What is a network?
Why would ignoring your network leave you stranded?
Job seekers often assume you just find jobs online. This false assumption is propagated by all of the advertising and marketing that online job boards do to make you think everything is online.
Frequently as I coach job seekers, I ask if they have heard of the hidden job market. Often I am met with a look of confusion as they confess that if they heard of it, they don’t understand it.
I explain that all jobs are not online.
This was brought home by when researching a job description for a current client, we read a posting for a position in his current company on LinkedIn. It had no applicants but the position was closed.
He said, “that investment banking finance position was filled internally, but we had to post it to meet the legal requirements.” Think about that for a minute. Postings may only be listed to fulfill the law. The position was filled before it was posted. Though this was filled internally, this can just as easily be true of a position filled by someone who was referred by someone else in the company.
If you are ignoring your network, you may never learn of key positions
Many companies use multiple sources to find new employees. Here are 7 potential opportunities:
- Employee referrals. If you are ignoring your network, you may meet this key opportunity to be referred.
- Alumni groups. Universities often refer alumni to leadership roles. Are you active in your alumni group?
- Industry Associations. Does your industry have organizations? One of my clients leveraged the national rural telecommunications organization to find his most recent position as Chief Operations Officer in one state as well as his prior role as CEO in yet another state.
- Chamber of Commerce. Every time I attended a Chamber meeting in the past, it led to new clients. Your Chamber of Commerce usually has options for members and non-members for lunches, new business openings, and training. Contemporary chambers of commerce offer many opportunities to network.
- Executive Mastermind Group. One of my executive clients had regular meetings with CEOs from other companies. They weren’t in competing industries but they knew they had similar problems. In these meetings, they helped brainstorm ideas that each of them could use when facing specific issues. This kind of group will always be an asset to help grow your network.
- Community Organizations. Volunteering has long been a way for business people to network. Kiwanis, Rotary, Optimists, and Lions are just a few of the many civic organizations that meet weekly or monthly and can help you build connections while you help your community.
- Churches. While joining a church to grow your network is a bad idea, if you live a faith-filled life, you will grow a network with your fellow members. I belong to a vibrant church that helps each other with every type of need from child care to fellowship to home and car repairs.
Keep a lifelong healthy network
In addition to what I listed above, there is an opportunity to discover your network just by brainstorming people you know and keeping your network alive. The secret to a healthy network is to make sure you are never ignoring your network and always growing it. You never know when you will need it.
As I write resumes and LinkedIn profiles, I continuously coach my clients on the best networking strategies. Learn more about how working with me is more than hiring a resume writer. You are hiring a partner in your job search who can get you up to speed in today’s job search strategies.
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