Every job is temporary….some just last longer than others. There, I’ve said it. Yes, it can be painful to hear and yes, it implies change and proactive action on your part.
In cerebral sense, we know that nothing lasts forever, yet in a practical sense we often do nothing about it. It can be tough to balance out work and family commitments but at some point, you’ll have to commit to establishing or re-establishing contacts in order to network for your next role.
Speaking with established contacts is fairly easy. You just need a reason for calling (i.e. staying in touch, I was thinking about you when I read this etc.) but establishing new contacts is a more time consuming process and it takes a defined approach. Often getting to the point where you have meaningful dialogue with a new contact/influencer is like putting together a recipe. The ingredients need to go in first. For example, you’ll need to establish a referral from someone; you’ll need to make an initial contact by email or phone; you’ll need to leave a message; you’ll need to wait for your call to be returned; if not returned you’ll need to allow some time (in order to posture yourself appropriately) before you reach out to the person again; if you don’t get a call back you’ll need to find another creative way of getting in touch with this person; you’ll need to not put all your hopes on this one contact….you get the idea. Do you see how many ingredients and decision points go into this recipe before you get to the point of having a meaningful conversation?
Now imagine doing this for 20 new potential relationships. It would obviously take a lot of time. When you are in between situations however, the process of establishing contacts (that would have been good to have before your transition) will seem daunting. It may even take too much time in the sense that you may not have all that time or want to take all that time.
We all agree that it would be helpful to know people who would be able to let you know about potential situations. However, when we spend so much time insulating ourselves in our daily life to the exclusion of slowly but consistently networking for our next role we find ourselves in a situation where we wish we had these contacts now when we really need them.
So yes, your real job is to network for your next job while you have a job. But this career-long process does not mean it has to be painful. It does not mean that you have to do this to the exclusion of your work and family commitments, but it does mean that this process has to be consistent. It’s not about volume but consistency. Be consistent and the volume will take care of itself. Be consistent and the contacts will be there when you need it. Be consistent and you’ll find that while every job is temporary, that next role might fall in your lap. But it didn’t fall….you put it there.