You know you need to make a change. Work is not working anymore.
You have prayed, prepared and planned. Your resume is ready. You have your accountability partners in place, understand why you are on a job search, and learned how to articulate what you are good at.
It’s time to start networking.
If you are not currently in sales and perhaps even if you are, your stomach starts to roll and your mouth begins to water when you hear the word networking. Hold back the urge to vomit for just a few minutes. I want to dispel six myths about networking to find a job:
Myth 1: I don’t know the right people.
Truth: You know a lot more of the “right people” than you think you do.
Myth 2: The chances of me meeting someone who has a job available for me are so low, I shouldn’t waste my time networking.
Truth: The first part of the myth above actually is true, but the second is not. While very few people you know “have a job for you” that they personally are hiring for, many people you know have friends, relatives and acquaintances who DO “have a job” that may be a great fit for you.
Myth 3: No one is interested in taking the time to find a job for me. Everyone is too busy with their own stuff.
Truth: Networking is how a majority of jobs are landed. Most people genuinely want to help others.
Myth 4: I’m too shy.
Truth: It is much easier than you think to have this discussion, even with someone you don’t already know. The key is understanding what you are there to talk about. Asking for a job from a stranger would be awkward even for the most outgoing person. In my book Straighten The Path, I teach you how to have a conversation and learn what you should and should not be asking that is asking when networking.
Myth 5: Only salespeople network, and I’m not a salesperson.
Truth: Most successful people, in any vocation, spend time meeting and learning from people from all walks of life. It is a vital exercise both during and after a successful job search.
Myth 6: Networking has a negative connotation and doing it turns people off.
Truth: People are turned off when people they don’t know or barely know show up out of thin air to get a favor. The vast majority of people (even the ones you haven’t met yet) are more than willing to sit down and share their experience and insights with someone who is trying to learn from them.
More Truth on Pieces of Paper
When I was 13 years old, my grandparents gave me a Bible. In it “Papa Jack” had placed a scrap of paper, which I did not find until after his death. The note read…
“Words of Wisdom to Guide, and direct your Paths of Life.” He made special reference to Proverbs 3:5-6.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
A second piece of paper that haunted me for 15 years was a little larger than the first. It was a “Mission Card” exercise I completed in a small group on a church retreat. It read…
I will write a book
so that I can bring others like me and myself
closer to Christ
Oh, by the way, I was not a writer, but educationally and vocationally experienced as an engineer in the electrical energy business. Only God!
There is more to this true story, so let me invite you to get a copy of the book that took me 15 years to write: Straighten the Path A Unique Approach for Job Seekers. If you want to simplify the process of job hunting while seeking God’s will for your life and career, this is the book for you.
Thanks for the great tips!
Great information John, I would tell people to approach networking like making new friends what do you have to lose? You have so much to gain So go for it.