People

The ultimate connections are those people who know you and your work well, respect both, you have helped in the past, have a compelling desire to assist you and have influence. If you are the type of individual that naturally extends your hand to help others, then those whom you've helped in the past should be your first points of contact, especially if they fit the profile just described. Again, before you contact anyone you should be able to articulate what you want and potentially a list of target companies that you are seeking to network into.

In terms of rank order of contacts I suggest this:

  1. Business associates that respect you, that you've helped, are friends and have influence.
  2. Family and friends in general, even if you see no outright connection potentials. Use your list of target companies and you will likely be surprised.
  3. With each new networking meeting request at least four additional connections.
  4. One caution, in a small town, with a large number of unemployed, you can quickly end up chasing your tail by only networking with the fellow unemployed. Providing support, ideas and leads is important, but it generally it isn't the unemployed that lead to work for you. Suggest you target the working community and especially business owners. The other important aspect of networking with the fellow unemployed is to empathize with each other to a degree, but to not let it drag you all down into a dark place. Each networking meeting should end on the positive that resulted from it and the next steps to a better place. It is essential to end on a note of hope.

 

Additional Information:

Tools

People

Law of Reciprocity