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Submitted by: WISE NYC Metro member | 15+ years professional experience
If the best way to get a job is through connections and building relationships, what's the best way to utilize new relationships and introductions made by others without specifically asking for a job?
What a great question, and one most of us learned the awkward way — by asking for a job. Do not ask for a job!
First, take advantage of Bobbie LaPorte’s information-packed WISE Training webinar, Networking With Ease. As Bobbie recommends, be realistic (with regard to time and energy) and be positive — it is a process. Then commit to being in this for the long haul. Networking is like planting seeds; some come up right away while others will take some time. Another of my colleague reminds us, “networking is often not about you.”
Be prepared to:
- Tell about yourself.
- Offer helpful information.
- Show you can be counted on, whether it's following up or showing up to volunteer.
There is an unspoken assumption that once your new contact knows you are job searching, there will be opportunities to ask for an informational interview, to speak up if you learn of an opening for which you're qualified, or to ask for advice.
New relationships hopefully become old relationships and familiarity eases the ask. In the beginning, show your best self. Be visible and memorable. Be real. Built on that initial foundation, you will be ready for your time to shine when the right opportunity presents itself.
Job search and career development are ongoing, as is relationship building. Stay active!
About Lauren Gordon
Lauren Gordon, Career Counselor at Career Transition for Dancers, provides counseling, group programs, seminars and training. A psychotherapist, EAP consultant and career counselor in private practice in New York City, Lauren serves the arts, sports and other communities. She is on the program committee of Career Development Specialists Network and has written about career transition, including a chapter on athlete career transitions in "Applying Sport Psychology."
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