Networking is so critical to job search and career success that it’s pretty much ALWAYS time to build your network.
However, now really is a strategic time to pay deliberate attention to cultivating the relationships you have and developing new ones. Why?
For one thing, companies are hiring now—we’re seeing a lot going on with our coaching clients and customers. Even the ones who may be putting their hiring on hold right now may hire in December (actually a great time to job search) and after the New Year.
Reaching out to your network may result in you getting a job now, or it may set you up to be in the right place at the right time in a couple of months. It’s an ideal way to crack the hidden job market.
How do you build or strengthen your network?
- You can always email people you know to say ‘hi.’ In fact, I recommend doing this on a regular schedule (see 4 Easy Networking Tips), so you’re making some kind of contact with everyone you know at least 2-3 times a year.When I tell people to do this, the question I most often get is, ‘What do I say?’ You have lots of options. These don’t have to be long notes, and they don’t have to be perfect. You just need to make that contact. You can:
- Let them know what’s going on with you if you’ve changed jobs or addresses
- Send them something you know they’d be interested in like a book recommendation or a link to a great website
- Ask if they’re going to the conference
- Ask for advice
- Say that you were thinking of them and ask if there’s anything you can do for them
- Join groups on LinkedIn and participate in discussions (this is a great and easy way to get to know--and be known by--others in your field)
These are just a few ideas out of many you could do. Yes, it does take a little time but not as much as you may think, and the rewards are huge.
If you need more ideas, check out my ebook available on Amazon: