Now that you’ve learned how to goal set using intentions in Step 1, it’s time to think about how to start acting on your goal.
Step 2: Reach Out
Networking is a cliche when it comes to job searching advice. However, this one is a cliche for a reason. I reached out to many “loose connections” after the pandemic hit, who often then connected me with even more people.
To be clear, I did not get a job through networking. I actually got my job by applying to it on a job board (it does happen)! However, I still attribute the advice I received while networking to helping me land my current position.
Here’s how to break reaching out down:
Start by emailing loose connections
If you are a new college grad, this might mean reaching out to an alumni network or a former internship. If you’re a young professional, this could mean former co-workers, mentors, a young-professionals group, even people you volunteer with, etc.
When you reach out, be polite, brief, and state your intention. Do not ask if they know of any opportunities. Rather, ask to set up an informational interview. For example, say you are interested in learning more about their career trajectory, industry, or the company they work for (whatever applies to you).
You might be nervous–and it’s okay. Write and send that email anyway! People are generally very open to chatting and helping out. The worse case–they say no!
Set up Zoom or phone meetings
If your contact agrees to an informational interview, ask to set it up a quick 30-minute chat by Zoom or phone. It’s always helpful to create a face-to-face connection, which is why I usually ask about Zoom. Face-to-face connections establish rapport and make you more memorable (in case they do have an opportunity that opens up in the future)!
If you do meet by Zoom, dress business casual and leave the hoodie in your closet (though this could vary by industry). Have a list of 5-6 questions, and keep it casual. One question could include: can you share how you got started in your industry? You can be honest that you are looking for a new job, and at the end state, you would appreciate them letting you know of any opportunities they may hear of in the future.
While you might not hear of an opportunity during an informational interview, it’s important to apply the advice you received. In one of my interviews, the person kindly offered to review my resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile.
Her suggestions on how to write a stronger cover letter and some mistakes I was making were highly valuable. I applied her advice when writing my cover letter for my current position. I then learned my cover letter was one of the reasons I landed an interview!
Up next…Step 3, so stay tuned!