opportunities to maximize your department and various company exposures. Enjoy making new friends and look for ways to learn more about the company at trade shows, seminars and by connecting with pros already successful in your target field.

In California, almost everyone uses Craig’s list for job postings….
So Blogs, Job boards, The newspaper, magazines and Monster are good bets.

Another way people get job offers is by volunteering in their chosen passion!

VOLUNTEER! it will build your contacts and experience. Many people volunteer for the causes they love and they appreciate enthusiastic "co conspiritors". Many, who want to break into the entertainment field might do well volunteering for the Motion Picture Museum, The Rock Hall of Fame and other locations and charities the pros have supported over the years. AidsWalk, Walk for the Cure,the Thalians.org at Cedars Hospital in LA have annual benefits which are supported by many celebrities and leading film industry and business execs. Really thinking of becoming a nurse? Try baby cuddling at Children's Hospital! Let your light shine doing things you can become passionate about and you may never "work" a day at your job in your life.... Lets your light shine and be seen by people who can make referrals for you.

Investing your time, doing volunteer work near the pros is a great way to network and get noticed.

Best of luck, and please leave comments here on the blog or at one of the other posts. If you would like to discuss other subjects and need more advice about jobs, please let us know. Patty@dedominic.com

Patty DeDominic





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5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am interested in learning which are the best networks for management professionals? I have joined the Junior Chamber of Commerce, but which others? Rotary International? Kiwanis?

James J. Talerico, Jr. said...

RE: Connecting


"I think, that particularily in our slower economic times and a very competitive marketplace networking offers exciting possibilities ! For me, networking on Linkedin has allowed for the efficient entry into new market niches, connectivity to untapped local & global communities that exist, as well as new synergies created by leveraging these individuals and their custers of relationships.

I have only been active on Linkedin for the last few months, but it has already benefited me in terms of new revenues, new significant business opportunities, and positive public relations -- not to mention some free lunches.

I have embraced networking as an important sales model for my business, and am optomistic about its possibilities for the future."

Patty DeDominic said...

Lisa Howze, creator of Speaking Life Principles offers this on her website:

Don't you just hate it when you are at a networking event and the person you are meeting for the first time gives you the long version of a short story about who they are and what they do? At the same time, the person you really wanted to connect with is walking out the front door. Have you encountered people like this? Better yet, are you that person?

In case you are an habitual offender of the 30-second rule, here are a few tips to put you on the right side of making meaningful connections when networking. You have all heard of the "30-second commercial" or the infamous "elevator pitch". In each case, you have a limited amount of time to gain the other person's interest and give them an opportunity to decide if they want to learn more and take the next logical step with you.

Here is what a colleague of mine and I discovered we were doing wrong at a speed networking session we attended last month. Our message was inconsistent. We tried to adapt our message to the person we were speaking to. Every time the person changed, our story changed. To avoid doing this next time, here are 7 things we learned that I would like to share with you:

1. Your message should be clear, concise and attractive.
2. State who you are by giving your name, your company's name, and the position you hold. This lends credibility.
3. State what you do or what your company does.
4. Describe who specifically you serve. This should be your target or niche market.
5. Describe the problem you solve for people. How do you directly benefit your customers/clients/employer?
6. What is your USP (unique selling proposition)? What makes you different?
7. What is your call to action? What would you like them to do next? For example, you may say "Give me your card...Give me a call...Visit my website..., etc."

Mary Elizabeth Bradford said...

In this FREE mini teleseminar you will hear me share with you in detail the 5 simple steps that has been the blueprint used my by clients to help them take their job search from "overwhelming" to "outstanding!"

I've included lots of information to get you started easily and quickly. So turn up your speakers and click on the link below!

Here's that link:

http://www.maryelizabethbradford.com

Phil Johnson said...

Leadership is about doing the right things.
Management is about doing those things the right way.
Any organization can be revitalized with Authentic Leadership™, but never with great management.
Launching a leadership ‘revolution’ on the existing status quo must come first.



Phil Johnson,
Authentic Leadership™ Coach, Author & Speaker