Monday, June 13, 2011

Eat Your Way to a New Job

by PR Working Girl

I'm a fan of chatting with someone and asking questions to learn more about a subject, versus looking it up on Google. So when in the job market, one of the first things I like to do is go through my network and reach out to someone who works at a company I admire or in a similar industry as mine, or in a role that I could see myself doing someday.

While you could send that person an email with several job-related questions, or you could try scheduling a phone call, I would suggest asking that person to join you for lunch (granted you live in close enough proximity).

It's a bit of a bold move compared to an email or phone call, but I think it also shows more confidence and assertiveness.

There's just something about lunches that puts people at ease. It's a great setting for conversation. It's casual. And who doesn't enjoy eating?

The problem with just sending an email is that it can go unanswered, and then what? Do you follow-up with another email? And what if that one goes unanswered, too? Awkward. Dead end.

In addition, a phone call is too easily rescheduled or forgotten, or you can get put on hold, or you might get a hurried, "Can I call you back? I'm in the middle of something," and then you feel guilty for bothering them.

But lunch, well, everyone has to take time out to eat lunch. And, as you busy ladies know, working people always welcome the opportunity to get out of the office for lunch!

When a date is set, come prepared with questions and a notepad and pen. Turn your cell phone off. All the way off. Plan ahead to pick up the tab at the end of the lunch, insist on it, which will imply that you are both professional and appreciative. Ask for their business card. Send a thank you note.

Also, remember this is purely an informational session, not a time to be presumptuous and ask, "Do you know of any job openings?" or "If you hear of anything, can you please keep me in mind?" To me, these questions are incredibly annoying. The last thing you want to do is put off your "guest" by assuming that they like you enough to commit to recommending you for a job at their company right then and there.

There have been a number of great networking and job hunting tips on Working Girl, hopefully this adds another to your strategy. Good luck!

3 comments:

Busana Muslim said...

The blog is very helpful,

academic thesis provider said...

It's a spot of a daring move evaluated to an email or phone call, but I think it also shows more self-confidence and courage.

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