At Partnering Resources, we prefer to talk about networking as an ongoing activity, not just as something people do when they need a new job. But we do use our networks for job searching and, in this guest post by Irene Brank, we learn about three types of people that we meet while networking for a new job.
In today’s job market, we are all temporary employees, contractors if you will. It is vitally important that we keep active networks, but even more important to know “who they are” when you need them. As I’ve entered the world of job seekers after a beautiful career of over 25 years, I’ve learned some valuable lessons about the people I’ve acquired in my network over the years. My recent experience in searching for my next exciting, rewarding, and fulfilling career has shown me that my network falls into three categories of contacts.
These are the folks who are with you every step of the way. They reach out to you consistently. They are encouraging and uplifting. They remind you of your spirit, your contributions, and the value you add to an organization. They send you job leads, connect you with recruiters and business leaders. They offer ideas for your search. They take you to lunch. They let you cry on their shoulder. They are thinking of you often and make sure you know it.
These are folks who are more than willing to help, you just have to ask. They could be former colleagues, employees, or people you’ve worked with along the way. They could be people who have worked at the same company as you, even if you didn’t know them directly. They could be newly introduced by your “Cheerleaders”. These people are important in your network, because if “you just ask” they will refer you to a recruiter, a business leader, or help you make a connection. They are generally not thinking about you or your circumstances, but will jump to help in any way. They’ve likely been through a transition themselves.
(This is a term my teens would use, humor is in my anatomy.) These are folks who may actually care about you; I try to take the high road and assume they do. They are, however, fearful of whatever you experienced that has landed you in job seeker mode. Perhaps deep down they think if they get too close, bad things could happen to them too. I have found that they will occasionally “creep” on my Linkedin page (I hope they want to see that I’ve landed successfully – a positive outlook is also part of my anatomy) and will sometimes, albeit rarely, ask former colleagues how I’m doing or send along a “hello”. Asking this group of folks for help is difficult for me; it is the group that is most uncomfortable helping. Don’t get me wrong, in pursuit of the perfect role…I’m asking!
As a job seeker, it is vitally important to know the networking types that your contacts fall into. As leaders, colleagues, HR professionals, coaches, mentors, and friends; it is important to know who you are…and more important to know who you want to be.
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