(Continuing my series on "I have a job they don't" I wanted to expand a bit on networking – started in my Pro-Active Networking post. Sorry if some of this is repetitious.)
So you've got friends, family, and fellow fans out of work. One of the best, most obvious ways to help them is to introduce them to your network of contacts, recruiters, and coworkers. I've talked about that.
It doesn't help if you're not ready.
As I've said in the past, there are a few basic things you can do:
- *Give them your recruiter list. Hand over that spreadsheet, document, whatever you have that keeps track of the various recruiters you've talked to throughout your career.
- *Hook up with him on LinkedIn.com. Introduce them to people in your network, or encourage them to use your network to meet useful contacts.
- *Introduce them to coworkers, and other people you know that may help them get a job. This doesn't even have to be “official.” This can be social as well as professional.
Yes, introducing your unemployed fellows to your recruiters, your network, and so on is a great way to help them get over that unemployment hump and find gainful and interesting work. It's simple, effective, and let's face it, we have networking hammered into our heads over and over again by every other job search book with over read. Networking works.
It doesn't work if you're not prepared–and that's something important to keep in mind. If you want your contacts and networking to help others you have to work at them.
If you want to help people with your networking, you need to be ready.
Many of us don't even network enough to help support our own careers, let alone help other people. If you don't have a networking strategy for your career, then you are going to lose out, you are going to miss opportunities, and your job searches will be harder. If you're not networking now, you can't help yourself, let alone other people.
When–or if–you are networking effectively, you need to think about networking not just with other people, but for other people. A good networking strategy is always about more than you–it's about helping people in your network and even out of your network. Unfortunately too many of us get hung up on networking for ourselves–don't let that happen to you, think about how your help other people.
Here's what I recommend to make sure your networking is the kind of networking can help your unemployed friends, family, and fans:
Keep a recruiter list–something I've harped on since this blog was founded. Keep a list of good recruiters that you've met in your job searches, talk to them regularly to see how they're doing, and hand this list other people doing job searches. Everybody wins.
Always look for the opportunity to introduce people to each other. I use a "triading" strategy from "Tribal Leadership" – I look for chances to introduce two people to each other in a group email. It's a great way to build contacts – and build contacts among everyone you know.
Be selective. I'm sorry to say, but not everyone should meet everyone or should be introduced to every recruiter. Some people don't get along, won't get along, or aren't appropriate for whatever industry, temperament, or situation others find themselves in.
Introduce your unemployed friends and family to your network – and make sure you're networking is prepared ahead of time.