So often I speak with twenty-somethings in or out of college who have grand plans of becoming _________ [insert cool job title here]. “That’s great!” I say…quickly followed up by the question, “and who do you know who is already doing that?” The top answer is usually: no one.
The reality is that we are closer to knowing others who are in our dream jobs than we think. Chances are you already know someone, or you know someone who knows someone, who is doing what you want to do – someone who can easily provide sage advice about the hiring process, the job’s day-to-day pros and cons, and the best way to prime yourself for a seat at the table.
When you are clear on what you want, get the word out – cast a wide net. Let your existing contact list know what you’re hoping to do, or what you are already doing. Ask your contacts who might already be in your dream field if they are open to a conversation. If they aren’t in your dream field, ask if they know someone in the space who would be willing to connect for an informational interview, or even more simply, for a coffee. Not everyone will want to help you, and that’s completely, 100% okay – forge ahead. Your goal is to sift through your contact list, reach out to as many people as possible, and find ones who like to help. Then, build and maintain those relationships by reaching out regularly through calls, emails, or texts.
Great professionals get to where they are with the help of others. Know that many of your existing family members and friends want to see you succeed and want to help you gain footing. And if you’re having trouble with those in your current network, get out and meet new people daily.