Job Search Tip
Social / Civic EventsNot all social or civic events are hotbeds of job search networking…I’ll give you that one. Networking events are better suited for that. However, I believe that any gathering where someone might ask you, “So what do you do for a living?” is a not-to-be-missed opportunity to say, “I am a ____ who’s in between jobs and looking for a new opportunity.”
Does the idea of just putting it out there like that make you nervous? It shouldn’t. In our society, we have a very bad tendency to be ashamed of the fact that we don’t have a job. Well, if unemployment is a permanent condition for you and you are physically and mentally able to work, maybe you should be ashamed. But a job search is a temporary state that will end as soon as you find what you’re looking for. It doesn’t define you. The only difference between you being unemployed and employed is one job offer letter. Your unemployment will end as soon as you find that one opportunity and get that one offer letter. And you can’t find what you’re looking for without talking to people.
(Just a side note: If you ever find that you are feeling depressed about your job search, go back through your resume and brag book and remind yourself of how good you are. You can even call previous bosses or co-workers and ask them how they would describe you and what you have to offer. Their positive reinforcement will do wonders for you.)
Having said all that, I would say this: I don’t think that social events are as useful as civic events. They could be…you just might run into someone who happens to know someone who needs help, but probably not. Maybe if you’re in more socially-based job…
On the other hand, civic events can be pretty useful: Chamber of Commerce meetings, City Council meetings, boards or commission meetings, or other community-based events. People who go to those are usually going to be more focused on business, and therefore more focused on networking to benefit themselves or their companies.
I was a member of the Chamber of Commerce in my town a couple of years back, and I can tell you that when you went to that Chamber meeting, you could find out anything if you needed it. We had a Chamber luncheon once a month, and if I went to that luncheon, I had my finger on the pulse of the community. They were a resource for me, too: I could ask someone at any time, “Does anybody know someone who does XYZ?” And everyone there would help me out. Now, this is Texas, where everyone is really friendly, but I suspect you’d find some friendly folks in your town, too.
This kind of networking could work well for all kinds of jobs: PR, marketing, fundraising, accounting, advertising…(I’m running out of steam, but you get the drift). You could easily get the chance to sit down next to someone who needs a person like you, who could directly benefit their business.
So go find your next event and attend!
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