Broaden Your Network

Broaden Your Network

Completely unscientific studies show that many people find their jobs through people they already know. It's amazing that this ever happens at all since most people are so reluctant to tell anyone they know that they're looking for work. And the more they need the job, the less likely they are to tell anybody who might actually be able to help.

Part of getting your career in shape is building up your awareness of relationships with people. You also need to practice asking people questions and telling them you're looking. It does not come easy to most -- but managing your career and building your networking skills are critical to finding a rewarding job.

Here's a good exercise. Do this one even if you don't need a job at the moment. Think of the kind of job you want: Graphic designer? Marketing analyst? Then think about the cities or even countries you would like to work in. Create a system for organizing these details.

Now, think of the people you know who can get you the details you need to get started. Contact them and explain what you're looking for. The people you contact should be plugged in to the business and also have a real connection -- former coworkers or bosses, someone who works within your desired industry or has experience you can learn from, for example.

Ask your contacts about three things:


Ask if they have heard about any openings in the industry. If nothing comes to mind immediately, don't give up. Unless your contacts have very recently talked with friends or a recruiter who's trying to fill a specific slot, chances are slim that they may know of any openings.


Ask your contacts for names of people who might be of help to you. It may be a friend from another company or a recruiter at a search firm. And, of course, ask if you can use their names. Everyone knows someone, so use this to your advantage.


Get feedback from your contacts. Ask them what you can do to make yourself a stronger candidate for the kind of job you want. Use this as a test closer. If a contact can't think of a single thing that would make you a more attractive candidate or can't think of anyone you can talk to, then he  probably isn't the best contact. Thank the person and move on.

If your contacts are interested in you and your plans, they will have at least a couple of suggestions. They may suggest you look at a different kind of job, something they think you'd be better suited for or something that would be good preparation for the kind of job you want. Listen closely, because the message behind what they say will be one of three things -- "I believe you can do this now," or "I believe that with some preparation you could do this someday" or "I don't believe this is the right path for you."

Work through this exercise several times. Remember: Practice makes perfect. Whatever you do, don't stop after just one, particularly if it's a negative experience. A bad experience could mean you selected the wrong person. There are millions of people out there willing to help. By the time you've done this exercise a few times, you will have developed a pretty good picture of the kind of candidate you are for the type of job you want, and you'll have strengthened your relationships with some people who can help.

Articles in This Feature:

Latest Jobs

Mass Lung & Allergy PC
Posted: 07/01/2015
Leominster, MA, 01453
Posted: 07/01/2015
Weston, MA, 02493
Posted: 07/01/2015
Indianapolis, IN, 46201
Eveready Printing
Posted: 07/01/2015
Cleveland, OH, 44128
Western Home Community
Posted: 07/01/2015
Cedar Falls, IA, 50613

Want more personalized results?  Update Your Profile


Monster Communities

Teaching Community
Where teachers meet and learn.
Create and connect.
Networking for the career-minded woman.
Nursing Link
Where nurses call the shots.
More Monster Communities

Monster Partners

Scholarships, financial aid and more ways to pay for school.
Find top campus and online degree programs.
Military portal for the US Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
Financial Aid
Scholarships & financial aid.
Staffing for Government Jobs
Staffing and hiring solutions for federal government agency jobs.
More Monster Partners

Job Hunt Strategy

Six Ways to Make a Recruiter Hate You
If you want to blow your chances with recruiters -- and, by extension, with the companies they work for -- here are six perfect ways to do so.

Resumes & Cover Letters

Rev Up Your Resume to Relocate
Hoping to relocate? Get the ball rolling on landing the right job in the right location with these expert resume and cover letter tips.


100 Potential Interview Questions
Interview questions can run the gamut. You probably won't face all 100 of these, but you should still be prepared to answer at least some of them.

Salary & Benefits

10 Questions to Ask When Negotiating Salary
Most of us aren't natural negotiators, but asking these 10 questions during salary negotiations can help you get everything you deserve.

Employee Sourcing

Alt text
November Monster Employment Index Grows 13% Year-Over-Year, Tenth Consecutive Month of Positive Annual Growth.

For Seekers

Campus and Online Degrees
Advance your career and earn more with an online degree.
Free Salary Wizard
What are you worth? Find out and negotiate a better salary.
Research Careers
Get information on jobs and career paths to help guide your choices
Questions & Answers
Find answers to all your career related questions -- powered by Yahoo! Answers
Resume Distribution Service
Our distribution service puts your resume right in the hands of recruiters.
Resume Writing Services
Our experts will craft a keyword-rich resume that stands out in the crowd.
More Career Resources

For Employers

Career Ad Network
Target your job posting to more candidates on thousands of websites.
Hire Right Background Checks
Explore our background check packages to improve the quality of your hires.
Hiring Home Page
Find the best candidates for your business with Monster hiring solutions.
Job Postings
Find the right solution for your hiring needs. Starting at $99.
Power Resume Search
Monster's new search technology precisely matches people with your jobs.
Resource Center
Find staffing insights, labor trends, HR best practices and more.
Target Post
Connect with skilled, hourly and administrative candidates for only $99.

Social Media

Jobs on Twitter
Find jobs in your area and industry.
Monster Careers
Tune into our career advice and discussions tackling a wide range of topics and industries.
Monster Corporate & PR
Stay up-to-date on the latest news. Get the 'Who', 'What', 'When', and 'Why' on all things Monster related.
Monster Customer Service
Got a Monster question? We've got the answer. Whether you're a job seeker or employer, we can help you find the answers you need.
Monster for Employers
Find advice on hiring.
Follow Us
Check out our many pages and stay connected with the latest industry news, events, career advice and job openings.

Other Links

Monster Company Profiles
Explore companies and get information to guide your career decisions.
Compare Salaries
See how your pay stacks up to others in your field.
iPhone Application
Download the Monster app for iPhone and iPod touch.
Monster Job Seeker Blog
Monster Job Seeker Blog.
Monster Thinking Blog
Monster's Recruitment Trends Blog.
Jobs & Career Resources
Search Jobs:
For Employers: Post Jobs | Search Resumes | Advertise
About Monster | Work for Monster | Advertise with Us | AdChoices | Partner with Us | Investor Relations | Social Media
Terms of Use | Privacy Center | Accessibility Center | Help | Security | Contact Us | Sitemap | Mobile
©2015 Monster - All Rights Reserved U.S. Patents No. 5,832,497; 7,599,930 B1; 7,827,125 and 7,836,060 MWW - Looking for Monster Cable? - V: 2015.12.0.54-310