Some people come to me for my coaching 3-6 months before they want to change their position, which is the perfect preparation timeframe. However, others come to me when they already are unemployed and are looking for the quick fix, which makes it more difficult for them to focus on the relationship building part because they need a new job as soon as possible.
This article is for both parties. It will make sure, you either start preparing long enough before you become unemployed or will make sure you are aware of it for the next time you want to change job.
1. Make Connections Within your Current Company
While you are still employed, you can leverage the company’s contact directory and have easy access to most of the people because you still work within the organization. This provided you with a great opportunity to strengthen your relationships and build new connections within the organization.
It feels very comfortable to do this within your department. However, the organization does not end there. Make sure you get in touch with people outside of your department or even division. You can do this very easily at Xmas parties, other cross-department events and meetings where people from other parts of the company attend. Instead of sitting next to the people you always do, sit next to somebody you don’t know. This will build your network automatically if you do this every time a meeting takes place. When you have an initial chat at the meeting and you think you get along well, why not going for lunch?
You might know that I am a huge fan of building relationships through LinkedIn but there is nothing that can beat face to face relationship building.
2. Make Connections With Suppliers and Clients
At the next client or supplier meeting, try to get to know them on a more personal basis instead of only talking about business. If possible, go for lunch with them instead of meeting in a conference room. It’s much easier to talk about the personal life over lunch or dinner.
This will do two things for you, it will increase you current business relationship with them and your current company will profit on the long term. Second, you will build a personal relationship to last, long after you left the company. You will not be “Mike, the sales representative from XY” but “Mike, the generous and very knowledgable business professional who helped me to XY”. Which one sounds better to you and for your track record?
3. Think about getting a coach
A career or job search coach can help you best when you are still employed or when you have at least some time to do the right things instead of just focussing on the quick fixes. There are several types of career coaches out there. Some help you find yourself to be able to change career, others help you to prepare application documentation as an outplacement service.
I, for example, am a different type of coach. I believe relationships are the key to everything. This is why I teach my clients how to find and connect with the right people so they can show their talents and values which will eventually lead to job offers.Trough my “Job Search Revolution Framework“, my clients are able to connect with hiring managers and peers in their target companies very easily, because I guide my clients through the whole process of connecting and building meaningful professional relationships.
4. Read Industry News
Another important part of the preparation process is to stay on top of what is happening in your industry. There are several ways you can approach this.
Read your industries magazines where changes are announced and where management issues are discussed.
Subscribe to your favorite websites through newsletters to stay on top of the industry.
Set up Google Alerts for your dream companies you would like to work for. You can only use the company’s name or use a search string like “Amazon AND (Reorganization OR CEO OR CIO OR COO OR Change OR Expansion OR New OR Job”.
This will provide you with the most important information about the company as they appear. You can add many more varieties to this example, also for many different companies. Google Alerts is an extremely powerful tool when you know how to use it.
5. Get in Touch with Past Employers
Go for lunch with your ex boss or meet them for a coffee. When you are still employed, it does not feel like you are just getting in touch with them for the sake of getting a new job. Look after your network of connections from the past very carefully, this could be the most important leverage for future career success.
Find out what they are up to right now and how you can help them. There is certainly something you can do for them so they can benefit from you. How about you connect them with somebody in your network where both parties could benefit from? I found this one of the most powerful offerings from my side where both people benefit the most.
TIP: Put a note in your calendar or task system to connect 3 people, who you think could benefit from each other, every single day. You will be amazed what opportunities arise from this.
6. Further Develop your Network
This step may throw you out of your comfort zone but it is essential for your career success. I believe it is essential for success in any part of your life because I believe that relationships are the key to everything.
Build new connections outside of your network. You can easily do this by asking your current connections “Who do you think I should meet from your network because he or she could benefit from me?”. This will give you the possibility to tap into other people’s network and grow your own. Always make sure you don’t make it about yourself but about how you can help your connection or their network and not how they can help you.
TIP: Once a week, have lunch with somebody you have never met before. This will build your network by 52 new people per year and you will never have to go to awkward networking events or speed dating for business type meetings.
Do you want to meet peers and potential hiring managers? Join the Career Network Switzerland and publish you personal mission statement in the discussion section. You can also directly connect with me on LinkedIn.