There are more ways to find a job than by simply searching online and sending in application after application. There’s a human element to the job search process that’s so often overlooked, yet is the most valuable. Networking, in various forms, is the best pathway to a new job. Let’s take a look at three ways to find your next job that don’t involve sitting in front of a computer.
Reach out to your network.
Your network is invaluable to your job search. You never know who might be able to connect you to your next opportunity. You can reach out to people for advice, to make connections for you, or to simply let them know that you’re job searching and you’d like them to keep you in mind if they hear of any opportunities. Having someone make a connection for you is always more powerful than simply applying to a job by sending in your application.
Be clear with what you’re asking when you approach people. Let them know exactly what it is that you’d like them to do. The more clearly defined your ask is, the more likely it is that you’ll get a positive response. Let them know what roles you’re interested in, specific people you’d like to connect with, and how you’d like them to connect you. Don’t be afraid to be forward and direct in your ask – it’s much more efficient and will help the other person understand what you need.
Attend networking events.
There are a few ways that you can use networking events to your advantage when you’re job searching. Try to attend a variety of events to get a feel for what type of event will be the most helpful to you. Events that have a speaker or a discussion session are often the best for making quality connections. The people attending are all there for the same reason, and as a bonus, you can talk about the speaker as an ice breaker, avoiding the awkward ‘so, what do you do?’ as an opening question. Large networking events can sometimes be overwhelming and harder to make connections at than smaller, more intimate events. On the flip side, the possibility to make more connections is greater, but quantity doesn’t necessarily mean quality.
Networking events can be especially valuable if you’re looking to change industries. You’ll be able to meet people who can give you some insight into what their jobs look like and start to build connections in that new field. If the event has a learning component, you’re getting double the value – both learning and networking.
Find meetups around your interests outside of work.
You don’t always have to rely on work focused events to do some networking. Let your hobbies and interests help you in your job search by finding meetups in your area. Doing things that you enjoy in a group setting makes networking even easier. It’s a lot less awkward to break the ice with someone new when you already know you have something in common.
Let these relationships grow organically. You don’t want to meet someone and immediately ask them if they can help you find a job. You need to make a connection first. Take the time to get to know them and introduce yourself. You can definitely mention that you’re job searching when they ask what you do, but leave it at that. It plants the seed but isn’t too forward.
It’s important to be patient, especially as these methods are built around cultivating relationships. Things often take longer than expected and don’t always happen in the timeframe you’d like them to. This is all part of the job search process, so take it in stride and keep pushing forward.