But I Already Know What I Want

I have a friend who is looking for a very specific job.  There are less than 100 of these jobs in the region he wants to work, and only a dozen of those are vacant at any given time.  Those jobs are always filled through formal search processes and when they are open, everybody knows. So his question is, why do I need to network?  I apply following their specific instructions and I then I wait for the search committee to call me. It would not be appropriate for me to directly contact a member of the search committee. What else is there to do?

I can think of three reasons you should continue networking.

  1. Networking into any of those organizations can help you learn more about their culture and issues. That information can help you prepare for an interview, or possibly help you conclude that you don’t want to work there.
  2. Networking lets many more people know about who you are and what you’re good at.  You may network with someone who already has a strong relationship with someone on the search committee. That networking contact can then talk to the search committee member about you and you have not created a conflict of interest.
  3. Finally, we’re back to not putting all your eggs into one basket. While clearly your goal is to land one of those dozen jobs, there is a reasonable chance that you won’t.  Building a network that covers other jobs, other industries, or other locations may produce an opportunity you were not considering, or it will give you a jump start for the next chapter, if the desired opportunities don’t work out.

The bottom line is that you should never stop networking and researching.  Finding your next job needs to be a full time job. If you find yourself getting bored, maybe you are not working hard enough.

If you need some help, read this. https://im-fired.com/about-the-book/

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