Nevertheless, if you’re looking for a dream job, then developing strong networking skills is absolutely critical.
Because over 80% of jobs are never advertised – the only way to hear about them is by networking with a group of qualified contacts.
(NOTE: If your skin crawls at the word "networking", then please use in its place "building meaningful personal relationships". Because that's what this is about. More on how to do this below...)
The good news is, there is a simple mindset shift that can give you the confidence you need to go out and get connected without feeling awkward.
What is this powerful mindset shift?
You need to switch from an "asking" mindset to a "giving" mindset.
In other words, instead of approaching new contacts with the attitude that you want something from them and you need to ask for it, you approach with the attitude that you are looking at giving them something with no expectations.
This sounds simple – and it is – but it can make a huge difference.
When looking for a job, most folks directly ask hiring managers if they have any positions available. The problem is, directly asking for a job puts you in a position of neediness and scarcity, and that can undermine your confidence. Plus, hiring managers can often sense neediness a mile away. But if you approach with the "giving" mindset, the difference can be night and day.
Hiring managers have problems that need solutions, and there's a good chance they need someone like you on their team to provide those solutions. Sometimes, they just need a different perspective (like yours)
So, instead of just asking them for "a job", offer your assistance – whether that’s giving advice, being an informal sounding board, or even providing your services for an actual position.
When you approach hiring managers this way, you come from a position of strength and abundance instead of neediness and scarcity.
And what if they say they don’t need any help?
Sometimes, we just need someone to "talk shop". If you offer an interesting conversation where you are truly listening, you have given something.
Because you weren't asking for anything or expecting anything in return, you won't have that icky feeling that you are trying to trick them into giving you something.
Plus, there are many other hiring managers and professional contacts in your neck of the woods who DO need help from someone like you — the kind that leads to a job offer.
Taking this approach takes most of the pressure off and gives you a stronger sense of confidence. Not only that, but hiring managers can sense that confidence immediately, and it’s magnetically attractive.
Even if a job isn’t available right away, you’ll likely be the first person they consider if something comes up.
It’s about freely offering your talents, and seeing what opportunities naturally present themselves – without ever having to manipulate, or bluff, or do anything that doesn’t feel authentic.
This is the opposite of schmoozing and doing the things that most people like to call “networking”.