Barry Groh has an excellent question in his comment on last week’s post Get Value Out Of Job Ministries Even When You Aren’t Religous. In fact, all of the comments on that post were excellent… if you get this via e-mail or RSS I suggest you click over and check out those comments. Barry’s question is:
… how to do so when you are not looking in the community where you live for any jobs? I have not searched for any groups here locally where I live because I am not planning on staying here, but I’m also too far away to be able to connect with other groups there, although I know a number of them that I would meet with if I was there.
Do you or anyone else have any suggestions?
Barry, if I were in your situation, where I was looking out of state, and I believed that network was going to play a significant role in my job search, here is what I would do:
- I would go to a local network group (or multiple groups) for a few reason. First, it’s a great reason to get out and practice essential networking skills, and I always learn stuff from others there. Second, in my 30 second commercial I would mention that I want to move to Colorado (which is where Barry wants to end up). I imagine that there would be people in the room who have some connection in Colorado, and might be able to faciliate an introduction.
- I would do a search on Google Groups and Yahoo! Groups for something there. It’s not easy to find that stuff, mind you, but you just might find what you are looking for. I know Atlanta and New Jersey both have very active job seeker e-mail groups (I’ve lurked there for almost 2 years). Here are the results I found from a simple search on Groups.Yahoo.com: http://groups.yahoo.com/search?query=denver+job+search (I was pleasantly surprised by the results :))
- I would identify groups that I would go to if I were there, and then call up the people who put them on. Introduce myself to them, let them know what I’m looking for, and ask them if there were other group members who I should talk to. I’m guessing that many of these people would be very helpful, and start to get you connected. If possible, schedule a week to fly out there, and hit all the groups in person, so that you can solidify the relationships.
- I would try and identify major networkers in the area. Liz Ryan and Mike O’Neil are both in the Denver area, I think. These are two major networkers, and I bet they know just about everyone you should know. The challenge with people of this networking level is that they may be just too darn busy to help, so it might be a dead end. But if you could give them a 30 second commercial, and specifically ask them if they “know anyone who works at A, B or C companies” or “know anyone who specializes in X profession or Y industry,” they might be able to make a quick referral or two.
- I’m sure you’ve already done this, but I would search on LinkedIn. Pretend you are a recruiter and search for what they would search for… try your own job title and industry, with the city (zip code), and see what you get. These people, whether working or not, could be great network contacts, and if nothing else, if you can connect with them on LinkedIn, you’ll usually be able to search their networks and might be surprised at the amazing contacts you meet. Doesn’t it make sense that someone who has the job you want will be connected to the people you should be connecting with?
Those are my five suggestions for networking long-distance… what are yours?