Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Staying in the Game

When I was unemployed (which wasn't that long ago) I spent a good deal of time doing informational interviews and trying to expand my network of connections. Right before the wedding & honeymoon and immediately after my getting hired, one of my connections introduced me (virtually) to a fantastic group of people.

The only problem was the timing. I was just hired and about to be terribly busy or out of the country for 3 weeks. I did my best to respond to and get in touch with everyone in the group but I know I didn't reach out to everyone. It was also difficult for me because I had just been hired and wasn't looking to skip out of the job.

But I decided it was more worth it to stay in the game - to keep growing my network - than to take the easy road and not follow-up. I think a lot of people forget to do this when they are happily employed. Unfortunately, those people might be unprepared if something happens to their job.

So last week I had a great call with one of those connections. I explained I wasn't looking for a new job but I still wanted to talk to her, get to learn about her career, and follow-up in the future. This call was wonderful! The woman was so sweet and so willing to be in touch. I had been worried that she wouldn't respond favorably to a call that wasn't going to lead anywhere but instead this contact offered guidance and future support. I know I've preached about informational interviews before. But I am absolutely certain that there is no harm and probably a lot of benefit to continuing network expansion even when you have a job that you're happy with [which by the way - I have. Yay job!]