“I can’t believe you haven’t found a job yet, you know so many people.” This is a phrase so many well networked professionals often hear as they struggle to find a new job. As a society, we often assume that someone with a strong network can “just make a call” and then the magic happens. It’s not that easy.
We all hear those stories of a well connected professional calling in a favor from a friend and suddenly landing the job of their dreams but those stories are the stuff urban legends are made of. Networking is nothing more than a tool in your career search toolbox. I’ll always suggest tapping into your network from the start of your search but that’s just the start. While reaching out to your networking, begin your own investigation of the opportunities in your industry. Update your resume, search job boards, follow companies & professionals in your industry on LinkedIn and Twitter, reach out to hiring managers, hire a career coach, and follow up. These are all equally as important as your network.
Professionals in your network will likely be happy to help you but they have jobs, families, and lives to attend to as well. It’s unfair and unprofessional to think your network will stop what they’re doing to further your career search. Yes, they’ll keep an eye out for opportunities that make sense for you and they’ll even make introductions on your behalf but furthering your career is your job not theirs. Remember to keep all of your tools in your career search toolbox sharp and ready to use. You never know when the right opportunity will develop.