Experts say that more than 70% of people have found their existing job through networking—but others suggest the number is closer to 80%. What does that mean for you? It means that you should think about your personal and work contacts as an asset when you are in the market for a new job. Just as you would want to help your friends and contacts if they were looking for a job, give them the opportunity to return the favor!
Start by making a list of your various networks: social groups, relatives, previous jobs, church, people with whom you went to high school or attended a training class, and more. Who do you know? Where do they work? Is there any overlap with the employers or kinds of positions that you are pursuing? Maybe you have a friend that works at an #Amazon Warehouse or #Walmart, and you’ve heard good things about those companies and would like to learn more. Or maybe you are thinking of pursuing a new career path like medical billing and coding or becoming a Class A driver and know some people who have done the same; add them to your list.
Review your connections list and identify individuals who would be good contacts to call or email. While you want to avoid sending an impersonal mass email to everyone on your email contact list, it is entirely appropriate to reach out individually and let people know that you are looking for work and would love to speak with them to learn more about their current position or employer or, if you are considering a career change, to get some advice or recommendations.
While some people might not feel comfortable advertising their current work situation online or in person, know you are not alone--many people are facing unemployment right now. Further, having conversations about it can be a good way to find opportunities.
For instance, if a friend or neighbor knows that you happen to be looking for work in a particular area, if they hear of something, they will be likely to contact you if they see a relevant job posting or learn of a new opening at their own company.
Informational interviews are meetings—either online or in person—where you have the chance to learn a bit more about a potential employer, even if there isn’t a current opening at that time. You can request informational interviews by asking a friend to connect you with someone at their workplace or by reaching out through email to someone that may hold a job similar to what you might be looking for.
Informational interviews can help you learn more about a company or a career path and even inform you about opportunities that you hadn’t previously considered. You can gain tips and insider advice about applying for positions in the future, as well as establish valuable professional contacts that will expand your network going forward.
If you have a profile on Jobcase, you can leverage that to your advantage by posting in your profile description that you are currently looking for opportunities in a particular industry. Jobcase members are always helping other members.
As the old adage goes, “it takes a village,” and this applies to job searching too! If you let your networks know that you are looking for work, there will be a payoff, even if it isn’t immediate. The best part: by reestablishing connections within your network, you will have the opportunity to return the favor for someone else in the future.
Have you found work through a personal connection? Share your story in the comments below.