Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Revitalizing Your Network

Just when you're beginning to feel pretty good about what you are doing to manage the job search, you hit a lull.  It may not be so obvious at first, but it is bound to happen. Several unexpected things begin to occur. There's the emotional drain that hits as you continue to come to grips with your job loss and with it the security of a paycheck every two weeks. There's the physical drain that occurs when you put so much effort into your daily activities -the numerous phone calls, the research on the Internet, the meetings, appointments and coaching sessions you know are important to attend. There's the tension in the family that occurs when your new routine disrupts the life as they knew it.  And last but not least, there's your valuable network of family, friends, business associates and colleagues who were so gung ho in the first few weeks but who now seem to have disappeared back into their own jobs, careers and personal lives. It's not because they don't care about you, it's just that they too have pressures, distractions and issues that need to be resolved.

So what's a guy or gal to do?  That's the question I asked myself last week. As I pondered and spent time exploring my options, it occurred to me that I needed to take charge and get my network reinvigorated. They genuinely want to help and I need to give them something tangible to do which would not take much effort on their part. With this in mind, I crafted a "Potterton Update" email blast to the over 200 people in my network. The purpose of the email was to succinctly, in bullet point fashion, identify the highlights and results of my job search which now was entering into its third month. Included in this correspondence was a call to action inviting my network to continue to keep me in mind. 

What transpired since the email went out is truly remarkable. Phone calls and emails came flying back from literally all over the world. Two of my business associates wrote back from China where they coincidentally were both on assignment. Others wrote letters of recommendations to people they knew in the companies I indicated I was targeting. Several sent me new leads of job openings that they had recently come across in their own companies or through others who had sent them leads.  I had one person send me headhunters she highly recommended whom i did not know.  Many, many more sent encouraging words expressing how impressed they were by the work I had done and the subsequent results that I had experienced thus far.  

Through this recent effort, I have (re)learned the value of keeping people informed about what Potterton & Associates (that's me) has been up to.  People genuinely want to help and will do even more when they see you are working your tail off.  They like to be around winners and will do whatever they can to help you achieve success.  Just like it is in any great organization.

So go for it. Take the time to revitalize your network. It will do wonders to give your emotions a boost, it will energize you to face the physical challenges of the job search and even your family will show new signs of encouragement so that you can stop disrupting their comfortable routine.  Bottom line, working with your network is a heck of a lot better than doing it on your own. Let them be your sales force by giving them the tools to succeed.

Next week's blog entry: Radiance at the interview    

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