When I went to my first career workshop, the leader said, “Call strangers. Ask questions. They’re bored and they’d love to help you.”
This strategy was fine until a few million people read the Parachute book. Now executives were fending off eager callers.
With the economy doing a tap dance, it’s time to take a look at some contemporary strategies.
(1) Go virtual.
Link up on Facebook and LinkedIn. But be responsible. Never share anything online that you wouldn’t share with your grandmother, pastor, boss, and most back-stabbing colleague.
When you “friend” someone, make sure you have a legitimate connection. If you don’t have a direct connection, go through an introduction. Recently I was asked to introduce two people on LinkedIn, and it was my pleasure.
(2) Introduce yourself by positioning yourself as a problem-solver.
Some time ago a professional looking woman told me she worked for Company X. “I’m just a creative director,” she said.
Just a creative director? I for one was pretty impressed. Erase the word “just” from your introduction vocabulary.
I would stay away from those stylized elevator speeches. But you can present yourself as a successful professional, even if you’re underemployed, unemployed or feeling you’re not moving fast enough.
(3) Be prepared with a low-key success story.
Example: You say, “I am a project director.”
Your listener says, “What does that mean?”
You say, “Well here’s an example. I just organized a project where I had to coordinate ten team members from 4 departments. I had to find suppliers, maintain the timeline and come in on time and under budget. We saved the company $50,000 with our system redesign.”
For more job search ideas, check out my irreverent job search guide.