Are your preparing yourself in case of a Job Layoff?
It is easy to forget in the hustle and bustle of busy work life that you are not the center of the universe. Until you need something that is. Once you have been laid off or want to change jobs you realize how much you need other people.
Odds are people who do not know you won’t return your phone calls. We hear this complaint a lot. “Why doesn’t she return my calls?” “Doesn’t he know how rude that is?” The truth is, people won’t return your calls if they don’t know you.
Everyone knows someone who has been laid off or in some way finds themselves in a job search. After realizing they should have networked before they needed contacts, these folks become responsive to job seekers who call them. They know how it feels when no one will answer your call.
Yesterday, I went to an association meeting and encountered a woman who looked vaguely familiar. However I couldn’t place her. She slipped out of the room early before I could speak to her but on her way out she came to my table and quietly whispered in my ear that she appreciated how nice I was when she was in her job search. She wanted me to know that my small kindness, something I only vaguely recalled, meant a lot to her. It made me smile that I helped her.
I am not an expert in networking, although perhaps I am compared to some people, but small acts of kindnesses even in a very busy workday, go a long way to helping other people and eventually come back to you. This is the true meaning of networking.
Take the time to meet people and network before your job is impacted. This way you can ease into the job search mode by networking seamlessly with people you already know. And after you find your next position, please return the favor others gave you and return phone calls from those who need to network. Those desperate phone calls should also act as a reminder you that you should always be networking before you need to.
Here are some tips for building networking contacts before you need them:
- Be active in business associations. When you go to meetings, plan to meet at least 3 people you did not know before. Get their business cards. Invite them to connect with you on LinkedIn. Inquire about their experiences. Share yours. Be friendly. Next time you go to that association meeting, I bet they remember you!
- Return phone calls from people trying to network with you. They will get a job eventually and they will remember how nice you were and be likely to help you when it is your turn in the barrel.
- Be active on LinkedIn. Extend invitations. Accept invitations. Participate in discussions. This is networking for shy people!
- Be friendly on airplanes and in public. Collect business cards wherever you go and connect with those folks later on LinkedIn. Jot a note on the business card to remind you where you met that person. Put the contact information in your contact file.
- Ask people outside work for advice on business projects. You get a different business perspective and network at the same time.