Now the world has opened back up, we’re not the only ones jumping on a plane. A lot of Powrsuiters are plotting a move overseas to soak up new cultures and career opportunities. We love it (and expect you to spread Powrsuit globally;)).
Stepping foot into a new job market can be a stark reminder of just how important your network is. With no one opening doors for you, your best bet is to scour local job websites while adapting your CV to reflect new cultural nuances. Then, it’s time to hope like heck that you manage to land an interview – and that they understand your accent.
OK, it really doesn’t have to be that hard.
You don’t need to wait until you land to build your network. And you don’t need to leave the country before you start taking networking seriously. It’s never too early to start putting out feelers for the next step in your career. It’s not hard either.
In the first instalment of this three-part series, you sorted your career plan and got your current situation in order. In the second instalment, you identified your next step and practised collecting evidence of your capability. This week, we’re encouraging you to spread the word.
Utilising who you know to get you where you want to go
80% of jobs are placed through networks, so the sooner you actively invest in yours, the better. There are a couple of reasons for starting this well before you officially kick off the job hunt:
Firstly, it’s good to get in the habit of articulating your value. This helps you refine your elevator pitch, adapt it to different situations, and ensure it’s fit for purpose when you’re ready to start actively looking.
Secondly, you’re building a group of supporters who know your story and have you top-of-mind when they come across opportunities. You may not be actively looking for them, but having them land in your lap is never a bad thing!
Growing your career, one connection at a time
We know this is a ‘scary’ action, and we also know the best way to tackle scary things is with small steps:
Start with the smallest action
Schedule two 15 minute blocks in your calendar this week. You won’t prioritise career connections until you set aside time to make them, so locking this time in will give you the best chance of following through.
Your first 15-minute block:
Get back out the document you created in the first instalment (or get our template doc here). Spend 15 minutes going through LinkedIn (and your memory) and list people in your network working in roles similar to or adjacent to the one you want in your next step. You don’t need to be too strict on this; you’ll probably intuitively know if someone is likely to be helpful. It may be a friend or family member if you’re heading overseas.
Your second 15-minute block:
Get out your list. Choose one person you feel super comfortable with, and message them about a 30 minute catchup. Here’s a template message:
I’m in the early stages of thinking about the next step in my career and want to talk to people I admire who are already doing similar things. I’d love to organise a 30 minute video call or coffee to learn more about your role, [the organisation they work for] and any key skills and challenges I should consider as I prepare.
Are you free at any of the following times? [time and date], [time and date], [time and date]. Alternatively, let me know when works best for you!
What happens next…
You can’t control what other people do. Generally, they’re happy to share knowledge and help someone – but sometimes life gets in the way. If they don’t reply or don’t have time, it’s not personal. Go back to your list and try again.
If they say yes? Congratulations! Here’s what you need to do next:
- Send them a meeting invite. Feel free to write a list of questions in advance if you’re nervous.
- Start with a few pleasantries, then ask about your future job. Some sample questions: how did you get into it? What’s the most challenging part?
- Finishing early is okay if you run out of things to say! However, before you wrap up, ask one final question: ‘Is there anyone else you think I should talk to?’ Most people are happy to make an introduction so you can rinse and repeat – building your network and knowledge.
- The next day, follow up with a thank you message. Reiterate some key insights and show appreciation for their time and effort. This often overlooked step will leave them feeling valued and keep you top of mind!
- Jot down any notes in your document – they’ll be helpful if you ever need a memory jog.
Keep it up!
Commit to at least one new catch up each month, you’ll be amazed by how quickly your network and knowledge expands. When it does come time to actively start looking, you’ll have a list of people on your team supporting your search.
30 second action:
Lock two 15 minute blocks in this week’s calendar.
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