O.k., by that, I don’t mean you have to be spending your workday on monster, workopolis, craigslist etc. Instead, leverage job stability to invest some time building connections, to land your next job…if you ever need to. Sacrifice a few minutes of TV time perhaps?
Social media platforms like twitter, facebook etc. allow you to network, more discretely than ever…without falling afoul of the most suspicious boss. Most of these platforms can be accessed on your mobile phone/device making it all the more convenient. Previously, I wrote about building your online presence around your personal brand. Now lets explore one practical way to do it.
Passive job hunting via twitter.
Twitter is probably the platform, in terms of convenience, that can augment your passive job-hunt while you are still employed. It can be a great way to find people with similar interests or to network with people who are in a career/job that you are looking for an inroad into.
Unlike on facebook, it’s a bit easier to see what others are up to without their permission (unless their tweets are protected/private).
There’s also that liberating feeling to be able to connect with people without subjecting them to your family photo albums 🙂 and vice-versa.
You simply follow people you are interested in. If they think you are interesting they may follow you back. You can then see the tweets of all the people, you follow, in your time-line.
Next, comes the actual work. Cultivating relationships. Here are some tips, distilled by a process of trial and error/s (definitely, a lot of the latter :)), to give you a good start.
1) Bio: One of the first things people do before deciding to follow you, or not, is read your bio. Be you, like it’s said, there’s only one of you. Now think of the specific niche are that you are interested in and mention it. You can keep refining it as you understand more about yourself, or the industry/career you are trying to break into.
2) Participate and Learn: Read the tweets of those who you have followed. Follow their blog posts, leave comments. Retweet interesting tweets. Add your interpretation/comment to the retweet.
3) Connect: Once in a while, ask questions. Empathize. Even if you do not receive answers…it’s ok. Stay the course.
Since you already have a job, you have the luxury of putting as much or as little time into this as you like. While at it, you not only are connecting/networking but are also learning from all the content that is being shared. Learning more about the career you want, the main players in the niche, etc.
Over time, your network will grow while you gain credibility. As you get more comfortable with the platform, you can even implement some of the tips mentioned here – Brogan’s 50 Power Tips.
Pushing it a step further, launch your own blog (or if lacking time, submit articles to one of the many online publications). Then use twitter as an outpost, directing people to your main hub (blog/online posting). Throw facebook and Linkedin into the mix as additional outposts. You now have the beginnings of a strong personal brand, which will not only outlive all the successes and failures of your current job, it may also help you get unsolicited offers for a much better one.
Easy, no? Ready? Join me on twitter @jacobvar.