Two years ago, I was in your shoes. I was enjoying my last few months in Minneapolis before moving to Evanston, where my husband would be getting his MBA. I was planning a trip to Italy. I was not searching for a job. No, I put that off until after we unloaded the U-Haul.
As a result, I’ve spent the last few years freelancing full time. It’s worked out fine. But, I often wonder what could have been had I started my search earlier.
This time around, I’m smarter. When my husband accepted a job in Minneapolis, I started reaching out to old contacts and connecting with new ones. I’ve been networking for months. And, it’s going well.
Long before you pack your bags, I encourage you to start your job search. Remember the key to getting a job, more often than not, is having the right connections. When moving to a new city, that can be tough. But social media has made networking easier than ever. Here are three networking tools I’m using and loving.
1. Establish your voice on Twitter. Whether you write about your profession, interests, or both, create a brand for yourself on Twitter. You’ll quickly find others who share your interests or background. You never know where your exchanges will take you. Nearly all of my writing and nonprofit gigs in Chicago were the result of relationships I built through Twitter.
2. Engage others on Twitter via chats. No matter your profession, there’s probably a Twitter chat for you. This is a great way to learn from others, show off your expertise, and expand your network.
3. Leverage LinkedIn. Go beyond posting your profile. Join industry-specific or young professionals groups. Within those groups, there are likely a few who share a common background. Connect with them and ask to pick their brain by e-mail or over coffee. More often they not, they’ll want to help you.
For more tips on getting value out of social networking, I highly recommend you read this from the Harvard Business Review. It’s smart and to the point.
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