Every job is temporary…. some just last longer than others.
We know that nothing lasts forever, yet in a practical sense we often do nothing about it. It can be tough to balance 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.
Establish New Contacts
Speaking with established contacts is fairly easy. You just need a reason for calling, such as reading an article that made you think of them. But establishing new contacts is a more time consuming process that takes a defined approach. Often getting to the point where you have meaningful dialogue with a new contact is like putting together a recipe. The ingredients need to go in first.
You’ll need to establish a referral from someone and make an initial contact by email or phone. You may need to leave a message and wait for your call to be returned. If not returned, you’ll need to allow some time 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. Many ingredients go into the recipe before you get to the point of having a meaningful conversation. You can’t put all your hopes on any one contact.
Now imagine doing this for 20 potential new 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.
Build Networks Before You Need Them
We all agree that it’s helpful to know people who can let you know about potential opportunities. However, when we spend so much time insulating ourselves in our daily life to the exclusion of networking for our next role, we find ourselves in a situation where we wish we had contacts 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. Networking can’t be a full time job to the exclusion of work and family commitments, but it’s a process that has to be consistent.
Be consistent and the volume will take care of itself. Be consistent and the contacts will be there when you need them. Be consistent and you’ll find that while every job is temporary, that next role might fall in your lap. Only it didn’t fall…. you put it there.