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How To Network With Networking Groups That Are Far Away

July 15th, 2008

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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 :))
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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?

9 Comments »

9 responses to “How To Network With Networking Groups That Are Far Away”

  1. I’d pick up a copy of the local Business Journal “Book of Lists” and other local publications in the area to prospect for local companies to target.

    From my networking via LinkedIn, face to face and yahoo groups, I would then “who do you know” everyone I could think of to identify contacts within those companies on my “target list.”

    I did this when I wanted to leave Seattle and come back to California in a career change. It was a challenging experience for me, but I did it and the target company list paid off…. literally! PLUS, it was the best training a recruiter could ever get on networking via the phone :-)

    Good luck Barry!

  2. Anemone says:

    If you are on non-local mailing lists or forums, even if they are absolutely, positively not related to your job search, you are probably sitting on a wealth of contacts. Maybe you’re a photography enthusiast (like me), or an amateur astronomist, an online gamer, a sudoku fan, doesn’t matter. There are probably people from Melbourne, Delhi, Prague, San Paolo, and yes, Denver on that list. You probably chat with these people several times a week. Ask them for help! Ask them to look up the names of local lists, to scan and e-mail you relevant articles and job ads, etc.

    You can also keep well-informed on your target area by reading the local newspapers and newsletters, whether online or through mail subscription. Read them for useful articles, note names, and contact those with whom you can have substantive exchanges. “I read your comments in the interview with the Lakeville Journal of Business, and found them enlightening. I thought you might be interested in this article I found…”

  3. […] If you’re trying to find a job in another state, you need to read this posting and the comments that follow on Jason Alba’s blog. […]

  4. Megan says:

    Hey Jason,

    I responded to this post via my blog since it was way to long for a comment…..and linked to you….didn’t do the trackback as you would not have felt the love :)

    Thanks for the great post!

    Megan

  5. Hi Jason! And Barry!

    Love those networking questions. Here are some quick tips for instant gratification:

    1. Make a list of everyone you know right now – THINK BIG. This means, third cousin twice removed counts as part of your network. Find out who knows someone in CO.

    2. I agree with the earlier post – The Business Journal’s book of lists is terrific for identifying target companies. Take it a step further, check out the movers and shakers section. If someone’s been hired in a key role – that means there may be an opp. for you. (Here’s Denver’s direct link: http://tinyurl.com/5puk3v.)

    3. Get the local paper for the area where you plan to move. Again, review movers and shakers. Also read the business section for names. Papers list the big cheese’s names – so you now have an actual name of a person where you can send your resume. And you can also ask who in your network knows someone who may know someone who knows this Big Cheese.

    4. Chamber of Commerce – check out their website for the area where you plan to move. Not only do you get lists of local companies, you get contact names as well. If you move before you get a job (not something I recommend) – volunteer for the local chamber and press the flesh.

    5. Your industry’s professional organizations. For example, PRSA is a national organization for public relations professionals. They have local chapters – you can connect from the website. And they also have job postings for members only. What’s your industry’s professional organization? Join and connect!

    And here’s a direct link to my article on how to relocate and get hired faster:

    http://www.knocks.com/Relocation_job_search_tips.html

    And here’s a link to tons more articles and networking tips:

    http://www.knocks.com/news.asp

    All the best,
    Wendy Terwelp, networking coach

  6. […] Alba of Jibberjobber.com had a great post today about long distance networking. One of his readers, Barry Groh, asked: […]

  7. Barry Groh says:

    Jason,

    You recently apologized for not helping me with my job search. Well, my friend, YOU JUST HIT A HOME RUN! I also appreciate your ideas and insight, and I will be surprised if there aren’t more suggestions, and maybe even a few nibbles.

    I’d also like to respond to your points briefly just for your information:

    1. I haven’t signed up or attended any local groups yet, but your ideas are strong. I will have to see if we have something closer than Wilmington, DE (about 2+ hours away) or Columbia, MD (again, around 2+ hours away). I’ll do some digging, and find out what I can.

    2. Thanks for the lead to the Google groups – WOW, I didn’t know there were that many! I’ll keep checking and adding!

    3. I have already joined three groups in the Denver area, and when out on vacation in May attended a meeting of one of them. It has been helpful to put faces with the names, and I have gotten some great leads from them as well. No job interviews or offers yet, but some very good leads.

    4. I have made some great strides with two big networkers. Both are EXTREMELY helpful, and have also become good friends.

    5. LinkedIn searches have netted me some good people, as well as some introductions through my network to some of the people in high places in some of my target companies. It is beginning to pick up speed, but I wish it would produce interviews or offers!

    Jason, thank you so very much for your help, and for this awesome feature. I’m forever grateful. And to all of you who have responded, and for all the additional responses, I truly am humbled and thankful.

    Barry

  8. I recently did this…moved from Utah (after 7 years and a pretty good network). I moved home to Philly. I tried a lot of things above and they “kinda” worked…so you have to do them.

    Here is the one thing I did..that worked great. Find a “champion” in the new area….even if you have to pay them. Find someone who is “clone” of you…someone you can rely on. Yes..this is hard. But you can’t be there….so you need someone to be there. Btw..mine was a guy named Chris Massaro at http://www.thesourcecareers.com

    disclosure…I am unpaid support to Chris…only after I found his service so valuable, I wanted to help.

  9. […] asked Barry Groh, who I blogged about a few days ago, if he was using JibberJobber, and he replied that he hadn’t taken the time to get up and […]