Warning: preg_match(): Compilation failed: invalid range in character class at offset 4 in /home/edwarddr/public_html/psychologically-speaking/wp-content/plugins/pinterest-pin-it-button/includes/simple_html_dom.php on line 1364

Warning: preg_match_all(): Compilation failed: invalid range in character class at offset 4 in /home/edwarddr/public_html/psychologically-speaking/wp-content/plugins/pinterest-pin-it-button/includes/simple_html_dom.php on line 684

Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/edwarddr/public_html/psychologically-speaking/wp-content/plugins/pinterest-pin-it-button/includes/simple_html_dom.php on line 691

Warning: preg_match_all(): Compilation failed: invalid range in character class at offset 4 in /home/edwarddr/public_html/psychologically-speaking/wp-content/plugins/pinterest-pin-it-button/includes/simple_html_dom.php on line 684

Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/edwarddr/public_html/psychologically-speaking/wp-content/plugins/pinterest-pin-it-button/includes/simple_html_dom.php on line 691

As I indicated in a previous post, networking is the most important skill that you should develop in seeking employment. In a robust economy when employers are competing to find employees, the newspapers are flooded with ads. In today’s world, most jobs are not even listed in the newspapers; they are found by word of mouth.

Employers take greater interest in potential employees who are referred to them then to those who may just drop in. When someone refers you for a job possibility that person is sticking is basically giving you a thumbs up; they are putting their reputation on the line for you. They are basically saying that they themselves would hire you.

The word of a job opening spreads more rapidly than waiting for an ad to appear in print. And it spreads to a limited number of recommended people as compared to an ad that appears in a newspaper to the general population. Hence, employers don’t have to expend time and personnel to respond to a deluge of potential candidates. The field is narrowed down to a few candidates who heard about the position.  Furthermore, many employers may make a position available for the right candidate who may have been referred even when no position was originally available.

So what is networking? Networking is talking with people, reaching out, and letting others know that you are available to work and have something to offer. It requires that you become comfortable with engaging in conversation with people and revealing a bit about who you are and why they should help you find a job.

  • Networking requires that you become proactive. You cannot be passive and sit back waiting for the job to come to you.
  • You must view everyone that you meet as a potential referral source, assuming that they would be happy to help you. Remember, people want to be helpful.
  • You must be candid about revealing yourself; transparency and self-promotion works in your favor.
  • View others as potential agents. Once they know you, they will take on the role of your agent letting others know of your availability. The more they know about you, the more comfortable they will become in referring you to their circle of influence.

This is not easy. In order to do this you must develop an internal sense of self-confidence, an I can do this attitude. It will stretch you beyond your comfort zone; it will challenge your assumptions and push you forward.  This will become the Olympics of your life and you are going for the gold.

There are three groups of people with whom you should network:

Hot List People 

These are people with whom you have face and name recognition. This list includes every relative, friend, neighbor, classmate, co-worker, etc. that you can think of. These people know you. Some may be people with whom you have regular contact, while others may be people you have not seen or spoken with for years. It does not matter.  You should reach out to them. Put your foolish pride behind you. Once you let people know that they can be helpful to you, there is an increased probability that they will want to do so.

Before calling any of them, prepare what is know as atwo-minute elevator speech. This is a short description of who you are, why you are calling, what you are bringing to the table, and how they could help you by referring them to someone they know who might be interested in your services. Be clear and straight forward.

I told you this would not be easy. But it is powerful and does work.

Warm List People

This a group of people with who you have face recognition but not necessarily name recognition. These are all of the people with whom you do business. Some are people that you only nod to when you buy your morning coffee.

This group includes the manager in your local market, the owner of the dry cleaners, the manager of the gas station, the receptionist in your dentist or doctor’s office (or the doctor or dentist herself), the manager at your bank.

There are many people with whom you do business, places where you spend your money.  These people all have a vested interested in your being able to continue to patronize their establishments or utilize their services. They want your continued business and they know that you can just as easily spend your money elsewhere. They owe you their attention!

They are all connected to other business people.  Let them know who you are and that you are available to work. Give them your two-minute elevator speech. Ask for their assistance. You have moved them to your hot list.

Cold List People

These are people you do not yet know. These people are the folks standing next to you on the elevator or buying tomatoes at the local supermarket. Instead of ignoring them or merely saying a pleasant “good day”, engage them. For example, while examining the tomatoes ask the person to help you choose the best tomatoes; ask for their assistance. Then ask, “what kind of work do you do?” Express interest, ask for a business card — people love to hand out their business cards and to talk about their work. Then say thanks for the help in choosing the tomatoes and say goodbye.

After parting ways, write down where and how you met the person on the back the his or her business card. On the following day call him or her up, introduce yourself as the person he or she met while examining tomatoes and deliver your elevator speechYou have just moved this person from your cold list to at least your warm list and perhaps to your hot list.

As I indicated previously, networking is not easy. But it is effective. It is a skill that will not only increase the probability of find a job, it will enhance your effectiveness as a person. It will strengthen you confidence and help you achieve success in life as well as in your career or job.

[Dr. Dreyfus is a nationally recognized clinical psychologist, relationship counselor, sex therapist, and life coach in the Santa Monica – Los Angeles area treating low sexual desire, premature ejaculation, sexual addictions, drug and alcohol abuse as well marriage and relationship communication and intimacy issues. The profits from his latest book, LIVING LIFE FROM THE INSIDE OUT along with his other five books, are being donated to charity through the website Book Royalties for Charity and can be purchased through Amazon.com. Please become a fan on his Facebook Fan Page by indicating “like” on the page by clicking here. You can also find more tools to help you experience a more fulfilling life by clicking here to visit his website.]