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eCourse Step 8 Getting The Career You Want

Networking Your Way To Your New Career

Nothing new to the idea, but hopefully you pick up a couple of new tips.

Make a plan to take action and implement it.

Step 8:  Network, Network, Network!

Start with what (who) you know.

Make a list

I love lists! Start thinking about who you know that should know you're looking.

Look in your Blackberry or other favorite PDA.  Write them down on your list. 

Check your Outlook files.  Don’t just look in your Contacts, but look at emails you saved forever and forgot to act on.  Who were they from?  Is it too late to reply back now and answer whatever it is they were asking you?  When you do, make sure you mention your current status and what you would like to do.  Start writing all these names down on your list (so you have them all in one place). 

Make sure you include your professional network you’ve built on LinkedIn. What?  You haven’t built one yet? Start now by Linking into me, Lorena Stanley. I accept all invitations. Start browsing my network. I have a very large network of over 5,000 direct connects, which represents over 13 Million who are in my entire network (this number grows daily). You will have access to literally thousands of employers.

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Recruiters use LinkedIn religiously. It's an excellent networking source. If you're a hiring manager, you’ve got to love the fact I just increased your odds of networking yourself to find your perfect candidate.  Go ahead, get LinkedIn To Me, it’s Free!

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Okay, who and what else should be on your network list?  Friends and family of course. You never know if Uncle Joe has the inside scoop at XYZ company.

Here are some ideas to start reconnecting with those friends: 

This site was mainly set up to find High School friends (which may also be good resources – you’ll have fun catching up at the very least), but has expanded to find College buddies too!  Facebook along with MySpace are other great sources.

Professors, former employers, and former peers are also excellent resources. 

BONUS:  By doing all this, you are creating a great list all in one place that you can now devise a personal plan to stay connected to.  Make it a habit to reach out at various points in your life, not just when you need them, but perhaps asking them what you can do for them too.

That's a pretty good list of the “who”. As far as “what”, I'd suggest industry associations, any professional networking events including Chamber Mixers, and don’t forget your Alumni Associations.

The point is to get out there and network. Have your 3 to 5 selling points (that differentiate you from your peers) ready so you can sell yourself and have your business cards handy. Make some up if you don’t have any. I suggest trying these out, they're FREE (+s&h). As you give these out, collect as many cards in return as possible.

Quick Tip: If the business card you collect happens to have a blank back (I love those) write a quick note to remind yourself why you collected this card. Was it to follow up on a lead, were you invited to an event, did they offer some free advice at a later time, or did you just get a date (hey, you never know).

BONUS TIP:  I suggest having your picture on your Business Card.  Why?  Think of how many times you met someone at a gathering and later forgot who they were (even though you have their card).  I also suggest having some sort of a blank space (on the back) so that the person you’re handing the card to can write a note OR so you can write a note for them.

If you want some more detailed information on how to position yourself for your next Career Go Here.

If you want someone to Mentor you through the process Go Here

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