Whenever I come across anything related to Harry Potter (i.e. events, theme park tickets, wands, games etc.), I forward it to my friend Mary. It’s also a fun reason to send her a note. (I even made this blog post for her). How does this relate to your job hunt?
Your network has access to more opportunities than you do. Imagine if instead of delivering all things “Harry Potter” — your friends sent you perfect job leads and opportunities. For this to be successful your friends need to know.
1. You want HELP, and
2. HOW they can help (connections, leads, advice, encouragement), and
3. WHAT you are looking for (industry, role)
All of this can be challenging for different reasons. First, we are often shy or embarrassed to ask for help. Second, it is often difficult to explain to our friends what we are seeking. This is further complicated if we ourselves aren’t clear or unfocused.
A tip from one of my coaches is that you “should be able to explain what you are looking for, to a fourth grader.” It’s great advice but it isn’t easy. It’s especially hard if you have multiple talents because it very forces you to leave out talents and skills of which you are rightly proud. As, with most of the Career Habit, this gets easier with practice. Also if you’ve been practicing your habits, you know clarity comes through action.
The best time to practice “priming” your network, and A/B test your messaging, is before you are actively looking and when you have momentum. This is also beneficial because you are cultivating relationships, and earning trust takes time.