Many times, job seekers are reminded that networking is the most likely path to their next job. It gets reinforced constantly, at least to anyone who is seriously looking. But where do you look for the contacts you need? There is a simple answer, and yet it is not so simple.
You should look everywhere you possibly can. Leave no stone unturned.
Networking is something that you should be constantly doing whether employed or unemployed. It isn’t first and foremost about a job search, though that is when we are most often told about its importance to us. We learn about some obvious places to network, but we can’t stop there.
Sure, go network at events designed for that. There is Network After Work, which runs such events all over. Colleges and universities sometimes hold alumni events designed for this as well. These all serve a purpose and are valuable.
They shouldn’t be the only avenue. There are plenty of other options.
Professional organizations related to your industry are an important place to look. Attend meetings and other events that they hold; it can’t hurt to look into volunteer opportunities as well. The same goes for conferences or company-sponsored events, which have the added benefit of being likely to help you from an educational standpoint.
Attending events run by professional organizations can open up many doors for you aside from directly getting you closer to your next job. I attended one such event, and it helped me get into another at a significant discount – and I would not have attended the other event had that not happened. Through there came at least one job opportunity, as I am in the interview process with a company from there.
In a similar vein to events run by professional organizations are ones run by MeetUp. There are professional organizations that have MeetUps, but they exist outside of MeetUp. Many of these can be about as valuable as a professional event.
What this all adds up to is that you have a lot of options when in transition. Considering the options tend to offer different things, you should avail yourself of as many of them as you can.