When you think about your job search, creating opportunities for yourself, moving forward... I'm sure it sounds like a daunting task and man, I'm not going to lie, for an entrepreneur it is the same. That daunting task of creating something new for yourself... so how do you get that done? what are the steps? what should you do?
I am a true believer that you don't achieve anything without a bit of " elbow grease" you know. There are many ways to create opportunities and that can be applied to different categories in your life: business, job search and guess what? It all comes down to networking and approaching people.
Every time I had to look for a job since I graduated my business school, this is what I have done:
- In England I had a strict schedule: from 8 am - 6pm, adapting my resume to every job, looking for opportunities, filling out applications - what a pain right ? but it did pay off when I ended up meeting the right people to help me
- In Singapore, I soon realised I had to network to know more people and get more information on the market. If there is ONE THING I hate, it's networking! There I said it, do you feel better too? it's not just you honestly. Man I hate it. SO what did I do? I am great at relationship building and making friends fast (So I dragged a friend every time to network with me) We would introduce each other's background and create opportunities together. From coffees to glasses of wines, networking (almost) became comfortable.
- In Australia, well... this has been quite a ride due to covid and I wanted something new (is that the life crisis of being 30 and not knowing which path would make me happier? I can tell you now, a year ago, I picked the right one!) BUT how do you open a new company? Meet people? Create those opportunities for yourself ?
This is what I have done in less than a year and what you can do to:
- I have attended a LOT of webinars and every time added a few if not everyone in linkedIn. I even had coffee catch-ups with a lot of people afterwards :)
- I have done peer coaching with many different coaches across the globe and I have exchanged good tips to help each other grow
- I have been open minded / curious to learn about how other people thrived and how they failed or bounced back (my main Gallup strengths is Context... no surprises there)
- I have been straight to the point in my searches: "Hello there, I have heard from [name] that you were a great company to work for and I wanted to get in touch to introduce myself and understand how we could partner). This strategy has gotten me some good intros and a few freelance contracts already. The others were though network and recommendations from other coaches.
My recommendations are:
- Every time you wonder if you should reach out to this or that person: "do it" WHY? because you literally have nothing to lose and if you aren't doing it, someone else is (yes my recruiter side has spoken!)
- I understand that it is great to say that you got the last opportunities by yourself but what if after a few months it still doesn't work? Wouldn't it be great to have just used your network to go faster?
- If you think that someone in your network might know someone you have been trying to get in touch with, get an introduction, you'll owe a favour later, so what ? it's nice to be nice.
- Be open minded, curious about other people's background and experience, they might share something that will be key for you.
- Give your time to others, be generous and you will see how this is never lost. I have been getting a lot of calls from future coaches wondering which school they should attend, what they should learn etc I have taken all the calls because next time I have questions like this, I hope someone will also take time to chat with me.
There is no magic in creating opportunities, you just need to go after them. If this still feels like a daunting task and those are some of your questions:
- I actually need to figure out what I want first
- I need a vision for my career before networking
- I am still not sure how to do this correctly
- I need to prepare myself (CV, elevator pitch, build confidence and credibility...)
There could be so many more, but if you feel like the next step is getting help, then get in touch. Find the right date for a chemistry meeting and let's get chatting so we can see how to partner together and achieve your goals.
Speak soon? Get a cuppa cause I've got mine.
I look forward to empowering you in your career - Marie