Networking: Get The Conversations Started


Network they say; meet some people, reach out and start a conversation.

What would I talk about? How would I begin? Why would they want to talk with me? Who would I start with? How do I network? Where do I go to meet the people I should be talking to? When is the best time to get networking?

Whoa hold on a second! Good questions! In fact these are the typical questions many people ask when the subject of networking comes up. The word networking has been around for some time but even longer is the activity itself. People have done it for thousands of years – maybe you yourself – without even knowing you were. So it’s peculiar in a way that when someone says, “You should network more”, a lot of people roll their eyes, sigh the big sigh and then say they don’t really know how to network. It’s like upon hearing the word, ‘network’, they focus on the last syllable only; ‘work’.  And don’t we all just love that!

If networking is all about having conversations with people you share some common interests with, then you’d think this should be relatively easy. If for example you’re a model train enthusiast and there’s a model show coming to your community, you could plan on attending and strike up some conversations with others in attendance with your common love of trains as the subject. That doesn’t sound too difficult. They might share information you don’t know, introduce you to some new product line or better yet, introduce you to another person with whom you could start a conversation with, and voilà, your network has grown by one.

It’s important to understand that networking isn’t only about what you could get out of a conversation. True networking is also what you can add to the other person’s knowledge. In other words, while it may be obvious what you could get from the person, what have you got to offer in return? What’s in it for them to have a chat with you?

This is where many people fail to network effectively and for two reasons: 1) they don’t know what they have to offer and 2) they may not be good at what we refer to as schmoozing. Schmoozing? You know, chit-chat, hobnobbing, chatting, conversing, making small talk. Just the thought of it can give some folks anxiety and force a retreat.

Hold on though. Remember in that model train show scenario? There’s your common interest. You’ve got a ready-made topic of conversation and it’s a safe bet that striking up a talk with someone about trains will get the conversation going. You don’t need – nor should you – plan the entire conversation out ahead of time. The other person will add their own thoughts to the talk and it may go in a direction other than what you had planned ahead of time based on their interests too.

What’s good to have ahead of time is a goal for your talk. Are you wondering how you might get involved as an Exhibitor the next time the show chugs into town, are you after a hard to find caboose, looking for a job as an Event Organizer etc. Sometimes you can just come right out and be direct, get your answer and move on. Other times, you’d be better to start the dialogue, set up a relationship first, and then proceed to see if there is anything you can give to the other enthusiast. Maybe you know someone with a large collection of trains who came about theirs through an inheritance, and they want to unload them.

Once you’ve established a conversation, you will likely feel much more comfortable getting around to what you’re really after. By delaying your real motive until you’ve talked a bit, you may be surprised to find that the other person is more receptive to helping you out than they would have had you just walked up and said, “I’m looking for a job as an Event Organizer. Hiring?” Far too direct, too much all about you and your needs and there’s no real reason for the other person to feel in any way connected to you to help you out.

When it comes to moving ahead with your job search, career advancement, employment exploration and your career journey the advice is the same. It might not seem initially very productive, but having conversations with a variety of people is an excellent way to go about this process. When introducing yourself, look for the common point of interest. Check out their online profile if you don’t know them, look for causes they care about, positions they’ve held, companies they’ve worked for. Your looking for an opening; one thing you could use to get the conversation going.

When a conversation starts it may not always move the way you anticipated. There may be times you get nowhere or you could hit the jackpot and start a long-term relationship built on your opening remarks that makes a good impression on the other person. More often than not, you won’t be best friends, but you could very well help each other out, give and take information and find your relationship becomes mutually beneficial.

Don’t start your conversation with, “Hiring?” This is only about you; you’re direct but offer no reason for them to help you out. Maybe, “I see we both have a passion for trains.”

 

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LinkedIn Notifications


When I open LinkedIn I can see right away that there’s some notifications waiting for me to open. The more connections you have, the more likely you are to have a number of these, and so with quite a few connections, these notifications come daily.

As I move to click on the small red dot on the notifications image (in this case what reminds me of a school bell), I wonder less and less what the notification will actually turn out to be. This is because more often than not, the notifications are to either wish one of my connections a happy birthday or to congratulate them on a work anniversary or perhaps starting a new job.

Now I’m not under any obligation to actually do anything with those notifications. I can ignore them and choose to move on with whatever else I want to do, or I can click and up comes a standard message I can send as is or edit. Typically the standard message is, “Happy Birthday”, “Congratulations on the new job” or “Congratulations on your anniversary”. With a second click I can send the message as is or as I say edit the message by sending an additional thought of my own.

Now me, I always choose to acknowledge the event connected with my connections. I know however that this is not a practice shared by others, and I’m actually not going to suggest or advise you as a reader of this article one way or the other. I’m going to share with you why I personally do think this is a practice I will continue to engage in however. I would think the only reason I’d stop to do this would be if a number of my connections contacted me and requested I stop. It would seem to me however that this practice must be working for the majority of LinkedIn users or LinkedIn itself would disable this functionality and stop promoting the practice of acknowledging events going on with ones’ connections.

One thing I have to say is that like so many other users of this social media platform, I have contacts I know intimately, others I know well, some I know moderately and some I’ve accepted as connections whom never really entered into dialogue with beyond initiating or accepting a connection. My response to these people will vary when I see a notification. To the extent I know the person and/or the actual time I have on my hands at a given moment dictates what I choose to do. Not much time and I send the standard LinkedIn proposed message; more time and I add a personal note of my own.

The real question of course is why. Why do this at all? Of what value is there in sending any acknowledgement? Well to me, I believe it’s one small way of maintaining a relationship with the person. Take the person I know well but not intimately. Maybe I’ve exchanged some messages back and forth over the years, provided some feedback on something they’ve said or they’ve commented on a blog of mine. Acknowledging their birthday costs me nothing but 4 seconds and aren’t they worth that? I think they are.

Should my contact change jobs I’d also want to know about this and I wouldn’t expect they’d individually notify all their connections about the change. This service provided by LinkedIn is a quick way to get the news out and new jobs are always cause for celebration. I think most people enjoy being congratulated and so I do so.

What of the person then that I don’t know all that well but who is nonetheless a connection of mine? I still take those few seconds to click on the, “Say happy birthday” message. Here I might opt to just send the standard greeting. Again, it requires so little effort I can’t help but think if I really value the connection why wouldn’t I give them 4 seconds of my time?

You might wonder why I’d even have a connection that I don’t really know that well or whom I don’t exchange much conversation with. Perhaps for you this is a bigger question. Well, yes there are people who just go about collecting connections at random and think it’s a race to have the highest number possible. I’m not one of those. I do think that in addition to building a network of people in my field, there is value in knowing people in other lines of work; connections where the benefits are not immediately obvious. I’m laying the groundwork for the future, and if they initiate a request with me, perhaps they are looking to benefit from me as a connection. So it’s not always what I can leverage from someone but more often than not what I might do for them.

Clicking on that ‘Congratulate so-and-so on their work anniversary’ is also important I think just because it’s nice to do. There’s no strings attached to sending the congratulatory message, I’m not asking for anything. It does from time-to-time result in a few messages back and forth; a check-in if you will and my relationship with that person gets some attention and nurturing.

So there’s some of my argument for the LinkedIn Notifications feature and it’s value. Sometimes it’s all the little things that cumulatively make a difference.

Networking: The Payoff Of Persistence


Whether you’re looking for employment or successfully employed, you’ve undoubtedly heard and know the value of networking. That being said, it is surprising that many people don’t do it well themselves; often not truly networking with others until necessity demands it. Like many things, necessity might  at that point force you to do it, but without the practice, you’re unlikely to be at your best.

So what exactly is networking and how do you both get started and do it well? Networking is having conversations with people where information is exchanged and relationships established and nurtured. It is often associated with advancing one’s own career but this latter part need not be part of some formal definition. Many people network for the purpose of solely learning more about the best practices in their field, or mentoring others without thinking to spin these into self promotions and advancement.

Today I’ve got a meeting set up for noon with one of my LinkedIn connections. This is a face-to-face meeting which could be a one-time only event. It has come about because she initiated contact, indicated she was relatively new to the area and has not had the success she’d hoped for in finding employment so far. Her request for either a meeting or a suggestion of someone else to contact in her field that might assist her is how she started. She’s taken initiative, reached out, and only time will tell if she’s satisfied or not with the outcome. It is however how networking begins.

Networking however has its payoffs. It can be so much more than a conversation. Last night I met with another person who reached out also via LinkedIn initially. This was our second face-to-face meeting. This time we talked about progress she was making, where she was in terms of her career thought process, looked at ways to strengthen her resume when applying and she shared a little of what transpired with others she was meeting with. During this second conversation, I also got some valuable feedback on some ideas I’m considering for the future and she took a real interest in my journey too. It was the best of networking; each person getting and giving for the benefit of both of us.

What is transpiring in the meeting above is a mutual investment in this relationship, rather than a one-way, “it’s all about me because I’m the one without a job” mentality. When both people feel they are benefitting from a conversation, each is invested to a higher degree.

Now the payoff of networking. This time I share with you the success story of a woman with whom I had the distinct pleasure of assisting in her search for meaningful employment. She initiated a dialogue back in January of this year with a gentleman she’s known for almost 15 years, but this time she reached out specifically with employment in mind. That initial networking conversation led to multiple conversations, even an invitation to attend a networking event together as his guest. Just yesterday she got in contact with me to say he himself has hired her on to work with him in his own business.

The experiences of these three women all demonstrate the value of taking the initiative to reach out and network. While much has changed in how we go about finding employment over the years, who you know is still a major key factor in being successful. How do you get to know people if you fail to reach out to anyone you don’t currently know?

Social media platforms such as LinkedIn are great for developing connections, but it still amazes me how many people decline invitations to connect with people they don’t know. Sure there are people who are just clicking away connecting with people for the sole purpose of increasing their numbers. That’s not networking however; that’s a popularity exercise. Connecting with famous people is also not truly networking. You’re unlikely to have an actual conversation with them, but you’ll get their thoughts in a one-way broadcast and you’ll get their name among your contacts if that holds meaning for you.

Here’s some ideas for you to consider acting upon; and let me make it clear that ‘acting upon’ should be your goal. For starters, initiate connection requests to the following people: those who work where you might like to also work or those who work in the same line of work you’re pursuing. You may come across people with profiles that peak your interest and spark some genuine curiosity or affinity with whom you’d like to know better. What might they share with you that would help you find passion yourself in what you do? What might they tell you that would help you get where they are or give you insights into the company or field you’re wanting to join?

Once connected with these people, do more than just count them as a connection. Reach out with an email or message and thank them for agreeing to be a connection. Tell them what attracted them to you and ask if there is the possibility of either meeting face-to-face, having a phone conversation or an online chat.

Be prepared for those that will say yes and those who will decline. Have some questions ready and be prepared to give as well as get. Make it worthwhile for both you and them.

Work your network.

On A Career Journey? Learn From Tracey


On March 1 I received a message via LinkedIn from a woman who had read one of my blog posts and was touched by it enough that she reached out to me and asked if I’d be willing to meet with her face-to-face to hear first-hand about my career path. On her own career journey, she respectfully asked for 20 minutes of my time over a coffee, and even then said if not, she’d understand and wished me well in my passionate endeavors.

First thing I did was look up her profile on LinkedIn and read up on who this person was and what she’d done to date. We exchanged a couple of messages and the short of it is that we agreed to meet last evening in a public café. I mean here was someone doing exactly what I and many others so often suggest doing; reach out and network, ask for 20 minutes and see what you can learn. I was impressed.

So last evening we met at our agreed time and after introducing ourselves, Tracey made good on her offer of buying me a tea. In exchange for that small investment and the cost of the gas to get to and from the meeting, what she got was more than 20 minutes. We sat there and had a great conversation for…are you ready?…..3 hours. Yep, 3 hours.

When did you last meet someone for the first time and not only found yourself happily immersed in talking but found this interest reciprocated for so long? This was special. The conversation had a nice flow back and forth, both of us sharing experiences, and how those experiences have us where we are in the present. There was something in that post of mine that prompted Tracey to feel she could benefit from meeting; perhaps gaining some insight into what she herself might do with her own career moving forward.

So I shared my working philosophy, the significant characteristics I believe are essential in this line of work, the benefits I derive, what I actually do and what I learn in return. As I spoke I observed Tracey and noted many positive qualities which we’d all do well to replicate in similar situations should we initiate such meetings ourselves.

She listened attentively, made excellent eye contact, smiled, commented on what she heard,  added her own experiences to the conversation so it was a two-way exchange. She was well dressed, came prepared with some written questions and had a pen and paper at hand. Now ironically, the questions she’d prepared didn’t play much of a part in the meeting, as our conversation went back and forth at a comfortable pace and apparently satisfied her questions.

I was interested to hear that in addition to myself, she was meeting with others too; people she had been referred to by others. She said it this meeting was the first time she’d reached out on her own to someone she didn’t know, and we laughed a bit at that. It’s prudent to be cautious when doing so of course, but we were meeting in a public space and sometimes that courage provides new perspectives; hearing from others actually doing the kind of work you might be considering yourself.

I found it interesting that she’d spent 4 years teaching abroad, has recently invested in upgrading her education in Social Sciences and has experience working as a Researcher. More significant to me was hearing her speak about her own love for helping others, having a need for innovation and creativity and how much she enjoys interacting one-to-one. Like attracts like, and so being innovative myself, connecting with others one-on-one, loving helping others and being creative I envisioned her as a professional colleague in the same line of work. Having just met, I don’t know her inside and out, but still, I started to read her and see if she had what it would take to be in this field and succeed. No question about it.

What struck me was her dilemma. What to do? Look for work in the field she just upgraded her education in or possibly pursue a career in something else. Now as I said to her, if her heart was in the work she’d just went to school for, she likely wouldn’t be sitting in a café having a conversation like the one we were having; she’d be enthusiastically out there applying for jobs. Yet here she was. That is a most telling reality; seems to me she’s looking for some work to do with passion herself; helping others in some capacity and looking to feel fulfilled. That apparently hasn’t manifested itself where she is right now.

In the end, it will be Tracey who makes up her mind as to where she goes from here and what she does next in her career journey. She’s an intelligent woman gathering information and others perspectives, and I’m very interested myself to stay in touch and hear what transpires. I’ve made myself available in any way that she might find helpful too, be it further conversations in-person or otherwise.

Now as for you and me, this is yet another example where connecting via social media is a good start, but leveraging these connections into actual conversations and truly networking is what we could do more of. 3 hours you might not get I acknowledge, but asking for 20 minutes…priceless. Happy networking!

 

Computer Time Is Only 1 Part


Looking for a job again today? How are you going about it? With basic computer skills being in such demand in order to even apply for positions, too many are spending way too much time on their computers; neglecting to give time and energy to other activities. So in order to inform or remind you what a well-rounded and multi-pronged approach is to an effective job search, let’s look at some of the things you should be paying attention to.

Self-assessment. Know you’re strength and weaknesses, your preferred style of leadership and supervision. Understand how you learn best be it receiving instructions, observation or doing. Be able to articulate your problem-solving approach, your preference for working independently or with others and know what your work values entail. Do not overlook this critical step or you will find yourself in jobs that lack fulfillment; you’ll be far happier in an environment that fits your personal preferences.

References. Getting the names of a few people who can attest to your good work is only a small part of the attention you should be giving to your references. You’d do well to make sure each of these people receives a copy of your updated resume; that they understand clearly the kind of positions you are pursuing and the skills and experience which qualify you. You should make a point of thanking them regularly, bringing to their attention employers who are likely to call them and when doing so providing a brief description of those organizations and the specifics of what the job would entail. They’ll represent you far better this way.

Marketing. Consider yourself as a product which you as a Salesperson would pitch to a potential buyer. You have to be able to get past this notion that you are bragging when you are in fact really just accentuating your real value. Know your features and the benefits of your features. Don’t just say you have 6 year’s experience; extol the benefits of that experience! How will adding yourself to the company benefit them?

Attitude. The most qualified candidate is often passed over because of this one intangible. “Your qualifications were impressive by far, but we just went with someone we feel will be a better fit.” If you hear something like this, it could be that while your experience and skills were exactly what they want, your overall attitude left them questioning your attitude and your ability to mesh with others. So be honest with yourself or get others honest opinions; how are you coming across?

Interview Skills. Ah the big one. Spend all the time on the computer you want but eventually you’re going to have to ditch it and sit down face-to-face with someone or some people and converse. Way too many people admit they have weak interview skills and do absolutely nothing to improve on them, citing their dislike of interviewing as the reason! The only way to improve is with practice, listening to objective feedback and then acting on that feedback.

Health. Job searching requires mental and physical stamina. Do not ignore the importance of eating properly, getting some moderate exercise, finding some laughter in your day, setting aside some time to do other things you find pleasure in. Stressed? That’s not surprising or abnormal. But left without some intervention, stress can grow and dominate your days and nights. Pay attention to your health. Alcohol and drugs don’t remove problems; they only mask them and compound them.

Phoning. The phone is just one more tool in your job search strategy. For some reason many young people in particular are excellent when texting or messaging but dread making personal calls at all costs. Too bad buttercup. Ignore the phone and you give an advantage away to your competition who don’t like it anymore than you do but who nonetheless pick it up and make some phone calls. Ironically, when all your documents are spread before you during a call, you have an incredible advantage in being able to have everything nearby that will bolster your ability to speak intelligently about yourself.

Walk The Beat. While many applications have to be submitted online, there is a huge advantage in walking into an employer’s space, observing staff interactions, introducing yourself to anyone assigned to greet visitors or customers, and taking in the atmosphere of the place. You might even do such a good job making that first impression that your forthcoming application gets anticipated and pulled for an interview based on that connection and initiative you showed by walking in.

Upgrade Yourself. Very important point here. While you are unemployed, what are you doing to keep yourself competitively educated in your field? Take a night school class or some online learning. Volunteer your services one day a week, proactively initiate contact with those in the field (networking) and find out what’s trending. Don’t let things slip by ignoring your own personal development. It may not seem overly important at the time, but you’ll pay dearly for failing to invest in yourself.

Those with limited computer expertise will no doubt rejoice that here is an Employment Counsellor who thinks like them. Well, that’s not entirely true either. If you lack moderate keyboarding speed and accuracy you should practice. Know how to navigate the internet, complete online applications and target your own resume.

Whatever you find hard to do job search-wise, yeah that’s probably exactly what you need to do more of.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Addressing A Depleted Network


The wonderful thing about communicating with others through writing is the feedback one receives. Without that feedback, true communication isn’t really occurring; you’re just broadcasting. So with that in mind, I am of a mind today to share with you an issue raised by one of my networking connections who had a topic suggestion for me.

James Moodie – and feel free to look him up on LinkedIn and extend a connection request – got in touch with me and raised an issue around the subject of professional networking. Understanding and believing in the value of networking, he wondered about how to combat the reality that over time, many of a persons networking connections may for a variety of reasons may diminish. Some people move without forwarding contact information, some retire, company’s shut down and start-up under other names, etc. And of course, many people don’t bother to nurture networking connections when they are employed simply because they don’t utilize those connections and it’s only when unemployed they find them lacking.

First and foremost, don’t let your networking contacts drop in importance. Send the odd message to people, tell them how much you appreciate them, ask them a question periodically, check up on their professional development, offer them a hand in any way you might deem appropriate. Most people are turned off if you only approach your network when you need their help and look desperate. I can speak from experience where I’ve had people connect with me, ask for my advice and help getting through some issue, and then once the help is extended, they disappear never to be heard from until the next crisis. Well, it is what it is.

Okay so to re-establishing connections and expanding your network. Let’s have a look at LinkedIn for starters. Rather than just arbitrarily clicking on the first 500 names that pop up as connection suggestions, go about extending requests strategically.

Take James for example. Visit his profile and you’ll read in his summary the following: “As a problem solver for your business, I use my years of experience to find both conventional and unconventional solutions to business, processes, systems and data issues by applying critical thinking, common sense and most importantly, by listening to the input from team members.” The man himself works with integrity and has professional experience the Health Care, Financial, Education and Insurance sectors.

Using the above information, you can see what James might have to offer you and/or your organization; what value he’d add, and one of the key personal attributes he’d bring to the process; integrity. Networking works both ways; what you can do for others and what they can do for you. It’s about all the conversations that go on beyond the initial reason for the communication you get into.

Start with why you want to connect with people in the first place. This is exactly why people never get started ironically; they don’t know why connecting is important. So perhaps James in our example wants to expand his client base, attract new business, contract his services out to an employer etc. Fair enough. Now who to reach out to. Well, he resides specifically in Pickering Ontario, so if he’s going to reach on in person to businesses, connections within 150 km’s might be his geographical limit. Folks beyond that radius can still be extremely valuable; the world has shrunk considerably and if he works remotely, there are no limitations.

Once you’ve added the people you know personally, get involved in following the companies that you typically would like to work with. Track down the top brass or the people at the level that you’re interested in getting to know. Send them a request to connect and take a moment to add a little something to that plain connection request that comes up; make it personal.

Once people accept your request, send them another message thanking them for that, extend your services to them, let them know why you targeted them in the first place.

Recall James expertise in 4 employment sectors. Stands to reason that he’d want to assess if moving forward he wants to work with all of 4 or specialize in 1 or 2. Knowing what he can do for an organization, picking a few to look into each week, asking each person for ideas and suggestions of others to connect with that might have mutually beneficial outcomes is excellent advice.

Growing out your connections can also be accomplished when you embark on new experiences too. Take an evening photography course at a community college and you come into contact with people who may just have work needing to be done and will appreciate the good fortune of having you in their circle. Networking is more than just the here and now, it’s about future opportunities too. Frequent contact with your connections keeps you first and foremost in their mind when they need your expertise and assistance.

Carry your business cards with you everywhere you go and have them ready. Install an app like comcard and you’ll be able to snap a photo of others cards and it will organize that information on their cards in an easy to read electronic format.  Be friendly, gracious and attract people to you with your good work.

I’ve met James in person by the way. He initiated a face-to-face meeting with me after connecting online. He’s everything he says he is on his profile. Tell him Kelly sent you!

Job searching? Activate Your Network


Have you ever had someone ask you to keep your eyes and ears open for any employment opportunity they would be qualified for? If you have, how did you – or how are you – going about keeping them in mind as you go about your day? At this moment I have six such people in my circle who have made such a request to me, and more importantly six who I have made that commitment to.

Now I know that as I’m going about my day, I’m not solely responsible for finding any one of the six their next job or career move. I am just one of presumably several people who are keeping our collective ears and eyes open for these people. Well I hope I’m not the only one at any rate!

I think that’s the key actually; spreading the word among your contacts that you’re looking for opportunities and by alerting all your connections, you hope that you get one or more alerts regarding job opportunities you could apply to. By mobilizing such a group of people, you increase the odds of becoming aware of positions you might otherwise be ignorant of. That part of the process makes complete sense and is in the control of the job seeker.

However, as I say in the opening lines of this piece, how do you and I; the ones asked to keep the job seeker in mind, actually go about our days with them in mind so we don’t overlook them when we hear of an opportunity? I know for me personally, it’s always helpful to have in my hands a copy of the person’s updated resume. I want to check and see for myself what their education is, where they’ve worked and what they’ve accomplished. Having their resume within easy reach without having to request it later on can save me the time and trouble to request it, and can be the difference between getting the person notified before a deadline comes up or not.

So picture a folder with in my case, six resumes in it; one for each of the six people who have asked to keep them advised of any opportunities that come up. This folder is easily accessible for me and prevents me from mixing up the people with the employment goals of each.  Standing up thinly wedged between other documents on my desk, it should be relatively easy to locate and most importantly for those six people, a visual reminder so they don’t get forgotten.

Now while I’m very much a fan of technology, I think this is one instance where a physical file on a desk is preferable to an electronic file on a desktop screen. An icon or program that has to be accessed in order to remember the names of people and what it is they are looking for might have its advantages, but the physical 8 1/2 “ x 11” item on the top of the desk wins out for sheer attention-getting value. It’s hard to miss when you sit down and its right in front of you.

Now what’s really useful too is the briefest of notes, assigning a name with a job title. “Jim = Manufacturing Foreman, Omar = Caseworker, Jean = Office, Martin = Project Manager, Olivia = Marketing, Dante = Legal Assistant.” Having such a list makes for a simple and fast review and encourages me to keep these people in my thoughts as I go about my day.

But what of the people reaching out to me for help with their own job search? What responsibilities do they have once they take the step of requesting my aid? Is it enough that they ask for help and then sit back and wait for the help to come? I don’t think that’s enough personally.

First of all, anyone asking for help with their job search owes it to the people now looking on their behalf to inform their contacts that they have found employment in order for the helpers to stop looking. If for example I asked for your help in my job search and after two months of looking daily for jobs for me you contacted me with an opportunity, you’d probably feel that I used you only for my own gains if I said, “Oh it’s okay, I found a job a month ago.” I know if that were me on the receiving end, I’d think long and hard about keeping my eyes and ears open a second time for such a person.

One thing a job seeker also has to do is keep their contacts appraised of any changes in their direction. If you choose a different career, return to school, expand or restrict your job search, you owe it to those looking on your behalf to share that information. You may not have a job, but you do have the responsibility to keep your network advised of what’s going on with your job search so your connections can alter their behaviour accordingly.


Finally, you owe it to both yourself and your connections to build into your job search some networking time. Call up your contacts or fire off an email that extends some thanks and screams, “Don’t forget about me please.” You can send along any updated resume and a short note of thanks every so often will be greatly appreciated.