5 Non-Cringe-y Ways to Get Yourself Out There
You’re ready: you’ve got your professional brand tightened up. Your resume is fine-tuned and your LinkedIn profile represents you well. You’re ready to take the next step in your search: putting the word out.
One of the most cringe-y activities I can think of is <insert dramatic movie music here> a networking happy hour. First, because it’s hard to hear people talk over the din. Second, happy hours tend to be pretty superficial. And finally, all I want at the end of the day is to get home and unwind.
Happily, there are lots of other ways to put the word out.
Here are five to get you started:
- Have a clear message: I think it’s important to have a clear idea of the kind of job/company you’re seeking. “Confidentially, I’m looking for a senior director or VP role in a manufacturing firm that’s headquartered in the Twin Cities” is more actionable than “I’m looking for a new job”. Of course, if you’re not working and anything will do, your message can be just that. But assuming you’re currently working and that you have time to be strategic, clarity will get you farther.
- Start with your inner circle: Tell family members and close friends “Confidentially, I’m looking for a senior director or VP role in a manufacturing firm that’s headquartered in the Twin Cities”, followed by a question: “Who do you know that works for this kind of company?” Maybe they don’t have an answer today, but your question will have them thinking. Check back with them periodically to see what bubbles up.
- Touch base with former co-workers: maybe you’ve lost touch with them, but there’s a group of people that you’d love to reconnect with, and now’s the time. Use LinkedIn to find them. What are they up to these days? How can you help them? And of course, let them know, “Confidentially, I’m looking for a senior director or VP role in a manufacturing firm that’s headquartered in the Twin Cities” followed by “Who do you know that works for this kind of company?” Again, they may not have a contact for you today, but check back. And be sure to offer your help.
- Be curious about people outside of work: your network is larger than you realize, but maybe it needs a little cultivating. Notice and take an interest in the people you see at places other than work: at kids’ activities, at the gym, at sporting or cultural events, standing in line at the coffee shop, at church, during volunteer activities. Take an interest: What do they do? Where do they work? Can you connect them with anyone in your network?
Dale Carnegie said it best: “To get what you want, help someone else get what they want.”
5. Get yourself out of your comfort zone: no, I’m not suggesting networking happy hours (but be my guest if there’s one that calls to you!). Here are some ideas, though, for putting yourself in a target-rich environment: industry events, Meetup groups (find a topic that’s related to your career), focus groups, civic causes, fundraising for non-profit organizations. For best results, choose something that genuinely interest you. Authenticity is irresistible.
When you’re thinking about buying a certain kind of car, have you noticed that suddenly you see them everywhere? Well, once you start thinking about networking as more than a cringey happy-hour activity (and begin taking action), you’re going to find all kinds of interesting people. Some that will even help you get closer to that shiny new J.O.B.
If you’re NOT ready to begin networking (ie. you need help with professional branding), I’m your gal! Click here to get started on your new-and-improved resume + LinkedIn profile.
Not sure if we’re a fit yet? Let’s chat!
Here’s a link to my calendar for a no-pressure-no-strings-attached intro call.