Never assume that someone in your network cannot help you. Fact is, every single person in your network has the potential to help you in your search for your next opportunity.
This is a common trap many of us fall into. We assume that someone doesn’t have the ability or the reach to help us based on their title, role, seniority (or lack thereof), job experience, life experience, our perception of their relative ability etc.
This fundamental premise is wrong! At the end of the day, you DO NOT KNOW:
- Who somebody else knows
- Who they are related to
- Who they met for coffee or on zoom last week
- What access they truly have
There are many ways you can ask for help when networking and you simply don’t know until you have the discussion how an individual could potentially help you.
The goal of every networking conversation is to increase the information you have about getting access to an opportunity that will fit your needs and goals.
When you approach a networking conversation, the person you are speaking with can potentially help by:
- Providing you an introduction to somebody you do not know
- Recommending additional or similar roles/opportunities you had not considered
- Telling you about a company/role that may or may not interest you
- Provide perspective on growth opportunities, compensation, culture of the organization, etc
- Validating or challenging your hypotheses
- Providing a referral to a job opportunity
- Recommend additional people you need to meet
Every networking conversation during your search should be undertaken with the mindset that the person you are speaking to can get me one step closer to my goal. Keep telling yourself, “I will take a valuable piece of information out of this conversation!”
Remember, having an open and inquisitive mind is a superpower!