At the family gathering of my roommates Easter celebration, I had an unexpected networking conversation with her uncle who works in the printing business. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to him talk about his company, his experience with trade shows and his faith perspective.
The things I took away from the conversation were:
Read the book Strengthsfinders 2.0 and have those strengths ready to share: He said to have my strengths entered in a note on my phone so that I’m networking with friends or professionals I have a consice list for them to understand who I am and what I’m looking for in a job. It’s one thing to know what you want and it’s another to be able to effectively communicate that vision.
Seek out a mentor wherever you work: This person will not come out making a grand appearance saying, “I am your professional mentor.” This is someone you may work closely with and observe their work ethic and skills. Have an idea of what that person might be like so when the interview question, “Describe your ideal boss” comes up, you have a good grasp on what type of person you want to work for and be inspired by.
The job you end up with will be exactly what you need: Regardless of what job you end up with, know that God placed you there. You do as much as you can, ask the right questions and meet many people, the rest is up to an omniscient God who starts and completes all “projects” in our lives, including the job hunt. I take comfort in that as I tend to get mentally exhausted and drained thinking of all the things I could/should be doing in this endeavor.
Narrowing the search: Through our conversation, we were able to conclude that I might try looking into a project coordinator role. I am certainly open to anything but my natural ability and passion for organization might lend itself well to this type of position. I learned that this is a legitimate area that people actually earn a Master’s degrees in, which made me consider this for the future.
Bottom line: Always be ready to network. You never know when you’ll run into someone who can help you collaborate, brainstorm, or further your job search. In keeping an open mind, you have the opportunity to be pleasantly surprised to meet a kindred spirit when everything else seems beyond your control.