No doesn’t really mean no. It just means “I am not comfortable enough to say yes now.”
Let’s toughen up a bit. Rejection is something we are all afraid of! (Truth be told, it is one of MY greatest fears). But seldom will you experience true rejection. What I mean is, people aren’t saying “No, I won’t help you”. The reality is, they either don’t respond or don’t follow through. That isn’t rejection.
Risking it all
You have nothing to lose! Why won’t you pick up the phone and call that person, follow up on that lead, reach out to a past coworker?
Are you not sure what you’ll say? Here’s what I know. If you have a script or outline of how you will introduce yourself and what you are specifically asking of them, you’ll feel a lot better. The more often you do this, the easier it will get, I promise. I used to do B2B telemarketing.
Be Prepared for objections
You will encounter people who don’t know how to help you. That’s why you need to be very clear. Have you ever heard these:
“I don’t know of any jobs”
“I don’t do the hiring”
Your response could be:
“That’s too bad, but, I am actually looking for people to have a conversation with so that I can learn more about XYZ company (Q industry or P occupation). If you were me, who do you think I should speak to?”
When you allow someone to do a favor for you, you’ve lost all control. In many cases it is better for you to offer to do the legwork or make the call. Otherwise, you know what will happen. That well-meaning friend just doesn’t have the same set of priorities you do. It may take them days or weeks to get to it. Offer to de-burden them so you won’t feel like a pest when you have to call them in a week or two.
Persistant vs Pest
There’s a fine line here. However, no two people see things quite the same way. Do not use your own particular filter to judge what others might see as pesky. If you are sincere in your request and it isn’t spammy, you should be OK.
Now, it is up to you
This week, take small steps outside of your comfort zone. Push yourself. See what happens.
- Call every name you are given this week. Call them!
- Ask 2 people to meet with you to discuss your target companies.
- Find the hiring managers for the jobs you’ve applied to and call them to ask where they are in the review process.
- Are you waiting for someone to get back to you… call all those people this week. Don’t wait another day.
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.