The one thing I always tell anyone on the job hunt, which few ever seem to take me up on: Informational Interviews.
These are informal “Can I take you out to coffee?” talks with people in your field to see what they are working on, what is happening with them, what is going on in the industry. Every job I have ever gotten is through informal meetings with people I have met through my network (whether its your current job, your friends, parents, relatives, or others).
At the end of every one I ask: “Is there anyone else you think I should talk to?” and “Do you currently have any opportunities at your company for me?”. Rinse and repeat.
I have talked with a lot of people through informational interviews. By my estimate, I think I have done over 200 during my professional career. These meetings have been over coffee, a drafting table, in a living room, over lunch, drinks, networking events, the beach, in the office and at the mall. Topics range from my career, the construction industry, the newest bar in town, family, housing, and graduate schools. These meetings, usually within a professional context, are what I call “Informational Interviews”. Not purely a chance to further my reputation, network, get a job, pitch a deal, or get counseling, Informational Interviews are an opportunity for two people to share information and advice freely for mutual benefits.
This approach is far superior to other ways of obtaining a new job, mentorship, networking or pitching someone an idea. Read the book that explains the no-nonsense system for sourcing, reaching out to, and completing these interviews.