Have you ever wondered if networking pays off?
Here is my latest experience. Approximately 8 weeks ago my contract was ended. I had been contracting at one company for the past 3 ½ years and it was only supposed to be a 1 year contract. That worked out well for me and I am happy that it lasted that long. I will get back to the end of the contract in a little bit.
Prior to this contract I had been looking for work for about 6 months. I had some things here and there that kept us going, but it was tough regardless. What is important, however, is what I did while I was with this company.
The first action, not under my control, was shortly after I started I was called to a regional employment role in my church. The second action was I started using LinkedIn. The third actions was the more I learned the more I wanted to learn on how it could help me with my search.
Learn to Network
By learning how to network and allowing my network to get to know me I made many great contacts. I didn’t know everyone in my network at first and in many cases I am still getting to know them; but I will keep working on this.
Make Lots of Connections
About 1 1/2 years after getting into LinkedIn I started on Facebook. I had watched my teenagers use MySpace and then Facebook and thought they were wasting their time. I was wrong! At least with the idea that Facebook offered nothing for me. I started connecting with all kinds of people and it has been great.
I now have over 850 connections on LinkedIn connecting me to over 8 MILLION people and I have over 650 connections on Facebook. Some of the LinkedIn and Facebook connections are duplicated, but most are not.
After the Contract Ended
Anyway back to having the contract end… I contacted my and other recruiting companies to see what might be available. It wasn’t long and I had a couple of opportunities presented. One ended up panning out and I started the Tuesday after Labor Day.
Emailed Over 170 Contacts
The other thing that I did, however, was send an email to about 170 of my email contacts. That process generated over a dozen responses with possible opportunities. Where I went wrong was not sending that email out earlier in the process.
Let People in Your Network Know Who You Are and What You Can Do
When people in your network know you, know what you can do, and know what you want to do; they are there to help. My email went out a couple of weeks ago and I am still being contacted by members of my network to see what they can do to help. The truth is that I still have well over one thousand people that I could contact; a majority of whom I did not know three years ago.
I connect with new people all the time; it is my goal to be adding 5 – 10 new connections either on LinkedIn of Facebook every week. Sometimes it is as many as 20 per week and this is what YOU must be doing as well.