Finding a job in a down economy is tough. According to recent statistics, roughly 53 percent of college grads are either unemployed or underemployed, and these are some of the highest rates in the past 11 years. Finding a job after college is important not only for making a living, but also for paying off the student debt you have most likely incurred.
If you’re worried about your job prospects, don’t be. In the present jobsearch scenario, what matters most is knowing the right people and above all building a sincere connection.
Here’s an introduction to building a sincere connection which often results in a faster job search after you graduate:
A long time ago, your ability to get a job was based entirely on your ability to perform the job well. These days, however, your ability to find gainful employment is based more on your personality, the ability to work well with others, what schools you went to and the people you know. Whether you participated in distance learning through The College Network or made meaningful contacts on social media sites, these retargets will prove to be valuable tools in getting a good job.
Amy E. Jensen in her book The Graduates’ Guide to Networking puts it simply:
We know that most job interviews are offered through networking. We know that most job offers are given through networking. And especially, we know that networking requires going outside of our comfort zone. Networking is making a connection with another person, establishing a relationship, and nurturing that relationship into a mutually beneficial relationship. Networking is a two-way street. It is not just what you could gain from a networking contact, but what you could give as well.
However networking does not just mean having a lot of contacts on your LinkedIn profile and calling in someone now and then. One sincere connection is worth a lot more than thousands ‘hardly known’ contacts on paper or online. Many jobs that are worth having aren’t advertised through traditional means. Their availability is circulated solely through word of mouth. This is another reason why social networking comes in handy. The people you meet and build relationships with may be willing to vouch for you and your skills and let you know about openings in the career you’ve always wanted.
Stever Robins in his book 9 Steps to Work Less and do More says:
A single contact won’t make much of an impression. You need to connect several times to cement a relationship. Relationships are key to long-term success. Others help you succeed, help you get the retargets you need, and can forge partnerships where each person does what’s quick and easy for them.
Networking for Introverts
You might think that networking for introverts would be rather difficult and not your cup of tea, but interestingly you are the right person to build a sincere network with lasting relationships. Imagine a scenario where you are working as an intern at a company and meet your manager or peer at work or during the lunch breaks, or at a gym. As an introvert you have not taken the first step to get to know them or introduce yourself further, what would you do to build a sincere network?
Nancy Ancowitz in her book Self-promotion for Introverts says:
“It’s real simple. You just look up and give the person a nice smile and say, ‘How are you doing today?’ The first day you do that, the response is, ‘Fine,’ and the person moves on. The second day you do it, the person says, ‘Fine,’ again and moves on. The third day, the person is going to start talking to you. Build a level of familiarity and trust by seeing each other in the same spot every day, and pretty soon, if you create the environment to engage in a conversation, the person will join you. If you jump them right away and ask them some big questions about solving world peace the person is probably going to think you’re crazy.”
Now Contact your Network for available Apprenticeships
Now take your networking and relationships to the success level, the request of information and referring you to an available and suitable job opening. If there’s a particular career field you’ve got your eye on, don’t be discouraged if there are few or no openings being advertised. Instead, go look around for different employers in the field and tell them you’d be interested in an apprenticeship. This shows serious ambition and an interest in advancement that employers find appealing. While apprenticeships don’t usually pay that great, they will give you a livable wage while providing invaluable knowledge, experience and room for advancement.
Find if someone in your network can sincerely introduce you to such employers or recruiters. You’d be pleasantly surprised that people love to help, the key is “sincerity and trust”.
Don’t be discouraged by the down economy. If you’ve tried conventional methods of finding work after graduation and your attempts have failed, that doesn’t mean that you should give up. By following these tips, you can find yourself the job you’ve been waiting for!