How to Network Your Way Into a New Job

70572-20140129Late last week, I was talking to two different clients who have trans-continental job searches underway.

As usual, we were talking about how networking can make or break a job search, and particularly how important networking is to job searching in this economy.

Both of them are about to take off for research trips to another part of the country to further their job searches. In advance of their trips, I decided to share with both of them my secret method to networking your way into a new job.

What is it? It’s something I rarely share outside of private coaching sessions, but I’ve decided to share it with you today.

It’s something I call the Spiderweb Approach.

Picture this: you are an elegant spider, multi-talented and multi-tasking, with multiple legs to spin your job hunting web. Your ultimate goal is to pull in your prey, namely a job you adore, as quickly as possible.

Within your immediate sphere, you already have a certain number of contacts who are very good resources for your job hunt. These include friends, colleagues, college and grad school connections, and sometimes family.

As you start your job hunt, you’ll want to rope these folks into your job search web first. Consider these people the inner most circle, if you will, of the web you will spin to land your next job.

But that’s just the beginning. Those folks in your first layer, being the good networking contacts that they are, know others who might be able to help.

Work this first layer properly, and you’ll be introduced to another layer of potential contacts to help with your job hunt: the contacts of your contacts. These folks become the second circle of your job searching web.

As a part of your job hunt, you’ll repeat this process many times over, building your web, circle upon ever-growing circle. And at certain points, you might grow a bit tired, and you’ll head home to the center of your web to take a break.

Once you’ve rested, however, it’s time to check in and see if you’ve got any job prospects that have landed in your web of contacts. How do you do that?

You revisit those in each of your circles, checking back in with them to see if they’ve heard of any new contacts or job opportunities, and strengthening your connections as you go.

By using this method, countless clients of mine have landed jobs they adore.

So why is the Spiderweb Approach so important?

When you’re embarking on a job search, your network is your most important resource.

Everyone you know (save perhaps the people you work with in your current job, and even then you might want to reach out to a few of them) needs to know that you are looking.

And once they know you’re looking, you want their contacts to know you’re looking.

Successful job hunting depends on the numbers: the more people you have in your network, the more likely you are to find a job you love.  (Tweet this!)

So what are the practical steps to doing this effectively? It’s really rather simple.

Ask those you know who would constitute your first layer to meet you for coffee or a drink to catch up. Once there, ask about how they’re doing, their job trajectories, and their lives in general. Be genuinely interested– these folks usually have something to offer not just in terms of networking but also experience.

When the moment is right, mention that you are looking for a new job. Ask each of those contacts whether they know of any openings for which you might be a fit, and also whether they know of anyone who might be able to help you.

Be grateful, send a thank you note the next day, and make sure to follow up to get the contact information for anyone they mention.

Next, reach out to all those to whom you were referred by people in your first layer, and follow the same approach. Hence, your second layer, which then provides you with your third layer. And so on.

Of course, you also want to circle back periodically to your inner circle to find out if there’s any new job opportunities or new contacts who might be able to help. I recommend that my clients check in with their inner circle of contacts a minimum of once every three months while hunting for a new job.

You should also continually add to your web by attending networking events where movers and shakers in your industry are present, and adding those individuals to your web as well.

By creating a bigger and bigger web of contacts, and continually revisiting and working your web to increase its size and strength, it will only be a matter of time until that tasty treat of a new job lands somewhere inside your web.

Best of luck spinning, and let me know how it goes.

And of course, comment below to let me know your takeaways from this method!

Wishing you a wild, web-filled week.

XOXO E

PS.  Keep your eyes peeled for a VERY BIG ANNOUNCEMENT from me in the next few days.  If you’re not already following me on Facebook or Twitter, be sure to hook up with me to be in the know.  This is something you’re not going to want to miss.

 

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