Most of us hate networking for a job, even though we know it’s the best way to get ahead. What is the #1 suggestion? To reduce your anxiety, think relational and not transactional!
We default to applying online in a job search because it’s easy to click a button and not deal with another person. We all know that we’re sending our resume into space, however, the temptation to “post and pray” is so strong.
My clients describe feelings of being an ambulance chaser when calling up friends and colleagues and asking them for job search help. Clients feel embarrassed that they are simply using a professional. Most of us don’t want to use people.
The basic problem
The basic problem is that we are thinking “transactional” and not “relational”. Human beings were put on this planet to form relationships. Relationships are a two-way street. Transactions are one way.
Solving the problem
How can we make the process less painful? Since you already have a relationship with the person you are contacting, think about how you can continue the relationship for the long term. Go beyond your ask in the moment. The big picture is that you may need this person many times in your professional career, or they might need you.
Wait, they might need you? In fact, they might need you now!
Make it a 2-way street
You can make the conversation beneficial for both of you. After you discuss how this professional can help you, offer to do something for them like introduce them to somebody in your network. Ask the professional to go through your LinkedIn first connections and pick out professionals that they may want to meet.
So, you’re not just asking for a favor, but giving one at the same time. Ah, now you can feel a lot better.
Be relational, not transactional!