How to Build a Network that Makes Changing Careers Easy!

You have been applying to more jobs than you can count and wrote several versions of your resume hoping to land an interview. However, you continue this vicious cycle with no luck and end up feeling like you're meant to be stuck in your current career.

What if I told you that you can skip the vicious cycle, leap ahead of everyone else that is applying to the same jobs you're applying to and make the interviewing process a formality. Do not believe me?

Well, have you ever heard of the phrase, 'It Is Not What You Know, But Who You Know.'? 

Of course you have and the saying is absolutely correct! 

If you do not believe it then go ask your successful friends and ask them how they keep landing those great careers. I bet you it is due to who they know and not as much as what they know.

Changing careers can be easy if you are able to build a world class network!

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How to stop spending countless hours applying to jobs and still get the career you want!

We never had a class in high school or college that taught us how to find a career. So for many of us we simply sit down in front of our computer, search for jobs and apply to the jobs we are interested in having. 

Before we know it we have spent more hours than we can remember applying to jobs with no positive results to show for our efforts! We become frustrated and say fu** it!

So instead of spending all of your time applying to jobs you should be spending the majority of your time networking! 

Yes, networking! I know, we all hate 'asking someone for a job'.

First, stop looking at 'networking' as 'asking someone for a job'. Instead, think of networking as you are seeking out your 'Champion'. 

What is a 'Champion' you ask. Well, a champion is someone who:

  • A trusted advisor who has your best interest at heart.
  • Gets you past those pesky applicant tracking systems by providing written or verbal recommendations to hiring managers.
  • Think of this person as someone who can fast-track you to your new career as they know of jobs that are not even posted online yet, gets you to the front of the line ahead of everyone else that has applied to the job and makes the interviewing process a formality as they have given the hiring manager a written/verbal recommendation about you that makes you appear like top talent.

When you are able to effectively network and build your network with just a few 'champions' finding a new career becomes much less work.

Did you notice something in the last sentence? I said, 'just a few champions'. You just need a few people to advocate for you throughout your career and you will always have great opportunities that other people never have a shot at having in their lifetimes.

Next, as mentioned above you need to be spending the majority of your time networking. But why do people not do this?

Because sitting behind your computer, submitting applications and being rejected is easier than asking someone you barely know to go grab coffee for 15 minutes, asking for introductions, asking quality questions and really building a professional relationship.

Whereas if you developed a strategic approach to networking you wold fast-track your career change. A strategic approach to networking looks like this:

  • After being 100% clear about what you want your next career to be you identify companies you want to work for.
  • Next, leverage LinkedIn to identify who you directly know working at these companies. If you do not know anyone directly then find people you know who are directly connected to people at these companies.
  • Utilize LinkedIn to send PROFESSIONAL messages to the people you are interested in networking with about career opportunities you are seeking. Yes, I capitalized the entire word 'PROFESSIONAL' as the moment you send some half-assed attempt of a message you have lost all credibility and have no chance of that person opening their network to you.
  • Prepare before meeting with people, be genuine in your conversations with people, be open to helping those you network with even if it is you who is seeking new opportunities.

Networking is about playing the long game. 

Perhaps you meet with someone this week who cannot help you now, but in a month or so that person comes across an opportunity. Woulnd't you want them to keep you in mind?

Of course you would. That is why you shoiuld always be genuine and gracious.

Warning: Do not approach networking like speed dating as experienced professionals notice this immediately and will not only close off their network to you, but you will also build a negative reputation.

Finding a new career is much easier for you when you develop a strategic approach, are genuine while networking and creating long term connections with people!

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