Networking for the 50+

You may not believe it, but you have a robust network within reach: Your friends, neighbors, the mother you used to be on the PTA with — the guy you see at the grocery store.

You may not see this as a network, but indeed it is. Many people know someone who may be looking for your skillset. And, on the flip side, you may know someone who needs a skillset of someone you may know — that friend or neighbor.

It’s no secret many people land a job through their connections before it’s even posted. And, even if a company has to post the job to keep the HR department happy, the “backdoor candidate” is a shoo-in.

According to techjury.net, LinkedIn reports 50% of its users landed a job through a mutual connection.

Why can’t that be you? It could be. Your network work can get you back to work.

A coaching client of mine was 50+ years old. Like many, she lost her job due to the pandemic. Her biggest concern was her age and landing the same type of position with a similar salary.

In a normal conversation, my client told a neighbor of her job loss. A few weeks later, the neighbor asked how the job search was going. My client said she was still searching. The neighbor offered her a seasonal part-time job, explaining it didn’t pay well but that her work would be appreciated.

My client called me for advice. She explained what the job was and felt it would erode her ability to get a job if she took it. I asked about the job, the venue, and its purpose. It turned out the job was for a large annual event for some of the most prominent people in the DFW area.

A lightbulb went off. I told her to take the job. I could see what she did not: the opportunity to network with a prominent base who may know somebody. My client only saw labor, temporary work, and low pay.

We switched gears in our coaching. I told my client to work hard and make it known what position she was seeking. We worked on an elevator pitch. I coached her on how to use it in the right company and at the right moment.

She called me about a month later, ecstatic. She met someone at the event who introduced her to someone who needed her skillset. To make this story even sweeter, due to her work ethic, the head of the event gave her a glowing recommendation.

My client got a new job and salary both similar to what she had before. Her network got her back to work. And yours can, too.

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