Your Job Search Is Not about You: Networking
career coaching for networking event

If this is true, who is your job search about?  Actually, this doesn’t mean you don’t manage your search. So how is it “not about you”?

What would career coaching reveal about networking techniques?

It might say your strategy should not just be a self-focused approach, it should lead to creating new relationships with your contacts. A “self-centered” style is unproductive – in time, energy and results. Remember the old saying, “The more you give, the more you get”? As my father used to say, “There’s a reason old sayings are around it’s because they’re true.” So how do you network if it’s not about you?

Imagine you’re meeting with a new networking contact. What is your primary goal? Simple. Get to know this person and build a new relationship. It’s understood by both of you that you’re looking for work. You’ve sent your resume prior to the meeting and you brought extras. You’re upbeat and happy to be there. You show interest in their company and appreciation them for the generosity. You learn by asking questions to give them time to talk about themselves. Your questions are professional with an added note of the personal. Questions like, “How well do you know [the person who introduced you}? “What is a typical day like for you?” “What helpful lessons have you learned in your career?” Make it about them. Create a comfortable conversation, and they’ll reciprocate with interest in you and your career.

Always ask for their guidance, suggestions, opinions, etc.  What do they feel could be helpful to your search? React to their feedback like every idea you hear is a fresh one. Never say you’ve heard that or tried something suggested. Always ask for introductions to useful contacts of theirs. By demonstrating your interest in them throughout, sharing their contacts is more probable. Allowing you to use their name with others. That’s a huge benefit to them. Mention that you’ll be following up to get their contacts’ information. After parting, within hours, send a personally written thank you card. Personal mail is a thoughtful and memorable touch.

Use this approach in any networking gathering. The more questions you ask of others and the more you can help them, the more favorable the impression you’ll make!

You’ll be surprised at how your new contacts will react! When people meet a helpful and generous person, they reciprocate.


Beth Kelzer

Follow Beth at LinkedIn?com/in/marybkelzer

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