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  • Writer's pictureBetsy Kent

STOP WAITING FOR YOUR NETWORKING TO WORK



You network. You reach out to all your friends, family, former colleagues and college friends. Heck, you even tried your old camp friends and that weird cousin who lives halfway across the country.


Everyone says they would love to help you, but … NOTHING HAPPENS.


Some say they will let you know if they hear of anything, but … NOTHING HAPPENS.


One or two say they will connect you with HR, but … NOTHING HAPPENS.


You wait and wait and wait and still … NOTHING HAPPENS.


It doesn’t have to be this way!


There is nothing wrong with your network.


You just forgot to help them help you.


You probably told them that you are looking for a role as a Digital Marketer, for example, and maybe you mentioned the industry you would prefer. After all, you didn’t want to be too specific and miss out on anyone or anything they might know about.


But, stay with me here for a moment. Think about it. If I asked you to send me a picture of a jacket you think I would like and look good in, you would probably easily agree to help. But, how would you know what would actually be good? Where would you start?


By not giving you more details about what I am looking for, I made it almost impossible for you to get me what I really want. I put you in the position of possibly spending a lot of time and effort sending me pictures of jackets that don’t even appeal to me, let alone that might look good on me.


You would be wasting your time and so, understandably, you don’t do anything. Or maybe you send me one or two random pictures of jackets believing you have done all you can do.


But, what if, instead, I had said, “when you are in Macy’s or Bloomingdales, if you go to the winter coats and see a blue, mid length, jacket in size medium by the company Save the Duck, would you please send me a picture of that”? (Full transparency, I love my navy Save the Duck winter coat!)


Then you would know exactly how to help me, and it would be easy for you. In fact, if you saw a jacket that was substantially like the one I described, or if you saw it in a different store, you might send me a picture of that too.


You need to help your network help you by giving them a road map of how to help you.


Here’s how you can get started:


  • List 10-15 companies you would like to work for

  • List 10 people that work in each company that you would like to be introduced to

  • Give your connections both lists and ask if they:

    • Know any of the people on the list, or if not

    • If they know anyone else at those companies, and/or

    • If they know of anyone who knows those or other people at those companies

    • If they know of any similar companies/people

  • Ask them to connect you to them.

  • TIPS to avoid more waiting:

    • ask for the contact info of the person and offer to reach out yourself using your connection’s name in the subject line, so you don’t have to wait for them to connect you, or remind them to do it.

    • give your connection a written bio and what you are looking for so that they don’t have to spend time figuring out what to say in an intro

  • EXTRA POINTS:

    • Do the research for your connection and let them know/remind them about how they might know someone on your list. Did they work at the same company in the past, go to the same college, come from the same field? Are they already connected to them on Linkedin?

  • RINSE AND REPEAT with anyone you add to your network.


How else can you be more proactive in motivating your network to help you in a meaningful way? How can you make it as easy as possible for them?


This isn’t brain science, it's just common sense. You’ve got this!


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