domingo, 14 de novembro de 2010

The Right Career Strategy Prevents Job Searching Tragedy
Today's recruiting practices have veered 180 degrees from where they were just five short years ago. Social media have revolutionized the way candidate pools are selected and refined, and as social networking tools become increasingly important in the recruiting process, job seekers who focus strictly on internet job boards will not enjoy the same results as those who embrace the new media. The methods have changed, but the basics remain the same: connections are still the best way to find a new job. Creating and maintaining a purposefully constructed network comprised of hiring decision-makers and those who can recommend you to hiring authorities is the smart way to prepare in advance for a faster, more effective job search campaign.
If you've heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times that networking is the best way to find a new job. Those who have “good” connections are “lucky” candidates.  They are the ones who hear from their network about potential job leads. If that's true, then if you don’t have contacts who recommend you and refer you to potential new opportunities, you are lacking a critical factor for success in today’s job market.  Being known to decision-makers who value your skills and can hire you puts you at a competitive advantage. Your network of connections can save you from the tragedy of a lengthy, stressful job search by helping you find a new job when you need one. Building a network takes time and effort, though, so you must develop your network purposefully, in advance, before you ever need their assistance to land a new job as soon as possible.
Building strong, productive network connections takes time, so the best time to begin cultivating networking relationships is right now, anytime and all the time. You never know when work or life's demands will prevent you from growing your network, so you need to start developing as many strong connections as possible, in case you need their help with a future job search. Because relationships grow over time as two parties share experiences, your more established contacts are often your more productive contacts.  You can further enhance the value of individual connections by selectively choosing relationships to pursue purposefully among those individuals who are themselves well-networked and are generous contacts. Being a giver can increase your value to others in your network.  Freely offer advice and assistance, so that when you are the one who needs help, your contacts will be more likely to reciprocate.
Deciding to become a good networker is a top strategy for career success. Not only does this make good sense in terms of the professional satisfaction derived from mentoring others and exchanging ideas, but also networking generates lifetime benefits for career advancement.  Networking is both a positive job searching strategy and the most effective and efficient method to prevent job searching tragedy. Your network is career insurance — connections refer and recommend you, providing early access to unadvertised jobs. You should network with a purpose to continuously add new targeted contacts, and steadily nurture your existing relationships so that you have the right connections when it comes time to leverage them to identify a new career challenge.
Aim for quality over quantity. Don’t just “shoot the moon” and link to any person and everyone with whom you cross paths. The value of connecting diminishes when you connect indiscriminately. After all, you may be judged by the company you keep — including your professional relationships. Name dropping is far less valuable and usually less productive than real relationships with individuals who will not only pass job leads to you, but will care enough to also personally recommend you to hiring decision makers and follow up with you and the employer.
If you stay on your contacts’ radar screens, they will be much more likely to volunteer your expertise when exciting new opportunities open up. Isn't that preferable to having to push your qualifications towards potential openings?  In today’s world of social media with the emphasis on inbound marketing, effective networking results in attracting unsolicited leads, whether you are officially a candidate or have not yet thrown your hat into the ring. Rather than responding to job postings or submitting their credentials, those with the right networking contacts are likely to attract new opportunities and capture employers’ attention.
There is no better career and job search strategy than one which generates a steady stream of desirable new challenges; networking purposefully is that solution.
© Copyright 2010 Debra Feldman.

Debra Feldman, founder of JobWhiz, is an executive talent agent with more than 20 years of senior management consulting experience. She uses networking to identify and connect candidates with unadvertised new career opportunities in the hidden job market. For more information, visit  www.JobWhiz.com, and to contact her, visit www.jobwhiz.com/contact.php.
Comments may be submitted to todaysengineer@ieee.org.
Opinions expressed are the author's.

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