The single smartest thing you can do for your career in an era of economic decline is to build your network to include influential people.
Connecting with existing friends, neighbours, and colleagues is a narrow approach to networking. If you really want to accelerate your career in a slow economic environment, you must go past your comfort zone.
Target leaders, experts, and decision makers in your industry. You can develop relationships with influential people at industry meetings and through professional associations. If you are internet savvy, you can connect with them through social media, by commenting on their blogs, answering questions on an on-line forum, and even by participating on e-lists.
If you make solid relationships with the right people, you will exponentially expand your network and career opportunities. First, if your new contact refers you to someone, the referral will be much more meaningful because their recommendation will be valued. Second, if your contact is someone “in the know,” he may be aware of a company that is experiencing difficulties and looking “behind the scenes” for help in rejuvenating the organization. This strategy will not only allow you to tap into this hidden job market, but also to create long-term security in a tough economy.
Sharon Graham is CANADA’S CAREER STRATEGIST. Founder and executive director of CAREER PROFESSIONALS OF CANADA and top-selling author, Sharon Graham is committed to setting the standard for excellence in the industry. A pioneer of innovations in the Canadian career development sector, Sharon championed the creation certification, awards, networking, and professional development programs for career professionals across the nation.