Although your network can be the key to your next transition, I find a lot of job seekers resist it. While it does take time to do–it could make or break your success.
Perhaps folks are uncomfortable with asking someone if they have a job. But here’s the good news–you don’t have to do that. Matter of fact, you should not do it. You are simply asking for some information.
First, do your homework. What is your job target? Can you come up with a list of companies where your target job would exist? Then, write a list of everyone you know. Identify which folks you feel most comfortable in talking with first (for whatever reason).
Then, you go on a scavenger hunt–trying to get information from each of those folks. You goal? To get to either a person who has a similar job like you want or find one of your targeted companies.
Before you contact anyone–imagine how your informational interview will go. How will you start your discussion? What questions will you ask? What information do you want from that person? How will you end it? How will you contact this person? People love to talk about their career journey, so having a good conversation with folks should be fairly easy.
Then start with one of the people on your list–start with an easy prospect first to give yourself practice. Besides some answers to your questions, ask the person on your list to give you 2 more names to contact. In that way your list of 10 will grow to 30.
If you continue to follow this recipe, your network will pretty soon increase like bunnies!