Wishing and Hoping
In My Fair Lady, Eliza Doolittle wistfully hopes for a room somewhere, far away
from the cold night air, with one enormous
chair. Just like Eliza, many job seekers wish
for the right job somewhere, advertised at a
huge job fair, with one great boss who
cares. Aow, wouldn't it be loverly?
Life certainly would be easier if one
clearinghouse posted all available jobs and
you could apply for those that interested
you. Unfortunately, the job search game is
not that simple or well organized. Finding a
good job takes time, energy and hard work.
Wishing and hoping just won't do it.
Yes, you can find jobs posted at sites
such as Monster. com, CareerBuilder.com and
the GAA's online career services.You also
can find openings at company Web sites
and in newspaper ads. But when all is said
and done, you absolutely must include net-
working in your strategy mix.
Networking is the most effective way to
find a job; 60 to 90 percent ofjobs are
found informally through friends, relatives
and business contacts. Why? Because finding
competent and manageable employees takes
a lot of time and effort. Employers have
businesses to run and problems to solve.
They would rather interview someone rec-
0!lU11ended by a valued employee than sort
through 100 resumes, many of which are
unsuitable. Employers who post jobs on
Web sites still long for human contact.
Even high-tech companies with online
applications get more than half of their
new hires from employee referrals.
So just how do you make networking
work for you? Understand that it does not
mean asking everyone you know for a job
or expecting a job offer from each contact.
Networking takes work. It is a long-term
process of building relationships. People
must develop trust in you and your abilities
before they can recommend you for a job.
Don't rush it. Eagerness can cause you to
cut to the chase. Before building a rapport,
you might find yourselfpopping the ques-
tion,"Do you know ofany job openings?"
This direct approach puts others in an awk-
ward position if they don't know of any
available jobs or aren't yet sure of your
qualifications. Take the pressure off and ask
more general questions about their indus-
64 NOllembe rl D ecemver 200 4
try, how they
started their career
or how they like
tacts will not have a job for you - they
will have information that can help you
connect with other people who might have
job openings. It often takes three levels of
networking before you connect with some-
one with a suitable opening, so you need
to ask each ofyour contacts for the names
of additional contacts.
To network successfully, you must know
what you want from each contact. Is it the
name of the marketing manager at a target
company, a chance to shadow a pharma-
ceutical rep or an opportunity to meet
with a leader in your industry? People will
help if they know what you need.
Make networking easy and do what
comes naturally, almost anywhere - at a
bagel shop, supermarket or party. Fill your
social calendar. Everyone you know could
be in a position to help you reach your
Join a networking group. Many churches
and conm1Unities hold meetings for people
to share information and support. Just be
careful not to become too dependent on
the group. Take responsibility for yourself. If
you find your search is stagnating, you
could join another group.
Networking is a two-way street; make a
positive impression and focus on giving as
much as getting. Nurture your network; be
a resource. Put people in your network in
touch with each other.
Follow through - meeting people is
not enough. Continue informing them
about what you're doing and what jobs
interest you. Keep track of your contacts
and revisit them bi-monthly.
Remember networking should be fun.
Enjoy that Rain in Spain.•
Unda Conklin is the GAA's manager of Alumni Career
Services. For information on anything career-related,
contact her at (919) 962-3749 or bye-mail at
email@example.com. Her advice and other career-
related information can be found on the GAA's Web
site at alumni.unc.edu/career.
DOUG DIBBERT ' 70, president
STEVE SHAW ' 82, director of finance and administration
st< 'Vefirstname.lastname@example.org; %2-3599
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Membership and Marketing
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MIKE LUDWICK, coordinator of student membership
TANEA PETTIS ' 95, coordinator of student programs
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Records and Information Systems
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