Doing This Will Help You in a Tough Job Market

Getting on and moving up in the job and career world is a long and studied process. And some will say easier said than done. Here are some things you can try to get things moving for you professionally

1. Tell people what you do
Your close friends, family and colleagues may know what you do but the wider world out there does not. Find ways to broadcast your experience and skills and to talk about what makes you unique. It’s also worth making sure that your profile shows off your skills and experience for your new connections to see.

Instead of sending out things about other people; talk more about your work. Post pictures about your achievements and your career up to this point, as well as where you hope to go in the future.

2. Attend or follow events in your livelihood
Away from the screen in the real world be on the look- out for events you can attend. Usually the entrance is free but if not; pay to attend and think of this as an investment in yourself and your future.

Most times people would rather listen to comments on radio or follow the highlights on the news but, many of these industry events are free or cost very little. So do attend a few.

3. Talk to people at events
Be prepared to talk with people at the end of the event you attend. Make sure that while you exchange names and niceties you also exchange professional details or phone numbers. Then later, try to reconnect with people you’ve met as it easy for people to forget that they met you and actually remember what it is you do.

Send a friendly message about anything you chatted about and remind them about what you do and politely ask them to consider you for any future work. Continue to follow up on a regular basis so you remain on their radar.

4. Make a calculated use of social media

With social media you have in fact at your fingertips the best broadcasting tools; use them wisely. Do not be on social media for the sake of being on social media. Use it to your advantage to get your name out there. And as there are a lot of people interacting it means there is a large pool of potential contacts or customers you can reach out to.

Look for themed groups that have the titles or terms that you are working in because the people there are more likely to be receptive of your joining and you can then post relevant stuff and quotes in the group; which you can ask the group members to share.

5. Be active and aware
Do not be a passive member. Share status updates with your network, such as a big project you’ve completed or exciting company news so that you get noticed by others in your industry. Follow people in similar circumstances and have your networking antennae on and comment on or chat with the relevant people in your list.

And if someone in your contact list has had a big success, a work anniversary or even been promoted; a quick message of congratulations can be a great way to lay the foundation for a future business conversation.

6. Always be on the alert
This means that you don’t need to limit networking to specific people or events within your industry. Opportunities may present themselves in previously unexpected places and the most unlikely of people. So always keep your eyes and ears open when you are out and about because you never know who might be a useful contact to make.

Having a diverse group in your circle could prove handy later down the line – perhaps when a job comes up, someone will have you in mind, or when you’re in need of a professional reference, they could help.

7. Do not give up
While being on line, paying to attend events and networking can give your business a push or land you your dream job, it’s not a failure if you don’t manage it straight away. Keep at it and make contacts whether or not they can help you out down the line.

Do not make the only aim of networking to be about gaining something from someone else. Make it about your path to success. And if you do not get what you thought you would get the first time around, you shouldn’t forget that there is always a next time or someone else!

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Kwachalelo, be successful, be well.

About Balekile Gausi

A prolific writer covering work, money and lifestyle that passed through university coming away with a very good grasp of public administration, money and banking, international relations. She was a civil servant that quickly opted for self-employment. And as a trained and published writer she has been freelance feature writing for several decades but has also published fiction in Drum and The BBC Focus on Africa Magazine. Now settled and living in Lusaka after many years of living in several cities in Africa and Europe; Balekile is also an avid bird watcher, is married with 3 adult children and has an extraordinary fondness for chikanda ( the Zambian delicatessen that vegans and non-vegans world-wide are putting on their bucket list!)

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