I hate stating the obvious, but here we go. You know it’s important to network. You know, contrary to popular advertising campaigns, no one was ever hired through Monster or CareerBuilder for a dream job. You know the only way to get a good job is to ask for it.
You know this, but I still receive email messages on a weekly basis that go like this…
Laurie, I hate my job. I want to quit but the economy sucks. What should I do?
I say you don’t hate your job enough, obviously, because you are sending me email messages instead of pounding the pavement and meeting people in your industry who can make hiring decisions.
Get off Twitter, get off Facebook, and stop reading HR blogs (uhm, except mine). Start talking to people — using words, not 140-character messages — about your awesome skills and abilities. It’s fine to connect with a colleague or acquaintance on LinkedIn, but you won’t get hired unless you make a case for yourself in the real world.
I know networking is tough. Even an extrovert like me gets nervous. I am not very graceful when it comes to working a room, but I drove myself into Durham — a town I don’t know very well — and met the folks at Bronto Software, this past week. They held an open house, and I attended for no other reason than to solidify the connections I’ve made through Twitter. I am glad I did it.
- I finally met Wayne Sutton,
- I connected with my e-friend DJ Waldow,
- I met the corporate recruiter at Bronto (which is a great place to work),
- and I personally introduced myself to the CEO of the company.
I didn’t do any of this because I enjoy talking about myself. In fact, I don’t. I would rather talk about Scrubby. I did it because a handshake, no matter what, always trumps a poke on Facebook.
My advice is simple, yo. You will miss out future opportunities [and life] if you wait for someone to search a database and match a job to your resume. I know you are nervous, so get a prescription for Propranolol, get a decent business casual wardrobe, and get out there and start meeting people.