Land a job by mind mapping your network

Mind Mapping Networks

The Impeccable Strategy to Find a Job

The first thing people do to search for a job is go online. They go onto the internet and spend countless hours on LinkedIn looking for a suitable job. However, what a lot of people don’t realize is that the best way to find a new job is probably sitting in the room next to you, or working beside you in the very next cubicle or even walking past you in the dog park. This might seem like an exaggeration, but it isn’t. The New York Times has reported that an average person knows about 600 people and the quickest way to find a job is to sift through those 600 people and look for something that can help you reach your goal.

According to The Pew Research Center, most Americans “networks contain a range of social ties that consist of friends, family, coworkers, and other acquaintances. This includes a handful of very close social ties and a much larger number of weaker ties.” In fact, the average Internet user has 669 social ties..

THE BEST WAY TO GO THROUGH YOUR CONTACTS

There’s a strategy called mind mapping. Its usually recommended to writers struggling to make links in their story. But, when implemented in this situation, it works wonders.

First: Write your target job in the middle and starting branching out in four different ways. The four directions should each contain one of the following sections of your life:

·       Former colleagues/mentors

·       Family members

·       Friends/ former classmates/former sorority or fraternity friends/ social club connections

·       Former Customers/ Vendors

Anyone you’ve ever known probably falls in one of the four above categories. Let’s talk a little bit more about each of these categories in detail.

PHASE 1: FRIENDS CAN BE A GREAT RESOURCE IN YOUR JOB SEARCH

Research conducted in 1973 by Mark Granovetter called, The Strength of Weak Ties gave some pretty insightful results. His study showed that 83.4% of white collar workers found employments by job networking done through their friends and their friends of friends. Additionally, he found that the best leads for job opportunities are more likely to come from your more distant acquaintances (weak ties) rather than your close friends (strong ties).The best place we’d suggest to take a look would be your former college classmates. They’re the folks that are working in the same industry as you. Who knows, maybe one of them can get you in on your dream job that you’ve been waiting so long for.

PHASE 2: YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS CAN HELP YOUR JOB SEARCH

I had a client tell me once that his mom “didn’t know anyone in business” and that she had “just been a stay at home mom her whole life”. Ironically, his mother turned out to be the most connected person in his network. She spent years volunteering at the Botanical Gardens and the PTA and built strong community relationships.

Photo credit: Unsplash, Helena Lopez

Photo credit: Unsplash, Helena Lopez

PHASE 3 – COLLEAGUES AND FORMER COLLEAGUES CAN HELP YOU LAND YOUR NEXT JOB

When we say colleagues, we mean anything from the person that delivered your office mail to your employer. Any of these people could be your link to a new job. Interestingly, Gandover’s study was replicated in 2014 with different results. 17% reported that a weak tie did the trick. Workplace ties, however, proved to be more useful. More than 60% of the storytellers reported that someone they had worked with in the past helped them find their next job.

PHASE 4: FORMER CUSTOMERS

If you’ve been working at a couple of companies in the past, there’s a huge chance that you made good relations with a customer. Leverage these relationships!. Some of your customers are pretty well-connected folks that have maybe worked with companies similar to yours. Strike up a conversation with them about an employment and they might have a company in mind.

Mind Mapping Works!

Mind mapping your network can give you clarity & actionable opportunity. Remember: it just takes one person to open a door. And each connection could lead to a new connection (if you are asking in every meeting, “is there anyone else I should be connecting with that could help me reach my goal of XX”)

Sarah Johnston

Sarah Johnston is a former corporate recruiter and industry “insider” who got tired of seeing talented high-achievers get passed over for opportunities because they did not have the right marketing documents or know how to position themselves in interviews. She has relocated multiple times across the country as a “trailing spouse” and has had to execute job searches in completely cold markets. She has been named a LinkedIn Top Voice in the career space, HR Weekly’s Top 100 Most Influential People in HR, named the owner of the “best resume writing firm for experienced executives” by Balance Careers and a “top follow” by JobScan in 2019 and 2020.

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