Ask your Network for Help.
When someone asks you for help in their job search, you willingly offer it (if you’re able), don’t you?
So why is it that we’re so reluctant to ask others for their help when we need it?
People like to help other people. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, but make sure you’re asking for the right kind of help. Ask specific questions:
- “Do you know anyone who works for Company XYZ?”
- “How did you get your job at Organization ABC?”
- “Would you mind helping me practice my interview answers?”
Also think in terms of four different things that they can offer you: information, advice, leads, and referrals. Which one they offer will be a function of timing, what they know, and who they know, but all three are equally valuable. If you treat your job search like a project with a defined objective, action plan, and timeline, you can decided which one will best move your job search forward right now.
In the beginning planning stages of a search, advice or information may be most helpful. As you start to identify the direction you’d like to move, referrals to people in that space are valuable, and then once you’re ready to begin interviewing and speaking with companies, leads on openings or potential employers will push you forward. Advice from trusted members of your network may also be helpful towards the end of your search when making a final decision.
Keep this timeline and these options in mind as you speak with people in your network. To help them help you, be specific in your conversation and in what you could best benefit from today, tomorrow, or this week.