The pressure of needing to go back and re-connect with someone in our network and ask for some more help during a job search raises the networking anxiety level for all of us. Here are three proactive ideas to help you develop a positive “story line” about why you are calling again and share what is going on in your life now.
- Where and how have you spent this “out of work” time: professionally and personally—are you volunteering, taking classes (in social media), attending conferences, association meetings, speaking, blogging? Coaching soccer, learning a language?
- Why are you contacting this person again? Do you have a specific request, or are you just catching up? Are you hoping to strengthen this network tie by inviting this person to lunch, share something you learned that will be helpful to her; or introduce him to someone in your network—or have met while in your search?
- What is the best way to reconnect this time? If you saw the person at a summer golf tournament and now it’s early May, it may be best to wait a few weeks and connect when golf season is in “full swing” rather than just shouting off an email asking to talk.
It’s important to have a story that demonstrates you have been using your time wisely—not just in a search. Don’t apologize for this transition time, just be sure to use business language and do productive things. And don’t forget that a search is the perfect time to do a few of those “if I only had the time” activities!