…get out in the rain…
Professional networking is not schmoozing or trying to be someone you’re not. And it’s not asking people whether they know about any job openings – its about getting out in the rain.
Jack Falvey, the well-known management consultant and business writer for the Wall Street Journal, says the most important thing you can do in transition is get in front of people. If you’re going to get hit by lightning (get a job), you need to be out in the rain where it is damp and cold. In other words, be with people who can help you, not behind your laptop. Lightning strikes outside…where it’s raining.
Always remember that everyone knows about 200 people and the beauty of LinkedIn is seeing how your first tier contacts connect to many, many more in the second and third tier. These 200 can develop into thousands.
Even if nothing seems to come directly or immediately from the person that you are talking to, you don’t know what might come later, or what indirect benefits might be realized indirectly from your meeting. Not only are you gaining new knowledge about the marketplace or potential employers but with timely follow-up, you can move on to more and maybe better contacts.
Look for local networking organizations in your city. Great places to start are professional networking organizations, meetup.com groups with people who share your interests, or the lobby before and after an expert speaker visits your area. And be sure you’re joining Groups on LinkedIn–the networking possibilities are numerous. Do you know anyone who is a great networker who can show you how they do it?