Leveraging Your Network to Find a Job by Jim White, Board of Directors, Career-Confidence.org

So, what do you do when events out of your control force you to reconsider your career options? In other words, you are out of a job, and you need to find a new one. First, don’t despair; there is a wonderful new opportunity out there for you—you just have to go for it. Second, there is a reliable, strategic way to identify that position. Let’s talk about the steps you need to follow to uncover your new opportunity.

The first one is easy, make Career-Confidence.org a required destination. The team offers a series of highly professional events each week. Check out the topics, show up early, and stay late. It’s called networking / relationship building. Have someone there review your resume, discuss strategies for your job search. Listen to them and act on it. They are experts and here to help. Be prepared to get out of your comfort zone. Have fun.

Second, reach out to your network of people and set up a time to talk. If they ask why just say you want to get their thoughts on the industry because you are thinking about making some changes. You do not want to make people feel awkward by saying, “I just got laid off. Got a job?” Besides, that should never be your goal. Focus on gathering information. At the end of the meeting, ask, “Who are two or three other people you think I should talk to?” or “Who do you know who needs to know about my availability.”  Follow up on those leads and repeat the process.

Third, networking events, especially industry-specific gatherings you should continue attending. If you are in the professional services industry, set up your own consulting firm, but do not name it after yourself. There are a few things to consider: a gap in employment can be a problem, and the older you are or the longer the gap, the more challenging it will be to explain it to a future employer. Consulting keeps you active and visible in your field of expertise until you land the perfect job.

Fourth, remember, if you are out of a job, then your job is finding a job. Career-Confidence.org has a presentation on how to allocate your time each week. It’s excellent advice. The key is to keep your enthusiasm up and stay confident. The job is out there. You just have to find it.

Finally, remember, as you are setting the meetings and attending events, it’s not just about “you.” As you meet people throughout your journey, look for ways to help others, especially other people who are also looking for their next great job opportunity. As you network, you become part of a community. Look for ways to give back.     

You are not alone. A job search can often feel that way. Career-Confidence.org is here to help guide you, but you also have your friends and family to help you. Keep your head up, stay positive, and go meet new people every day. You got this!

My Experience with Career-Confidence.org by Silvia Ferguson

I came across Career-Confidence.org when I needed it the most. I had been working as a preschool teacher for a private daycare facility for five years. Unfortunately, the environment was getting very toxic, a lot of gossiping, and the school had deteriorated to the point where it cut classes, teachers lost hours, and some were let go. We were all competing against each other to get the classes and hours we wanted and needed. I decided to use my summer break to apply for jobs.

I was terrified! I hadn’t applied for a job in years and had no idea how to attack the job market. First, I visited the Workforce Center in Virginia and took free classes. I got helpful training, but they also scared me with how big my competition was and how difficult it would be to get a job interview.

I started attending Career-Confidence.org seminars in mid-July of 2019 and had a completely different experience. Everything was positive, and everyone was so helpful. I had a few one-on-one meetings with Robert Brandau, and he helped me with my résumé, taught me about LinkedIn, how to answer difficult questions at an interview, and much more. With each seminar, I became more confident and motivated. I felt like everything was going in the right direction. The résumé looked much better, the LinkedIn page finally looked professional, and I was prepared for interviews. Robert also introduced me to other recruiters. Best of all, I actually had a few interviews shortly after. Robert saw qualities in me that no one else had seen, and he listened to me.

The significant takeaway from attending Career-Confidence.org for me is the positivity and encouragement, and most of all, the Christian story at the end. I know God led me to resign the preschool teacher position and directed me to Career-Confidence.org. I was so frightened but resigned anyway because I didn’t want to go back to the toxic environment; I was getting sick just thinking about it. I honestly talked to everyone about my situation and what kind of job I was looking for. People were listening and helpful in connecting me with others. In my case, Robert talked to a small business owner (John Yu at Office Evolution) who was looking for a new business-center manager. My interview went smoothly, and I got hired one and a half months after attending my first Career-Confidence.org seminar. It still blows my mind! I feel so blessed, and I am so thankful to Robert and the team. I love my job!

I also learned not to rely on online job databases (e.g., Indeed, Monster) and to value networking events such as Career-Confidence.org. Now, I look for opportunities to connect with as many people as possible (friends, neighbors, and any place you run into people). Career-Confidence.org offers a friendly, positive, motivating, honest, and helpful support community for job seekers, and unbelievably, it’s completely free!