It's been said one million times that networking is about building relationships. Period. The more people we actually know, the bigger our sphere of influence and the odds are greater of finding the information we are looking for.
Don't be blind to potential opportunities to meet new people or acquire new information. If someone has a name they are willing to provide, ask how they know the person, why they think it would be helpful for you to speak with them and either ask for an introduction or contact information. Then, follow up!
In workshops, I have had to stop on occasion to educate someone on how to do this. Here are some open doors that were missed, until I stepped in:
- My wife works at that company you are interviewing with. No response. (slap goes Hannah)
- I used to work at the company you are interested in. No response. (Slap from Hannah)
- Have you looked into jobs at XYZ company? "No". (Slap again from Hannah)
- I know someone at that company. "I do too". (Slap)
- There is a job over at XYZ company you might be interested in. "I've already applied there, they have my resume". (Slap)
- End of workshop. All leave. No conversation/connection. (Slap)
It is easy to get tunnel vision and I know how important focus is, however, if a window or door opens, don't ignore it.
Hannah Morgan speaks and writes about job search and career strategies. She founded CareerSherpa.net to educate professionals on how to maneuver through today’s job search process. Hannah was nominated as a LinkedIn Top Voice in Job Search and Careers and is a regular contributor to US News & World Report. She has been quoted by media outlets, including Forbes, USA Today, Money Magazine, Huffington Post, as well as many other publications. She is also author of The Infographic Resume and co-author of Social Networking for Business Success.