Experts & Insiders 12/8/2011

E&I: Build It Before You Need It!

E&I: Build It Before You Need It!
By: Meghan Oliver

How many of us have ever landed a job by knowing someone, raise your hand? If you all of a sudden feel like you are auditioning for a Sure commercial at least you are realizing that networking works!

We are all guilty of denying that we are going to need help sooner rather than later. The fact of the matter is that none of us know when we will need to tap into our network. We obliviously go to work day after day thinking, well if a layoff comes it won’t be me. In this economy no one can think like that.

I have seen tremendous talent get let go from companies in recent years. These people were getting great reviews and were actually working! The trouble was that the economy dictates the survival of companies and sometimes the big wigs have no choice but to let you go. I have also seen talented, hardworking people get the pink slip because they were making too much money. This is always a delicate balance especially in action sports. Most of us want to move up in a company and most of us want more money as we move up in our careers.

The problem is that many times when a layoff comes we are unprepared. I see people scrambling to update their resumes and drudging up business contacts that they haven’t talked to in years. Don’t live your life in denial! It CAN happen to you! NO ONE is safe!

head-in-sand

  • Do yourself a favor and build your network before you need it.
  • Building a network takes time. Don’t wait until it’s too late to begin. This will make your network seem disingenuous.
  • Keep your network going. Again once every 6 months to touch base can really keep that contact fresh.
  • DON’T constantly ask for something when you connect with a contact. Ask them how they are and let them know what you have been up to. MAKE IT MUTUAL!

This all sounds daunting doesn’t it? With the invention of social media it certainly helps us reach out. If networking working were easy it wouldn’t contain the word “working” would it?

LinkedIn has exploded over the last 2-3 years especially since it went public earlier this year. Recruiters using this as the perfect place to find the perfect candidates. In an employers market you need to be two steps ahead. That means having your profile looking dynamite, having a fair amount of recommendations, affiliated with industry specific groups and connected with the right people. LinkedIn is not only a networking site but it is a job site, online resume, and news site. Employers are also looking at the quality of your contacts to see who you know in your industry.

Facebook and Twitter are also starting to ride the employment train. More and more companies are recruiting through these platforms and posting jobs as well. Use social media to really get yourself out there and get your head out of the sand because you never know when you will need your network!