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The IMPORTANCE of NETWORKING (3rd Post in Job Loss Series)...

In this "Navigating Job Loss" series so far, we've touched on the importance of:

  • Taking time to PAUSE and figure out what you truly want to do next so you can better target your job search efforts to find the most ideal next step and role for you.

  • Practicing SELF-CARE, especially given losing a job is a very stressful life event.

When you're ready to roll up your sleeves and really dive into your job search, here's what I recommend (tip #3): NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK!!

In the midst of finding out that you've lost your job, you'll likely feel like it's time to JUMP INTO ACTION (which is why the first two tips were created to slow you down a bit, so hopefully that worked). Our natural tendency will be to "fix the situation/problem" and get out there and "FIND a job ASAP!" While that totally makes sense, the way we go about it is very "busywork oriented," meaning that most of us jump right into searching endlessly through job sites and social media platforms to find job opportunities that interest us and then quickly begin sending out "rapid-fire applications" in response to as many postings as possible, as quickly as we can. If you're not careful, you'll find yourself spending hours at a time or even entire days filling out application after application.

Sounds productive, right? Actually no, not as much as it might seem. Research has shown that approximately 80% of individuals searching for new job opportunities actually find their next roles through NETWORKING, not as a result of applying directly to online job postings.

So especially in those early days as you figure out how you want to spend your time and effort to look for a new job, it's important to factor this information into your approach. Should you skip completing online applications entirely? Absolutely not. But it is important to realize that HUNDREDS of individuals are applying for each job posting that you apply to, so you shouldn't put all of your eggs in that basket.

Instead, spend MOST of your time reaching out to individuals in your network:

  • Find out what opportunities might be available where they work or at other companies they know of (since many roles aren't posted, but instead are filled through word of mouth).

  • If someone in your network works at a company that you're targeting OR that you've recently applied to, connect with that person and see if it's possible to network further into the organization through that contact (this might help to get your application/resume to the top of the stack for review/consideration or perhaps the referral will result in an opportunity for an interview).

TIME TO SHARE: If you have any other suggestions about NETWORKING that have worked for YOU in your previous job searches, please share them in the COMMENTS so others can learn from your experience!

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