One of my coaching clients recently moved to a new city. Now, even more than ever, she realizes the importance of networking to help increase her chances of finding a job – especially since she is looking for opportunities in a specialized field in which she has little direct experience. This is exactly where networking contacts help open doors!
But after a few months both before and after her move, she’s contacted a lot of people and is having trouble keeping track of whom she followed up with, whom she still needs to follow up with, and the individual details related to each person she is trying to build an ongoing relationship with.
So where was she finding networking contacts?
Before we get to her solution, you might be wondering how she was finding people to connect with. She filled me in on all the things she’d been doing, including:
- attending a local conference related to her interest
- finding alumni working in that field
- pursuing names she was given or found online using LinkedIn, etc.
- continuing to look for new potential networking allies
- following up with contacts by providing updates of her progress
Meanwhile, she was applying for jobs even somewhat related to her goal (big goals may start with small wins). Plus she got certified for a credential that would open up more job possibilities. (Great also to talk about when networking and in interviews, because it shows you are determined.)
Also, wherever possible, she scouted out contacts that worked in companies she was applying to or people who might know someone there. Plus she dug deep to find names through people she met as part of her certificate process, and also related organizations. You never know which one will get you to where you want to go, so get creative about where you look for names.
Remember that networking contacts can be found anywhere, even grocery lines and barbecues (where I found a great one once). But the trick is not to be begging for help, but to be ready to talk about your story briefly and make it exciting. You’re on a quest and cool things happen. Be prepared to get others (even people you just meet) engaged in your evolving story!
Networking contacts spreadsheet (template)
And now as promised..
To solve her problem, my client decided to create a spreadsheet to help her remember whom she contacted and when. This will help her know when it’s time to follow up.
I love the idea so much, I put together my own sample for Career Nook readers. Of course, adjust it to your own needs. Hope this helps!
[Property Career Nook. Not to be copied or distributed without permission.]
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