Reach Out

Whether you are a new graduate looking for your first major gig, or an experienced professional who has been laid off, open and honest communication with your network of family, friends and industry peers is your best bet for making headway in your job search.
It is not uncommon to feel withdrawn when you’re out of work.  No matter how skilled or talented you are, there will always be more “no” responses to your resume submissions than yeses, and after a while the frustration mounts.  But that is no excuse for your not reaching out to those who can help you the most.  Let’s break it down:
Your Family:
Be open and honest with your family about your goals and interests, and the way you are feeling. If you are holding on to all of your job search related frustrations without telling anyone else how you feel, the people who love you the most will be unable to help you!  Let them know about your feelings, your efforts, and your successes, major and minor.
If you become withdrawn, or worse, depressed, talk to them openly and honestly about what you are experiencing.  They may or may not be in a position to actually hook you up with a job, but they can lend a sympathetic ear, provide comfort and encouragement.  And when you are honest about your efforts and feelings, you are less likely to get pressured due to a lack of understanding or awareness of what you are going through.  If you keep your feelings and your goals to yourself your supporters can’t be aware of your efforts, and ultimately might be less accepting of your lack of progress.
Many people pursue careers similar to those occupied by others in their immediate families, or have jobs in family businesses.  The pre-existing contacts available in these situations are an invaluable asset; there is a built-in network of industry contacts to tap into. But for those with career interests different from other members of their families, those known to their relations can still be of assistance.  You must remember to ask, “Do you know someone?”, and “Do you know someone who knows someone?”, to learn if any among them has contacts that can be of benefit to you.  Don’t make assumptions about who people know or don’t know!  Since most folks are not mind readers, you must tell others what you are looking for and about your own specialty areas, so they know about your goals and interests, about your experience, and particular areas of expertise.
Your Friends:
If you have a very diversified group of friends, you are in the best position to mine their contacts for job leads, informational interviews and networking.  Your career goals may be translatable across many industries, so the diversity of contacts is invaluable. Social networking sites can often reveal information about who your friends know that you might not.  Reach out to your friends and honestly let them know about the kind of work you are looking for and the kinds of companies that interest you the most. Don’t be intimidated about passing out your own contact information, inquiring if someone knows someone, or asking for introductions or referrals.  If these folks really are your friends, they want to see you succeed, so it is in your best interests to have them speak up on your behalf.  Again, be clear about the kind of work you want, and the skills you have.  You don’t want someone accidentally misrepresenting your skills or abilities, as this only adds confusion to the already frustrating chore of finding work.
Industry Peers:
People with whom you have already worked, or know through previous employment or professional organizations – even though they may not be close friends – can frequently be great sources of information and contacts.  But you wont know until you ask them for help!  Use the phone or send an email, and ask if you can pick their brain.  These contacts may know of job openings, industry events and trends that can be of benefit to you, so don’t hesitate to ask questions and have an informal exchange about your industry and interests.  You could learn all kinds of vital information that may make a real difference in finding a job.
Job search is a lonely and frustrating experience, and almost everyone has been there at some point.  You don’t have to feel alone!  So keep your peeps informed and reach out.  You’ll be surprised at the response.
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Thank you!  And Good Luck.