Heard on the street –
“You have to be born with the ability to network.”
“Sure, I talk to people, but mostly when I’m sure it’s related to my job search.”
“I’m tired of talking to people and nothing happens.”
Three words ““ “Wrong, wrong and wrong.’ (OK, those are really four words but you get what I mean.)
One of the most important and, at the same time, most frustrating things about looking for a job is the continual networking one must do to meet people; to make it known he or she is looking for a new job; to follow up on leads; and ““ this is the toughest ““ to do it all over again even when there are no leads.
In my coaching practice, I refer to this as, “Spinning” ““ you have to spin your wheels constantly, in all directions, because you never know where an opportunity will come from. In fact, sometimes the opportunity emerges five steps down the line ““ that is, you have a conversation that seems worthless, and it leads to another seemingly worthless conversation, but somewhere down the line you meet someone or learn something that helps your job search.
What does it take, then? In a word – faith. Don’t look for the outcome; engage in the activity. Keep on spinning ““ anywhere; anytime.
And, for those of you for whom “schmoozing” doesn’t come naturally, it doesn’t matter. Jump into the pool ““ you don’t need to be Oprah or Conan, but don’t necessarily be yourself either (surprised you there, didn’t I?). Just start talking; start spinning. You’ll get better at it. It takes faith.
And, a word for all of you who aren’t looking for a job -network! Every contact you make – always – can turn out to be valuable to you at some time in the future. And, help others who need it. Build your social rolodex and your equity ““ aside from the good feelings you may get from helping people, you never know when you’ll need some information or help yourself.
As the telephone ad used to say, “Reach out and touch someone” – today, tomorrow, always. After all, spinning makes the world go ’round.