How to Network When You Have No Network

Phil writes:
I am simply having no luck in job-hunting. I know you say networking is important
but I have no network to speak of — and no idea of what to do about it. Why is
networking really so important — and how can I improve my network?

The Career Doctor responds:
Networking is an essential tool of job-hunting because of its potential.
Networking is all about growing and nurturing a group of contacts
including friends family former bosses and colleagues peers etc.
It’s these contacts who can then possibly be in a position to help
you when you are searching for your next job.
A common misconception is that networking is about asking people
you know for a job. But networking is more about asking people to
assist you in your job search by providing information or connecting
you with people in their network.
For example let’s say you really wanted to get a job with Brown &
Brown Inc. You could simply apply for a job there but you would
be just one of many unknown job-seekers to do so. But what if you
had a contact within the company who could recommend you to the
hiring manager? All of a sudden you go from an anonymous job-seeker
to top prospect.
But what if you don’t know anyone who works at Brown & Brown?
That’s where you ask the folks in your network to ask the people
in their network if they know anyone at the company.
I could list hundreds of job-seekers who I personally know found
their jobs through networking… it is simply that powerful.
And how do you build/improve your network? By meeting new people.
Certainly you should belong to at least one professional group but perhaps
there is another you could join. Community groups are another option
– especially if you are seeking a new job in the same location. Volunteering
is another great way to meet people — and also do something rewarding.
And of course there are a growing number of Web-based networking resources.
Get many more details about networking — including some great resources –
by going to this section of Quintessential Careers:
The Art of Networking.
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