We all know the awesome power of networking in sourcing and finding jobs. It’s the gateway to the hidden job market and gives you the opportunity to possibly design your dream career. However, what if you are an introvert who feels uncomfortable networking? Or even worse, you’re terrified about the prospect of involving people you do not know in your job hunt.
Here are five ideas that should stop you from holding back and assist you in using networking as an important tool in your job hunting toolbox:
Admit your networking fears
Accept your fears for what they are. It’s not because you’re a bad person or some horrible thing will happen to you if you reach out to strangers. Tell yourself that it’s normal to fear something just as another emotion may feel great. Don’t judge yourself or pretend that the fear doesn’t exist. Just as you don’t give yourself a hard time for feeling great why beat yourself up for having fears over this activity?
Discover what is causing your networking problem
Ask yourself what specifically is causing the problem? Drill down to break your concerns down into small bit sized pieces.
If for example, you have a problem introducing yourself develop a role-playing model and practice doing it right until it’s no longer a problem. Do this with each piece of the problem until you reach an acceptable level of comfort. With experience, your networking will become easier.
Lose your fears
You now have a choice to make. Either the fears control you or you banish them so they no longer have control over you. If necessary get help, get the problem out into the open. What is the worst thing that can happen? The light of day will go a long way in making the networking fears a distant memory.
Build your networking career plan
Develop a networking plan to assist you in your job hunting. Take it one small step at a time. Need help in telephone inquiries? Practice until it becomes more natural.
Reluctant to meet new people? Work up to it slowly and practice how you will be learning something new from each contact. Doing an informational interview? Write out possible questions and again practice your approach. Your networking career change plan will have two main components: (1) Each skill or exercise, and (2) How often-daily, weekly you will engage in each networking activity. Keep good records of your progress.
Celebrate each step in your networking career plan
As you build your network of others helping you in your career change celebrate each step in your plan. If you plan on having lunch twice a week building up relationships with your network and you accomplish that planned task-do something special on Saturday. If you plan on finding 12 people working in you planned career and asking for a 10-15 minute informational interview, when completed; celebrate.
When you find five former classmates and co-workers and ask for their help; celebrate. If you go to a networking event and your plan is to find five people with similar interests and you call each of them; celebrate. If your plan is to work on a committee associated with your planned career and you make it happen; celebrate. The secret is to build on each success. Contact those you know and work outward. Whenever possible help others and always ask for referrals.
Prepare a powerful resume and business card
When you are looking for job, your resume is your most powerful weapon to score that dream job of yours. Most people think that writing resume is an easy job. However, more often than not, they are wrong. They end up submitting a messy and unimpressive resume which is quickly thrown into the “rejected” tray. When it comes to networking, a unique business card is also important. Standard, boring business card will only end up in the trash bin.
Don’t let your resume and business card get treated like that! At Style Resumes, we know what we’re doing. We’ve helped thousands of job seekers get their dream job by giving them an impressive resume and cover letter that made employers feel in love with them. We are also well-versed in creating business cards that stand out. Get in touch with us and let’s craft that perfect resume!