Networking Not Working? (Start In Your Own Backyard)

In this 4-week series, #ClearPathToJobGrowth, I’m going to lead you through a step-by-step guide to the 4 things you need to get the job growth you’re looking for.
Here’s what’s coming up:
    1.    Motivation: How to Find the Motivation to Go for Growth (Get Of Your Ass And Your Career In Gear)
    2.    A Plan: How to Get a Better Job? (Start With Defining Better)
    3.    A Story: How to Sell Yourself Into the Job You Want (The 3 Things You Need to Have)

    4.     An Audience: Networking not working? (Start In Your Own Backyard)

Don’t forget to let linkedin do a lot of the work for you! Get your free cheatsheet “Make Your LinkedIn Work for You: Top 10 Recruiter Approved LinkedIn Musts” below!

I know… I know. Networking suuuuuccks. Except it doesn’t have to. And yes you have to do it. If you want to tell your story and sell yourself, you need an audience. That means you do need to network. It’s not as hard as you think. You can (and should) even start in your own backyard.
Make sure you’ve got your ‘Story Bullets’ set so that when you reach out to people you can clearly and concisely let them know what it is you’re looking for. The more specific the better. If you’re just looking for “a job” you’ll get less response than if you say you are seeking “a senior marketing role in the glass slipper manufacturing field.”  Why? You’re not giving them enough info to truly help you. So where to start?
Backyard: Reach out to your immediate network. Friends, fam, head of your kickball team, your favorite bartender etc. Ask them who they know. Here’s the weird thing about networking - the most useful connections come from someone a bit removed from you. So it won’t be your sister-in-law who hooks you up with your gig, but that guy she went to college with that she can connect you to.
Past professional relationships: Because you were a responsible, professional person who didn’t burn bridges (or entire offices) to the ground, you have a ready made group of people who know your professional capabilities. Reach out to your past employers, coworkers, clients and anyone else you worked with professionally. Let them know you’re looking, ask advice, ask for recommendations, ask if they know anyone who could use your skills. Let them know what you’re ideally looking for.
Influencers: I’m not talking Instagram models with 280k followers (I mean if you’ve got ‘em work ‘em), but I’m talking influencers in your community and career field. Members of the chamber of commerce, local business owners, PTA presidents, pee-wee soccer coaches. These people know everyone.
Fellows in the field: Connect with other people who are currently doing the job you want. Just be real, genuine and non creepy about it. Your college groups (alumni assoc, frats, sororities, theater and debate groups) are gold mines for these types of connections.  LinkedIn should be your next port of call. Research those in similar titles and find a way to connect with them on common ground.
The Professionals: Actively reach out to recruiters and hiring managers in your field. They genuinely want to know you’re out there. Their job is to hire talented AND energetic people. Get on their radar! Make a like of 25 places you would be excited to work at. Then hit up the hiring managers and recruiters. Let them know you’re interested not only a role, but the company as a whole. Make it tailored to them. And DON’T wait for a job posting to be posted. Save them some work and build a relationship before they need to fill a role. When the time comes - hey look - you!
The Masses: Not quite spamming, but almost. It’s time to get the word out on allllll the socials. LinkedIn, Facebook, your blog, Twitter, Instagram. Someone who is following someone you know has a connection for you. I promise.
You got this. You want this. You do. Go get it.