“Just go network. You'll find the people (or the job) you're looking for.” Yeah. Right. Wouldn't it be nice if it were that easy? If you're like most technical managers (or technical people looking for a job), networking is not one of your innate skills. Here are some suggestions to help you network:
- Attend local professional society meetings. Bring your business cards, try to talk to a few people. Once you've attended a couple of meetings, make it a point to meet two new people at each meeting. If you have an open position, bring job ads. If you're looking for a job, make sure you talk to new people at each meeting.
- List all the ways you know people: alumni networks (schools and companies), religious organizations, friends, relatives. Then systematically contact people in those networks who may be able to help you.
- Are there conferences in your field? Consider contacting the speakers to see if they know of anyone who might be appropriate. If there's a vendor show, attend that so you can network with the vendors and maybe meet some people.
You don't have to like networking; you just have to do it. The more effective you are at networking, the faster you'll find the people (or the job) you're looking for.