Networking After a Job Loss
Follow these tips to make sure your networking skills are up to the challenge.
It may seem like the wrong time to focus on career networking. Isn't everyone else too worried about their own job to worry about your career? In fact, there's never a bad time to network. Lots of people want or need help with their careers.
Read more about how to build a network. And then follow these special tips for networking after a job loss:
Practice Your Networking Elevator Speech
An elevator speech is your two-minute description of your skills and career goals that you pass along to networking contacts. Keeping it short and simple will ensure that people don't tune you out.
Keep It Positive, Friendly, and Confident
You may have hard feelings toward your former boss or employer. You may feel anxious — maybe even desperate — about your situation. But people are more likely to respond well to you if you present yourself as a positive problem solver. People tend to empathize with those who were laid off, but they are more apt to help those who rise above the challenge.
Use All Your Networks
It's the era of social networking. Websites such as LinkedIn and Facebook are great online networking tools. But don't forget good old-fashioned person-to-person networking, too. If you've been laid off, you may have more time to attend trade groups that focus on your industry or specific skills. Job fairs don't always lead to jobs, but they can be great places to make important contacts and practice your networking elevator speech.
Remember Networking Goes Both Ways
Networking is about helping other people as much as it is about other people helping you. Think of it this way: You wouldn't expect someone you barely know to connect you to their closest friends. But people are more likely to help once they've seen that you have helped others yourself.