I have been at my present position for almost three months. My followers may have noticed that I have been a bit quiet on LinkedIn and this blog. I have to tell you, that while you have not heard from me, I have not stopped networking. My last job search has taught me a valuable lesson on networking and for that reason; networking has become part of my weekly routine.
Part of my job at the YWCA as a career counselor requires networking, attending luncheon events to recruit mentors and speakers for my program. I also belong to a professional association, where I am able to attend conferences. I am also currently an MBA student at Fitchburg State University, so two nights a week, I am in class, and I have been reaching out to classmates to develop relationships (this is also the reason you have seen any blog posts, as I have been working on a large research project).
In addition to work and school networking, I have joined toastmasters, where I am improving my speaking abilities, and creating new connections. I just appeared on local television talking to the mayor about our club. I also meet connections for lunch or coffee to build our relations. These meetings have enabled me to find a mentor who has been instrumental in my developing programming for the YWCA’s Young Parent Program. Finally, by volunteering on a new project with an organization called ICT, (to help the long term unemployed), I been able to develop key connections in the field.
So, while I have been quiet online, I have been actively networking. I learned my lesson that one cannot relax once landing a job. The job market has permanently changed. Gone are the days of company loyalty, where you could depend on a job, as long as you were loyal. This goes along with the new concept of personal branding, or of marketing oneself and career as a brand.
My New Year’s resolution will be to be more active on LinkedIn and this blog. In January, I start my last two classes for my MBA, so I may be a bit quiet from January until May.