I know you’re looking desperately for a suitable job, but ask yourself whether you’re just working hard at it or you’re working smart at it. Some get so disappointed by the entire process that they give up on it entirely. Please don’t! I want to revive your interest by attempting to explain logically the job search process and how to go about it.
The answer lies in being effective at networking. Only a small percentage of people say they enjoy meeting new people while in transition. An equally small percentage network out of necessity. However, the large majority of unemployed people don’t take advantage of the opportunities because they had some bad experiences and believe networking to be a waste of time.
The objective of networking is not to meet people but to be referred by people who can talk to others about your past performance and who are willing to recommend you. Such a recommendation is remarkably more valuable for a decision maker versus simply interviewing people based on their résumés. A recommendation by a trusted source based on past performance on the job is more convincing and a better predictor of future performance and potential than relying on gut feelings after the interview.
There are two steps for this process to be successful. The first is to choose three to six people who know your past performance to the point that are not only willing to vouch for you but also willing to go the extra mile to actually recommend you. You want to make sure that these people are familiar with your résumé or at least your LinkedIn profile. To ensure that, ask for their feedback on either one or both. Then ask them to either call on your behalf or introduce you to someone they consider being in a position to help you. I know this procedure can be highly uncomfortable, but assure the people that you would do the same for them if the shoe were on the other foot.
The second step is to reverse the networking process. Start with a job opening that interests you. Next, find someone in your circle of connections who can introduce you to someone else at that company. Once you’ve made that inside connection, you must become focused and proactive. Ask for further connections until you get closer to the decision makers for that job. This sounds difficult and is usually out of the comfort zone of most people, but it is very effective. Those who are persistent get favorable results. At times, you’ll feel you’ve hit a brick wall or ended up in a cul-de-sac. But don’t give up. Keep going, because this method works.
Admittedly, the pushback and failure rates of this system are considerable. It’s easy to become disappointed and want to give up. To stay focused, it’s advisable to establish a reasonable target of connections you want to make each week. Challenge yourself to stay the course. You may know the famous film producer Samuel Goldwyn, who said, “The harder I work, the luckier I become.” This is so true. And I wish you lots of luck.
by Alex Freund