As a contact sport, networking is about interaction between sender and receiver, buyer and seller… job seeker and potential employers. The great news is that you get to start from YOUR ‘sweet spot’ or middle ground where all this interaction occurs the easiest!
Thursday, April 28th… Implementation of your PMP: Are you conducting an efficient and productive job search? A good session to start or refresh your efforts!
In your “first wave,” you should start with people that you already know or have some connection to. If your ‘natural network’ doesn’t have a regular meeting—most do not, by their very diverse nature—groups of like-minded people are easy to identify and attend.
As you begin to reach out and broaden your ‘sweet spot,’ be selective in your attempt to create a supportive ‘community’ grouping close to your targeted marketplace. Networking within your targeted marketplace, your unique, job search ‘community’ should play a critical role in your Personal Marketing strategies. It is an easy means to getting the word out about your business to people who may purchase and influence others to purchase your service or goods.
** Note: But just as with any other job search activity, we get what we put into it.
That being said, local networking events are seeing record turnouts lately, a sign that leads us to believe the networking is paying off. A Local Networking Group is any organization, which meets on a regular basis, to share and receive referrals and leads. Examples of formal Local Networking groups for small and medium sized business include: BNI (Business Networking International), Merchants’ Associations, Chambers of Commerce, and Business Associations.
Some of the largest local organizations devoted to supporting job seeker efforts are Frisco Connect, Cathedral of Hope, the Southlake Group, Watermark Church… to name just a few. Many are associated with church support organizations… but are completely nondenominational in their approach, operation and outreach.
WHAT to start with if you have a huge personal contact network to start with… great! Start by prioritizing your list into three sub categories… Seasoned networkers with terrific phone and interview skills will undoubtedly start their networking efforts at the “B” and “SEE” list levels… but for the ‘normal’ job seeker this represents pre-mature activity.
Use the earlier preparation steps, practice time, and your first several ‘baby steps’ to develop your effectiveness BEFORE having to perform for your best contacts. “Don’t shoot yourself in the foot.” Further, try to avoid the temptation to respond to your sense of urgency in securing your next employment, with lack of adequate preparation and planning— the first seven steps—don’t be guilty of… “Ready… FIRE… Aim” It is as easy as a-b-c…
YOUR DISTRIBUTION NETWORK
Steps six and seven of our 12-step Process M.A.P., initial research and pulling together your initial contact list are in place to create focus to your efforts… What are the trends in the market that are attractive to you, and which target organizations are most needy of your value proposition?
Your evolving contact list will take you through the A-B-C’s of networking and the development of your distribution channels…
- Start with people you already know or have reason to “should know,” as they are the most likely to be receptive to your initial efforts.
- As you develop your network, identify key bridge contacts that can give you specific information or introduce you to key decision-makers and hiring authorities.
- Critical to your success is building relationships with people who can influence your hiring. This ‘must see’ list of influential contacts and hiring authorities is the epicenter of your job search campaign!