Somebody posted a comment on one of my LinkedIn posts the other day saying “I didn’t know how important networking was until I found myself in transition.”
That’s a painful way to learn about the power of networking.
I had met her before. She had a great career but then things changed.
We all say we are going to network more. Like we say we are going to work out more.
It is hard to change your behavior until circumstances changes your behavior for you.
Even in a low unemployment world you can step on the wrong tile and land somewhere you don’t want to be.
I think it is harder to network these days as there are fewer networking events. People are working.
There is no time. No reason why. I’m good. I don’t like to do it. Those are some of the excuses for not networking. Nothing has changed there.
The danger is that most companies these days continue to run lean. It’s the long shadow of the Recession dictating the hiring practices of today.
Ever week I get the news that often doesn’t make the news.
“There was a restructuring and my position got eliminated. My current job is looking for a job. I am finding it more difficult than I thought.”
Absolutely. We are trained for employment not unemployment.
Everybody new to the world of transition shares how hard it can be. Nobody has ever told me it was a breeze to find a job.
When people get launched into transition they are disoriented and confused and don’t know what to do because networking isn’t part of their core behavior.
Most marketing departments and agencies run very lean. If an agency lost an account in the Old Normal unassigned people may have helped out on New Business until things came around but not today.
Just this week I heard that two smart agencies were letting people go. One lost their largest client and one ran into financial problems.
One of the folks caught in the crossfire reached out and said this has never happened to me before. It’s true. They were in the digital world and were highly skilled. But when push comes to shove, people get shoved.
So how do you make yourself bullet proof? You can’t unless you work for yourself. The client side can be as precarious as the agency side. When companies get acquired people get fired.
First start marking yourself more visible even if there are fewer networking events to attend. Post 2 to 3 updates on LinkedIn every day. Thought leadership.
Second improve your LinkedIn profile. When I talk to folks in transition and I mention Linked they all say the same thing. “Oh I know, I know I have to improve my LinkedIn profile but I never got around to it.
You want to get around to it when you are working and not when you have too much time on your hands.
First week arrange one networking coffee or lunch or drink after work.
Second week arrange two networking coffees or lunches or drinks after work.
Make that your default base level networking practice and see how your life will grow.