What the heck is your network, anyway?

So, you wanna get a job? I bet that without a doubt, someone has suggested that you should “use your network”. Am I right? If you don’t know what your “network” is or even why it matters, keep reading.

Many see networking as an abstract and potentially wishy-washy activity. The idea that comes to mind when someone suggests networking is typically: signing up for an evening event in your local area, paying some kind of fee to go, going alone, putting a name tag on, and walking around shaking hands and handing out your business cards (or explaining to people why you don’t have a business card: “I’m an environmentalist!”).

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How to (start to) identify your skills

My career counselling process began by going back to the basics. My coach and I started by reviewing stories from my life, called my “Life Experiences List”. I was told to come up with 10-20 events throughout the course of my life that gave me great joy when I thought about them. These could be virtually anything from my earliest memories to things that happened within the same year. Some examples I was given were winning a baseball game at age 10, or helping a family member complete a task.

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How I got my first job

Contrary to the title of this blog, it wasn’t exactly ‘here today, job tomorrow’ for me. But it didn’t take all that long either. I worked with a career counsellor and was employed in 5 months. Since I was working during 3 of those months, I was only crashing at my parents’ for 2. Given stories I’ve heard from my fellow graduates, I don’t think I did too badly.

I’m going to walk you through the process of how I ended up employed by November 2014.

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Read this first

If you’re interested in how to use your network to get a job you might actually like – this blog is for you.

My plan is to take you on along my journey of working with a career coach that ultimately led me to my first job. In total, I worked with a career coach and was employed in 5 months. But, I was working at an internship during part of the time, so I was only unemployed for 2 months. In today’s market, this is extremely short.

I’m going to tell you how I did it, and how you can develop, leverage, grow, and nurture your own network to make this happen for you.

This blog might be particularly useful to: recent graduates, folks planning a job change, people changing job fields, or those interested in career stuff.

If you’re interested in this blog, you might be like me. You’ve realized that the job market today is not “our grandparents job market”. It’s not even our parents. Not even close. We live in a working world today that requires constant entrepreneurship, self-understanding, and self-marketing. This can be daunting to realize and confront. I hope that the tips and tricks I can share in this blog will make a frustrating process a little more bearable, and even fun! (No sarcasm intended).

In my next post, I’m going to tell you about the steps I took to get my first real person job.