Note from Angela: Part of my own ‘Project Blissful’ includes getting paid to do what I love, and I believe that most everyone is or will be happier when they are passionate about their work. Today’s guest post from Courtney Coumier offers tips and advice on how to find the job of your dreams through networking–both online and through more traditional methods.
The goal in life is to fulfill the American dream, and part of that has become finding a job that you actually enjoy. So besides finding a job that will pay the bills, you now need to look for something that is fulfilling to you. Something that not only adds to the quality of your life but won’t interfere with other parts of it.
Which leads us to the ultimate question: how do we find this “dream job?”
I wish I could tell you something simple and easy, like just ask Oprah, but unfortunately it is going to take a little bit of work. The main thing to do, at all times not just when you are looking for a job, is to network.
I know it may sound simple, but it is a step that is often over looked until you are pounding the pavement with your resume.
First off, what is networking?
It is not just telling people you are looking for a job. Networking is connecting with other professionals in the industry you hope to work in or that share an area of interest with you. Basically, making friends based on their professional field. It may sound silly to hunt for friends on the interwebs (and off) but in today’s job world it is still all about who you know.
Your professional network shouldn’t just be there to help you find a job; they can also help you with a question, or have advice on something you are going through. Think of it as a professional support system, except it’s free and won’t ask you to explain your feelings.
There are a lot of ways to build out your network; I’m partial to using online networking sites. I was always skeptical of Twitter, until I landed a job. It’s amazing how strong the communities on Twitter are; there is one for everyone. You can scope them out by searching hash tags relevant to you, I use #writers and #hfchat a lot to network with HR recruiters and other writers.
Another big site is Facebook, we already use Facebook to connect with family and friends, why not add a professional network within?
BeKnown is a recent Facebook app created by Monster.com to help aid people in creating professional networks.
The idea behind it is that your Facebook network holds just as much weight as your professional one, so why not merge the two? Before you start to worry, your personal Facebook profile stays private; you control what information is put out rather than the app.
Although networking online is fairly easy, and you can do it from anywhere, nothing beats making connections in person.
By joining different online communities, or looking for different professional networking events in your area, you can find a million new resources.
And remember, the most important things to bring to any networking event are a business card and a friendly attitude (cheesy, but true).
Introduce yourself and tell them why they could connect with you, what do you have to offer, but just highlight the top three things.
Hopefully this helps you realize that 1. Networking is not a wait and see game and 2. It can lead to amazing opportunities, such as that dream job you always wanted.
About the Author
Courtney Cormier is a community manager for Monster.com’s new Facebook application BeKnown. When she isn’t busy live tweeting for the Bachelor, or attempting to give relationship advice over at The College Crush she can be found perusing the web to catch up on the latest and greatest improvements in online networking. Connect with her on BeKnown, Twitter, and check out her blog!