Perhaps it's the economy, but more and more of my old friends and co-workers are job hunting... especially tough for us in that OVER 40 crowd. I'm sure you're hearing it too.
"Do you know anyone hiring?"
"Have you heard of anything?"
"Could you keep me in mind?"
"Can you take a look at my resume?"
I usually then ask where are they searching, beyond job boards? I ask how they are marketing themselves. How are they networking... social media? LinkedIn?
And I've received some surprising answers. Some people didn't see the need before. Some haven't EVER worked their LinkedIn presence. Worse yet, although they're business people, some aren't even ON LinkedIn at all. They never saw a reason to.
And now they're scrambling. Trying to frantically START a network when they need it most.
So, those of you IN sales... if you're not using social media or LinkedIn, and don't have your profiles current or posting updates, tsk, tsk! You're leaving leads on the table. It's a FREE, EASY way to market yourself! Watch a youtube tutorial on how to use it better and get going!
To those NOT in sales, you should ALWAYS be networking. You've heard that adage...
"It's not WHAT you know, it's WHO you know."
So true. More jobs are gained through networking than any other source. In fact 85%, according to Lou Adler, author of the recently published Essential Guide for Hiring & Getting Hired.
So even if you're happy and secure with your current employer or are your own boss, you should still be "workin' it." Looking for leads. Making connections. Reclaiming old friendships. Seeing who knows who once in a while. Joining groups in your field. Learning from the great posts in your industry and from thought leaders you admire. Even if only to reach out and help other people with their leads and job searches in the future, it can be so rewarding.
You might come back and say, "So I should spend my time networking just to help other people?"
Yes. And here's why: Networking is defined as "Creating a group of acquaintances and associates and keeping it active through regular communication for mutual benefit."
Keeping it active. For MUTUAL benefit. If you help others, they're more likely to want to help YOU. And as the great sales guru networker Dale Carnegie once said, “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”
And before you need to. Happy networking!
Your Networking Ninja,
Mary Ellen Sokalski
Diva of Direct Marketing.