In JibberJobber we intentionally put the order of the menu items like this:
Notice how Network (contacts) is before job postings? Indeed, even Companies (target companies) is before job postings.
There is a reason for that. Today we’ll talk about the network contacts.
Supposedly, 60+ percent of you will find your next gig because of your network.
And Harvey Mackay says we should “dig our well before we’re thirsty.”
Networking is not only critical to this job search but to every job search we’ll be in until we retire.
In addition, networking is important in-between job searches. When we are employed we might tap into our network to
- get introductions to people in or out of our company, to
- help us navigate a promotion, to
- help us get information that is otherwise off-limits to people, to
- keep us as safe as possible in a layoff period (when everyone else in the company is getting laid off),
Your network might be the most important thing you have in your career.
Maybe your degree helps you get in the door and your knowledge (and ability to perform) keeps you there and your networking skills gets you closest to the thing we used to call “job security.”
It is critical to:
- Know who is in your network, and keep track of new contacts. A customer relationship management (CRM) database is very, very helpful in managing this information.
- Know what you talk about with whom, and when. A personal relationship manager (PRM) is a tool you use to log when you talk about what with who. Not every single conversation, but the ones that are important and that you might want to refer back to later.
- Know when to follow-up with who. Keith Ferrazzi says that if you follow-up you’ll be better than 95% of your “competition.” A good CRM helps you know when “action items” are coming up.
JibberJobber does all of this, as a CRM or a PRM… it is critical to keep track of your network contacts and where you are at with each of them.
What if you don’t? No, the world will not stop spinning… but when it’s time to really work with (or use) your network, you don’t want to have to pull out a piece of paper and try and list 30 people you know.
It’s much better to START NOW.
If you are on JibberJobber, spend a few minutes and add 5 new contacts to your database.
If you aren’t on JibberJobber, get a free account and put 5 contacts into your new database.
It will be worth your time. Especially when your next transition (layoff, etc.) happens and you can login and see dozens or hundreds or thousands of contacts, instead of just 3 people.