One of the phrases I heard when I was in my last semester of college and continued to be a popular phrase as I become a recent graduate was “just make sure you are networking.” I never considered networking being an issue for me. When I was looking for a job, it was easy for me to go up to random people and start talking shop. I have an outgoing personality, and tend to lack general shyness. BUT for some reason, I only thought I could network at pre-designated informational interviews, career fairs, actual networking gatherings, and places that enabled business to business connections. What I failed to realize was that I was limiting my opportunities to just those events.
I found that when I started telling everyone that I was looking for a job, and was specific about what I wanted, they could connect me with one more person, who could connect me with other people who might be able to help me get employment that was conducive to what I needed. One day I was talking with a friend who I thought didn’t have any connections with the industry I wanted to be involved in. I came to find out that her father was a big deal in the industry, and she was more than happy to share his contact information.
My advice: Tell everyone. You never know if your friends, your grocer, your janitor, your neighbor might know someone who can get you to where you need to be.
My story is still being written on networking and finding my dream job. Because I started telling everyone, I am gainfully employed in a position that will allow me to grow, even if it is not particularly in the industry I am passionate about, I am learning some incredibly valuable experience and I have an income….which is more than I can say from where I was almost one year ago.
While I was looking for a job, I came into contact with others who were also in the same boat as me. I found that when I helped them out, I would in turn receive more opportunities. Some call it karma, others call it divine intervention. Whatever you believe it could be, the principle exists…when you are helping others, you are helping yourself.
My challenge: try helping someone else find a job….see what opportunities come up for you.