Last week, I focused on how to stay positive during unemployment. This week, I’ll focus on some networking ideas that you may not have tried yet. When you feel like you’ve tried everything, it can make you feel helpless. If you regularly attend networking events or seminars, you may be growing tired of seeing the same people and getting no new insight into your career. I know because I have been there. I’ve tried to come up with some more creative ideas.
The first thing I tried was talking to more people at the gym (or really anywhere there are other adults). It’s hard for unemployed people to afford memberships anywhere, but for me I need the routine and outlet going to the gym brings me. For others, it might be a library, community center, or religious service. People don’t often view these places as prime networking opportunities, but you never know who you might meet. Often times when people are unemployed, they don’t share the news with everyone, which I understand. However, if you meet new acquaintances and offer this information, they may have great advice or have a great lead.
Secondly, try to join a new group. It could be a local organization, book club, or cooking class. Think of somewhere new where you don’t know the people (this in itself is hard for most people). Then, as you grow more comfortable with the members, you can discuss professional aspirations. I have found that there are many people who can offer suggestions or a listening ear, and you don’t feel like you’re always relying on the same people for support.
I also encourage people to volunteer their time. It can be something small, but can lead to something big. If you volunteer in your field, you may show people what a hard worker you are. At the very least, you could get a good recommendation for your job search!
Are there networking ideas you have tried or want to try?