Have you been looking for a job and having no luck finding one? Finding a job is not always about being the best qualified candidate. A lot of times finding employment is all about who you know. “Who you know” you’ll often hear is more important than “what you know.” Making the right contacts is just as important as finding the right opening on Careerbuilder or Monster.com. So, the question then becomes where can you go to meet a new business contact?
Here are a few of the nontraditional places to look for networking opportunities:
Business used to be conducted in offices and boardrooms. In the 21st century, business is often conducted on the links. It may be expensive to visit your local driving range or golf course but it can pay off in ways that you would never imagine. The golf course is the place to go for all of your business networking needs. Become a regular at the local golf course and you never know who you will meet while on the course. You could be rubbing shoulders with a VP or CEO that can help you get in the door of your dream job. This type of venue can also apply to other sports as well. For example, joining a tennis club and playing with a new doubles partner every week is another great way to meet people.
You can make networking contacts online as well as in person. Facebook and Twitter may be the best social networking sites but they are not always the best options when looking for employment. Sites like LinkedIn and Xing are much better for improving your chances of landing a new job. You can post your resume and connect with potential employers. You can get notifications about potential job openings. It may be especially useful to learn everything that you can about what hiring managers and job supervisors are looking for in job candidates. This way you will have a leg up during the interview process.
Chamber Of Commerce
Joining your local chamber of commerce is a great way of making professional contacts. Use your local chamber of commerce to promote your best brand: yourself. Chambers of commerce exist for one basic purpose, which is to further the interests of local businesses. You will meet a lot of “movers” and “shakers” at the monthly meetings. The mixers, breakfasts, and parties are a great opportunity to introduce yourself to local business professionals. You can make a great impression in a social session. Chamber of commerce events are great opportunities to foster and develop lifelong business relationships.
Many churches today even host events that encourage professional networking. I am not suggesting that you attend church functions solely for this reason, but you can make some great contacts in your local parish. You could get a lead or a business referral from a fellow church member during a networking event. Your church may even have a job board or an assigned individual that can offer assistance. Not only can you make you make great lifelong friendships at churches; you can meet potential business associates as well. As a quick note, this obviously don’t apply to only “churches.” Any other religious venue (like synagogues) applies as well.
Do you know of any interesting places where you were able to make a business contact? If so, how did you do it?
(Photo credit: M. Keefe)