Don’t Expect a Job

Getting a job might be more about who you know than what you know – but don’t be so obvious about it. People are not going to be inclined to help you if they feel like you are just talking to them because you expect them to help you find a job, Diane Kulseth writes in an article for The Daily Muse.

At one point you were told that fellow networkers are going to help you land your next job, which can be true. But if you expect them to have a pocketful of valuable connections with whom you can speak, or opportunities at the ready; you’re in for a disappointed time. Networking is a process that is invaluable, but it takes more time than one visit.

What works is communicating with people who have the same goal in mind, landing a job. Isn’t that what one does when they network, you wonder? Not necessarily. Some people don’t get the concept. Communicating should consist of an exchange of words from which both parties can benefit.

“If you’re looking for a job, don’t ask for it – work for it,” Diane writes. How? By finding out how you can use your expertise to help them first. You’ve heard, “Help others before asking for help.” I personally think this is a good one to adopt. Don’t go to a networking event only expecting help. Have conversations with people who can be of mutual assistance.

Don’t Dismiss People Who Don’t Look Important

“Networking” isn’t just drinking a glass of chardonnay at a party while chitchatting about your career. It isn’t handing your business card to someone and walking away. It isn’t “connecting” with someone on LinkedIn without any sort of introduction or follow-up.

To be an effective networker, you have to put in the time and effort, do your homework, step out of your comfort zone, and avoid the common mistakes many people make. Last week we discussed not dressing down for networking events. This week let us discuss who you are networking with.

“You should behave here like everyone you interact with has the potential… to get you a cover story in The New York Times – because many of them do,” Tim Ferris, author of “The 4-Hour Workweek”, once told Business Insider in an interview. This came in handy at an event in 2007 when he was standing in line for a movie screening and asked a muscly man in front of him how he got such big forearms. They started chatting and Ferriss realized he was speaking with filmmaker Morgan Spurlock’s brother, who connected him with Morgan, who later used Ferriss as his subject for an episode of “A Day in the Life.”

Don’t dismiss people who do not look important enough to you. Sometimes it is the secretary that will get the job done, not the president.