Reach out

How to Look for a Job When Networking Is Not an Option

You have probably heard that networking is the best strategy for job search. You get most of your interviews through people, you know. That’s why going out there and meeting new people is the way to go, right? However, when the world is in crisis mode and authorities are urging you to stay home to contain the spread of a deadly virus, going out to meet new people is no longer an option. At this point in our lives, we are all pretty much limited to online activities. If the online search is all we can do, is it even effective?

Based on what I am hearing from current clients, not really. Though there may be some job postings out there, it is hard to know what’s really going on with those postings. Many companies are in crisis mode – they don’t know how long this lock-down is going to last. Most importantly, they don’t know what will happen to the economy and their company after it’s all over. It is hard for them to predict whom to hire and when. Besides, there are a lot of people out of work right now, looking.

Good news – companies are still hiring!

That’s right, even among the COVID-19 pandemic, some companies are still looking to hire. I am not talking about those less than ideal worst case scenario jobs you are probably not even qualified for, but will be considered for out of pure desperation. I am talking about those professional positions you can do, applying your skills and qualifications. You know, positions you would actually be a good fit for and wouldn’t mind working in.

The biggest question is, how do you find them? I recommend a slightly different approach – tap into your network. I did mention networking is no longer an option, didn’t I? However, that’s not the kind of networking I am talking about. I am talking about reaching out to people you know and setting up phone, zoom or other virtual conversation. This is simple, but not easy.

Make it a habit to reach out to at least 2-3 people every day!

It takes courage to reach out to people, especially the ones you haven’t talked to in a long time. However, during this time of global isolation, people need contact. They are more likely to respond to your message if you genuinely reach out to them to find out how they feel or what’s happening in their lives. Besides, this seems to be the most effective strategy right now that actually works.

Think about your past colleagues, friends, or people you met at conferences or presentation events. Look through your LinkedIn network and start sending messages to people you haven’t spoken to in a while. Just a simple message, asking them what they are up to and how they are coping with the coronavirus madness is all it takes. Then, perhaps, you can suggest a virtual coffee.

Deepen your relationships during this unprecedented time!

As you get the conversation going, at some point they might ask you about how you are doing. That’s when you can tell them you are currently looking for a job and start this conversation. If their company is hiring, your friend or acquaintance can be a good resource for you and help you get an interview.  

Katherine Bouglai is a career transition coach and the founder of Blossom Career. She works with professionals in technology who have recently lost their jobs and are looking for successful career transition. Her specialties include career change, resume development, job search strategies, job interview preparations, offer negotiations and other related skills.

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