Well ... as observant readers may have noticed, it's been nearly a month since I penned my "introductory post" as The Job Stalker, although that and this should be both making their first appearances today. Due to the delay in having this blog updating, there was a certain note of urgency being expressed for me getting up a few entries here ... so I'm jumping in somewhat mid-stream, as I have an update to make which I would have preferred, thematically, to have been a few posts down the road.
One of the things that you can expect to see in this space from me are over-views of events and functions that I've gone off to in search of that essential face-to-face networking. Nearly every "job search expert" out there will tell you that networking is a key tool in the job seeking kit ... yet this is, unfortunately, one that is frequently ignored. I have been, in previous job searches, as guilty as the next guy in this. However, this time around (given the lovely state of the economy), I knew that I could not realistically hope to find "the right job" without going out and meeting folks.
I've set a target of attending at least two "networking events" per week, although some weeks I've been to as many as five! Frankly, Chicago's a great town for networking and, in my "target area" at least, there are many nights when I have a choice of a half a dozen quite plausible events to choose from. In subsequent entries I'll get into the resources that I use to find these, but there is such a wide array of possibilities out there that the two-per-week goal is, I believe, achievable by any job searcher.
Now, when I say "networking events", I don't necessarily mean specific "mixers" aimed at the unemployed (although I have a weekly one of those as a back-up on Monday nights, just in case there's a particularly "thin" week coming up). Most of the "networking events" that I go to are functions being staged by assorted groups within the "target areas" of my search, and are attended by people employed in those niches. Not only does this avoid the "room full of jobless people having a pity party" syndrome, it also puts me in touch (and my networking cards in the hands of) a wide array of people who may know somebody who is in need of somebody with my particular skill set!
Last night was an example of this ... it was the first of a series of "author events" being hosted by OfficePort (a co-working environment which has been very active in hosting tech and social media functions), featuring author Kenneth L. Kring doing an introduction to his new book. Now, aside from my interest in books, this wasn't particularly "on target" for me (the book being about "business strategy"), nor was it a large event (about 10 people), however, and here is the key point ... I met people that I might not have run into otherwise ... among these was one lady from a "target company" of mine, two people from a "target industry", and one guy that I've met before but, due to a discussion I was having with the speaker, indicated that he might have some project work for me. Fully half the people in that room could be immediately "useful" in my job search (and everybody left with a copy of my networking card), but I wouldn't have made those contacts if I wasn't focused on getting out to these sorts of gatherings!
So, dear readers, today's "take-away" thought should be: Get Networking!