Are you an introvert? Many technical people are introverts – and many struggle to network because it feels uncomfortable.
Do you remember when you were trying to get your first job? Remember the advice and maybe even a class on writing a resume? Did anyone teach you HOW to network?
When I was in college they taught me to write a resume – but they NEVER taught me how to network. What they did tell me about networking seemed to have limited success.
- advice – Go to professional meetings to meet people.
- result – Ended up standing around knowing few people or meeting people in the same situation I was in.
- advice – Tell everyone you know that you are looking for a job.
- result – Limited success. I did get to meet some people who were the hiring managers – but it seemed my own network was not enough to get me in the doors I needed to get into.
- advice – Use the college career fairs and career counselors.
- result – Again, limited success. Problem is I was limited to those companies looking for people like me. Instead I was looking for something else.
Playing the Game
After many years of “playing the game” in job searches and having many jobs I have made some other observations.
- There are more opportunities than you can chase. Most people are looking for just one, but so many people see none!
- People with a network have more opportunities. Let me state that again People with a network have more opportunities.
- People hire people – not resumes.
- Resumes are an after thought for many companies. My last few “jobs” did not really require a resume. In fact, more than once it came up that the resume was needed from me AFTER the decision was made to hire me. One company told me to forward my resume to HR since they needed on file – weeks after I was hired.
- Networking is a skill most people do NOT have. Perhaps this is why my professors never taught me how to do it – they did not know either.
So what works?
I am going to give you some tips in the next few post which will tell you HOW TO NETWORK. These are networking skills that REALLY work – even for introverts. And I mean the REALLY work – powerfully!!! But you can start by using one of the tools I have already blogged about – the Reverse Interview.
Note: These post are part of my upcoming book on taking control of your career!
So let’s get started on building your network! Yes – even if you are an introvert!
Exercise: List the people in your network.
- Who do you go to lunch with?
- Who can you call on if you are looking for a new job or opportunity?
- What group do you hang out with which presents new opportunities to you on a regular basis?