You never know who knows who.
Bill, an unemployed sales manager, took his car for maintenance. While waiting, he and the service manager struck up a conversation. The service manager asked, “What do you do, Bill?” Bill shared that he was unemployed and looking for a job. “What kind of job?” asked the service manager. Bill replied, “I’m looking for a sales manager position, ideally in the chemical industry.” The service manager said, “Oh, one of my customers is in that business. Let me introduce you.” Four weeks later, Bill had a new job.
Don’t be shy. Most people like to help. And you will find opportunities to help them as well. Every day you can be prayerful, intentional, and alert to connect with everybody everywhere.
Pray and Prepare
Twenty years ago, my recruiting business and personal life changed when I read this verse…
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works,
which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
Ephesians 2:10 NASB
I already understood God had made me, and I hoped that I was doing good work for Him. What revolutionized my thinking was that…
- I was created in Christ Jesus for good works.
- God prepared His good works for me to walk in them.
- I should be praying for God to show me how to walk one step at a time.
Today I am still praying, walking, learning, and sharing. To prepare yourself for networking, I recommend two resources based on 7 steps to find your calling, career, and job.
- Our free online resources at CrossroadsCareer.org
- Our Crossroads Career Workbook, “You Are Created for Good Works”
Let me highlight each of the 7 steps related to networking. Steps 1-4 prepare you for Step 5 networking and building relationships. Steps 6-7 flow from your networking.
- Upward – How to hear and follow God’s calling.
- Attitude – How to reach forward with positivity.
- Aptitude – Know what you offer: Experiences, abilities, personality, interests, values.
- Altitude – Know what you seek: Types of jobs, employers, income, location, culture.
- Searching – How to network and build relationships online and in person.
- Sorting – How to wow interviewers, take tests, prepare references, talk about money.
- Selecting – How to get, make, and evaluate offers. Get a great start in a new job.
Contact at Least 200 People
Are you thinking, “Impossible?” I hope that by trying the tips and tools in this article, you will discover that all things are “Him-Possible!” So work hard and do not give up.
When I was in the executive search business, I learned that most assignments took over 100 working hours to make 200-500 connections to recruit the right person. I believe the same hard work is true for a candidate who gets hired for the right job with the right employer.
“Contact” or “connect with” someone means you and another person actually exchange personal messages by phone, email, online or in-person. You might send 1,000 emails or online messages, but none of that matters unless an individual personally replies to you.
Now you might be discouraged, right? But wait – let’s do the math. Think about all the people who you know who know you.
Start with family members: husband or wife, parents and grandparents, children and grandchildren, brothers and sisters, uncles and aunts, nieces, nephews, and cousins. Oh, and don’t forget the in-laws. In my family, I quit counting at 30 members.
How about friends? Start with current and past workmates, employees, customers, and vendors. What about schoolmates from high school through college? Maybe you were in the military and remain in touch with team members. Think of friends from past and present churches, neighborhoods, and community activities. You might have to do a little digging to find and reconnect, but I believe you can easily get to 100 people.
Now for the BIG opportunity to reach 200 or more! Connect with people who do not know you, nor do you personally know them, yet. If you use social media accounts like LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, you may have connections with people you do not know but with whom you can connect.
Because of my work and ministry activities, I use LinkedIn to connect with more than 6,000 people, most of whom I do not know. The great thing about LinkedIn is that not only can new connections can find my profile, but I can network to find others by occupation, employer, location, and more. Check out how to build your own profile.
Now, it is time for you to start contacting people. If you are unemployed, connect with 10 new people a day. If employed, 10 a week. If you are not job searching, connect with a minimum of 1 person per week to build your career and prepare for future job search. Concentrate your focus, one at a time, on location, occupation, industry, and employer.
Brian has been writing, speaking and connecting people to Christ in the workplace for 45 years. He is Co-Founder of Crossroads Career Services, former Chick-fil-A restaurants VP for Human Resources and Administration, and Owner of Primus Consulting executive search. He has authored Christian resources including Mastery of Leadership, Real Success at Work, and New Job Jump Start. Brian and his wife Kristy live in the Charlotte, NC area.