We all know that networking is the best way to get a new job. Approximately 70% of the jobs that are secured out there are landed through the hidden job market. There are two important things to remember though:
1) Networking, and conducting informational interviews with people in a field of interest, is also an invaluable way to learn more about different industries you want to explore for your long-term career path.
2) Networking doesn’t have to be all about business. There are so many great groups where you can network, where people come together for personal, not professional reasons.
My group coaching client Justin last week said he went to a New England Patriots group here in Atlanta (go figure, those groups exist everywhere!) and met a great guy who, after the event that night, promptly sent him leads for five different jobs, plus several networking contacts he could reach out to in the financial services industry. Justin didn’t even go to this group to exchange cards or talk shop; he was there to meet people who loved the Patriots. So look up any kind of group in your area where people share a common interest. Meetup.com is a great resource for this. Sure, you should still want to look for human resource professionals groups in your area. You can consider joining a group of interest as well, such as kayaking, sports, cooking, etc.
You never know who you’ll meet. Networking is all about personal relationships; those can, and will be developed through personal interests. So get out there and blab to everyone about what you want to do. You never know what you’ll find.
Certified Career Coach
P.S. If you are frustrated with your job search and need resume help or want help finding hidden job opportunities, check out this Free Report – Take Control of Your Career Transition.