Do You Want a Job?

Do you want a job?

Most of us know someone (or  are someone) who is either unemployed or underemployed.

In a previous page, I wrote about how to prepare for an important interview.

Those suggestions, of course, assume that we have already found a prospect for an appealing job.

While internet sites are certainly a  source of vocational matchmaking, none of them replace the traditional method:  networking.

The problem is that many people run through their networks without a viable lead.

A better use of one’s network is as an entry point into an endlessly growing group of contacts, as we will see.

One’s friends and friendly associates are sometimes called one’s “warm market.”

People who know people that you know are your “lukewarm market.”

Growing your network means growing your warm market into an infinite lukewarm market.

The way this is usually done is by having “informational” meetings with people you know who don’t actually have a job for you.

You ask for a brief (10-15 minute) meeting to gain the benefit of their perspective, advice, and insights.

If you’ve already asked your entire network for job leads, you can still go back and set up an informational meeting.

Many people will recognize immediately that you are networking, and they will usually respect that.

You see, they also know people in the same position, or they have been in the same position and may again in the future.

When you meet, either in person or video conference, your goal is to first gain the benefit of the person’s expertise.

Your bigger goal is to learn the names of two or three other people, with whom you can have the same kind of meeting.

Unless the other person asks you to stay longer, keep the meeting as short as you promised.

Start off with a personal, friendly comment, perhaps guided by what you see, such as pictures, around the office.

If the other person takes a call during the short visit, again lead with a friendly comment.

Avoid, if you can, sitting in front of someone’s desk (inferior position).

On the other hand, don’t sit down on the same side as the person unless invited there (presumptuous position.)

Unless otherwise directed, sit along the side of the desk.

Take the opportunity to learn from this person’s experience, as you said you would.

After chatting for awhile, you reach your biggest objective:  ask for referrals.

You thank the person for his or her wise counsel, and say you want to keep this process going.

“Who are some people,” you can ask, “that I might also talk to for insights and perspective.”

At that point your contacts will often offer a couple of their own contacts.

If not, it may be that they have to think about it, in which case you can contact them the next day.

Perhaps they may tell you that it’s been great talking to you, but they are hesitant to send you to others.

At this point, you have nothing to lose by effectively selling the idea.

“I hope,” you can say, “that I have been respectful of your time and that I’ve handled this meeting just as I said I would.

You have done exactly that, so the response will usually be that, yes, you certainly have.

“Good,” you offer.  “I want you to know that I will treat anyone you’re kind enough to send me to exactly the same way.”

Aim for two or three per persons, which will increase your list exponentially, but as long as you get even one more name than the number of people on your list, your list will grow forever.

Now, you can call someone you would never otherwise know and ask for the same kind of meeting.

Sooner or later, one of these people will want to have a different kind of conversation with you, because they have a position in mind for you.

(You can access my Twitter posts through the button in the top menu, above. In addition, after hitting the Facebook button at the top, if you “Like” my page, you will get my “Wall” posts on your Facebook news-feed.  I have been posting on Facebook first.  Then, after getting feedback, I usually revise and expand the post and post in on this blog.)

This entry was posted on Monday, November 19th, 2012 at 10:41 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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