Accelerating your career search through favorable access. 3 Steps to change your job hunt trajectory.
Life transitions can be tough. Whether it’s a move, a career jump or a dive back into the workforce after taking some time off, there’s no doubt it is intimidating. Where do you start? What do you want to do with this next chapter? How do you find a job? How do you land an interview?
Many of us start with online job listings. After all, it’s got the job titles we think we want and an easy link to apply. Brush up that resume, and voila, job offers come pouring in.
If only it were that easy, right?
According to a study from TopResume.com, up to 60 percent of jobs are found through networking, not online, and only around five out of hundreds of applicants to certain listings score that coveted face-to-face interview.
I’ve been there, and it can be a frustrating process. You’ve got experience, you’ve got the drive, but nothing’s happening. No calls, no emails, no LinkedIn messages. Your faith begins to waver. Self-doubt creeps in, and it feels like maybe you’ll never get a callback. The bottom line is: Job hunting is rarely fun, and always requires a good deal of patience (no matter how you go about it), but constantly falling down the well of online job listings with little to no results can be downright exhausting.
There is a better way – 3 Steps from The Best Seller
The good news is, you’ve got everything you need at your fingertips to make it happen. There’s no magic bullet or pro tip that will find you the perfect job with zero effort, but there is an approach that can help you by utilizing the relationships you’ve already built. It requires a willingness to ask for help and a self-assessment of certain relationships in your life, but it can pay off in spades if you trust yourself and put value in your support system.
Favorable access is not just about who you know, it’s about who knows you and trusts you. Yes, there’s a second layer here that’s really important—the trust factor is what will help you accelerate your job search and get you where you need to go.
Step 1: Identify people in your life that overlap with favorable access and your career interests.
Think of friends and colleagues that you have a relationship that goes deeper than the occasional run-in at the local coffee shop. Who would you ask to meet you at that coffee shop for a friendly meetup? Who is in your text message history rather than a never-dialed number in your iPhone? Where do your interests overlap with those people, and are they involved in professional circles or industries that match the career you’re seeking? Once you’ve identified this group, buckle up, because it’s time to do the big ask. (Don’t worry, it’s not as scary as it sounds.)
Step 2: “Ask for what you want, and be prepared to get it!” – Maya Angelou
It takes an equal amount of humility and confidence to have the courage to truly ask for what you want. Though the message of asking for things runs counter to what many of us have been taught—that it’s impolite or too forward—it’s a great muscle to exercise for so many other things in life. Learning to articulate what you want in a clear way, to the right audience, can manifest many positive things in anyone’s life.
But when it comes to the job search, developing a specific goal for yourself is absolutely essential. It will require you to do your research—know the kind of roles you want, the salary range you’re willing to accept and what industries are best for your skill set—but then it’s time to act. Make it known to your trusted circle of friends, family and colleagues, and be willing to ask for help.
Here’s the best part: Almost every person you confide in wants to help you. They want you to be happy and fulfilled and employed. Even better is the potential to help out another friend or connection in the process. It feels great to make a genuine, mutually beneficial connection, and in this case, it’s a win/win/win situation. The power of referral comes from their ability to transfer their trust in you to another person, bypassing many layers of the process, saving you (and their connections) time and energy.
Step 3: Enjoy the ride!
In addition to all the feel-good, emotional reasons, it also makes the communication for the interviewing process more upfront and fluid. You’re far less likely to get ghosted by a potential employer, since they’ll have a more personal connection to you from the get-go. Referrals also make hiring you more attractive to the company because they won’t need to pay recruiting fees, and have a built-in trust. Add to that an expedited placement process and your friend may even benefit from a referral fee.
So, buck up, take a second look at that resume, and find the courage to truly ask for what you want. You may land in a new, fulfilling career sooner than you think with a little help from your friends.
Katie Bishop and her father, Doug Reichardt teamed up over 5 years to capture lessons like these on how to leverage favorable access and demand-pull in business, sales, and life. Their novel, now available on Amazon, follows a young woman struggling in her career who finds inspiration and wisdom in her journey. Want an early copy? Stay in the loop.
In college, Katie learned much from Mindy Kaling, maybe you know her as Kelly on “The Office”. Read, the blog post “There’s no such thing as an overnight success with Mindy Kaling“.