I was talking with a friend the other day who is starting to look for a new job. I asked what they were doing to search. “Well, I’ve set up an Indeed search. . .”. OK, good start.
What about networking, I asked? Their answer: “I’m a techie. I don’t know how to do that stuff.”
I said, “Of course you do! Do you remember your Facebook post yesterday? The one where you asked your Facebook friends to recommend a place to get your bicycle tuned up?”
“Well, yeah. . .”
Me: “That’s networking. You’re tapping into a network–your Facebook friends–and asking them for information.”
“. . .I never thought of it like that.”
Of course not. Most of us tap into our networks weekly for something. Where should I take my in-laws for brunch? Where should we go for a cocktail before the play? We want to take our kids to Disneyland–any recommendations on where to stay/go/eat?
All of these things require another person to make time in their day, reach into their knowledge base, and share information with you.
When you are starting a job search, you’re doing the same thing. It’s just in a different context. But for some reason, we always feel like we’re burdening people by asking for advice/connections. Is it really that much more work?
No. Not really. But it is tapping into a different knowledge base–one that many people don’t use every day. So you can make it easier on the person of whom you are making the request. Look through their LinkedIn network and identify specific people with whom you’d like them to connect you; that makes the ask much easier for them. Or, try and identify the recruiter at their company who is hiring for the position in which you are interested.
That’s just two ways you can help them help you–and make it easier for them to do so. What other ways have you found to make networking easier?