Job search is a game of numbers.
The more you reach out, the faster you will find a job. This is true whether you are laid off or seeking to move along in your career.
What distinguishes a successful career transition? It takes two parts hard work and a dash of good luck.
And a lot of coffee.
I like to talk about career growth and job transition in units of coffee. Lots of great relationships are built around coffee. Relationships lead to opportunities. Building relationships is the core of networking. So it stands to reason that the coffee we drink while building relationships can be an important currency.
To jump start your career, start by setting goals to get ahead around coffee. How many coffees do you want to have each week? The more coffee, the faster your job search transition will move. The trick is convincing the right people to have coffee with you. So let’s set some goals to boost the amount of coffee you have.
How many email / IM conversations in LinkedIn does it take to set up coffee with someone? In my personal experience and observations of my clients it takes about 3 or 4 email / IM exchanges to get your target to be comfortable agreeing to coffee.
It doesn’t work every time but it does work.
How many connections does it take to get one connection to agree to coffee? In my experience not everyone you reach out to will agree to have a conversation with you sufficient to result in coffee. So plan to reach out to at least five people to get one person to have 3 to 4 email / IM exchanges to agree to have coffee. Make sense?
Now we can set up some numbers. Let’s say you really hate your current job. You decide you want to have 5 coffee per week. That means you have to have 4 email / IM exchanges with at least 25 people per week because only 1 out of 5 at best will probably agree to coffee. Get it?
If it takes about 5 contacts to get 1 coffee, then you better get cracking! Set your goal. Want to have 1 coffee per week? Then you need to start conversations with at least 5 people to find one of those five contacts who will agree to coffee. Feeling more relaxed and only want to have 1 coffee per month, then you can slow down and only target 5 people per month.
The pace is up to you. The trick is setting a goal, whatever goal makes sense for YOU! Make a contract with yourself. It could look something like this:
I want to have _____ coffees per _(period)_____,
so I promise myself to reach out to ______ people per _(period)______,
so I can have _____ email / IM conversations per _(period)_____.
You can’t just call someone up out of the blue to ask them to coffee. They probably won’t agree to take time away from their busy schedule to have coffee with you unless there is something in it for them or they feel safe (no one wants to have coffee with a crazy person!). You have to start a conversation to find something in common. In Part 2 of this discussion we will cover what to talk about to build relationships. It is not what you think! Stay tuned for next week’s blog!