Creative Ways to Energize Your Network!

One of the participants in my job search groups this morning announced: “My network is beginning to light up! People are beginning to understand what I am looking for and are coming forward with new contacts and connections for me to pursue!”

Just the way it is supposed to work! Here are a couple of factors which can make that happen:

1. Repeated communication with your network about who you are and what you are looking for.

Sometimes the people you are talking to don’t get it right the first time. Have you noticed that you get inappropriate job listings from people you have talked to about your job search? “What were they thinking?” you might ask yourself! They heard what they heard and put it into a framework that is familiar to them. Now it is your job to retrain them and get them thinking about it from a different point of view – yours! “Thanks for the job listing. I appreciated your thinking about me. It wasn’t exactly a fit. Do you have a couple of minutes for me to clarify what I am looking for so you can be listening for the right match for me?” 

2. Volunteerism gives you access to great new network nodes!

Many high-level executives with great circles of influence participate in charitable organizations. There is no better place to connect with the people who are normally well-guarded than at the functions sponsored by organizations they hold near and dear to their hearts! When you support something important to them, you have the opportunity to connect with this person in a very profound way. This opens the door to conversations about what is important to you and soon they may offer to do what they can to connect you to someone important in your job search. The person whose network in lighting up met the CEO of a major media organization through her volunteerism which incidentally also turned into a part-time consulting  job! 

3. Online and print publications offer opportunities to connect with people representing an initiative or a project to which you could add value!

Scour the newspaper or trade publication for new legislation or new initiatives on the drawing board where you can see that stepping up with something to contribute could pave the way for a job or consulting contract. When I moved to a new city, an announcement about the creation of a management assistance program for non-profits caught my attention. I contacted the person mentioned in the article and a few weeks later, I was the consultant working with a foundation group to make it a reality. What a way to meet the movers and shakers in the community and rapidly expand my network from 0 to 100! 

4. Online publications, blogs and social networks give you the opportunity to connect with the authors and to make yourself more visible in the process. 

Connect with someone who posted an idea online by commenting on what they said and adding something of additional value. Your interest draws attention to what you could offer and increases your overall visibility in the search engines as well! 

What creative ways have you discovered to light up your network?

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