Countless people feel hopeless about networking because not even their own sister, cousin, or friend will help them connect with people at their target companies.
Unfortunately, those who know you well in the social realm feel uncomfortable vouching for you professionally because they have never worked with you. Especially if what they know about your work life or job search revolves around how miserable you feel.
It is also hard for family and friends to help because they do not really understand what you do for a living, and do not think they have contacts in your industry. Thus, they can rarely respond immediately to requests such as "Let me know if you hear of any open positions in marketing" or "Can you think of any marketing contacts you could put me in touch with?"
Before you start harboring resentment because of their lack of support, try this approach:
Connect with them on LinkedIn. It will allow you to identify specific people they know at your target companies. Share articles, make insightful comments and write posts regularly, to shape their perceptions about your professional ability.
Share your lows with other job seekers. It is very important for you to have safe people to talk to about your struggles in the process. Instead of discussing your lows with your family and friends, join a local job search support group (church, library, community career center, meetup), or engage an alumni or private career coach.
Tell them about what excites you in your field. Now that you can cry on another job seeker's shoulder, focus on the positives. Share about what you love about work or an accomplishment that you are proud about, and what you would like to contribute to your next employer. Learn new things while you find a new role, as it can spark interesting conversation with them that showcases your expertise.
Ask how you can help them professionally. Explain you are building your network as part of the job search process, and will keep their needs in mind. Especially if you have been showing them how you can add value, you can later ask them to share a helpful article with one of their contacts, or show them an email you want to send and confirm that you have their contact's correct email address.
Found this tip useful?
Put these ideas into action within 24 hours, and click here to comment on this post on LinkedIn. Let me know what worked, what didn't work or questions that came up as you applied the ideas.