We live in a world where we no longer have to go to the mall to shop for the clothes we want. We don’t even need to worry about carrying credit cards or turning the lights off in our house, because our phone can perform those functions just fine.
So, what makes you think that we live in a world where you can just show up at the company you want to work for and instantly get a job? Although that could happen, it doesn’t happen as often as we might like.
At some point or another, someone you know has gone through the process of trying to find a job. They’ve gone to job fairs and handed out resumes. They’ve searched through websites like Indeed, Monster and even Craigslist trying to find what they are looking for, but they’ve gotten nothing in return. Do you know why that is?
Well, it so happens that the people that are getting the job you want are either being hired internally (are already working for the company), or they’re being referred by somebody that finds them to be a good match for the company. If you’re a recent graduate like I am, let’s be honest… we don’t know powerful people. The only hope that we have at finding the right job is through social media and networking events.
Let me tell you something, talking to people you’ve never met online with the sole intention of getting a job from them is a scary business. What’s scary about it? Well, there’s always that fear of seeming ‘too forward’ or ‘too inexperienced.’ When I first started to network online I thought to myself, man… what if they don’t even accept me as a connection? What if I seem like an job-digger? (Ha! See what I did there?) Anyway, there were all these thoughts running through my mind, but I knew I had to get over it.
My first connection on LinkedIn was the hardest… I just held my breath, closed my eyes and sent my request. To my surprise, the individual accepted! After that, I just kept going until I got to a place where I was comfortable. You see, networking online is not much different than communicating face-to-face. The only difference is that they can’t see you, so it’s up to you to make your words match your personality so that they’ll get a feel for who you are. If you can build a network online with the people you would like to work for and keep in touch, they will notice. You have better chances at getting the job of your dreams that way than sitting on the couch browsing Craigslist.
Moral of the story? Get over yourself. Create a LinkedIn account and start reaching out to people. Will everyone reply to you? Probably not. However, the majority of them will if you give them a chance.