This week’s blog is an excerpt from How Long, O Lord, How Long? Devotions for the Unemployed and Those Who Love Them, By author Dale Kreienkamp.

LET’S DIG INTO WHAT “networking” is as it relates to your job search and why it’s important.

What do networks have to do with your job search? Everything! Each of us has a network of relationships through the people we know, and the more people looking out for potential job opportunities on your behalf, the better off you’ll be. Additionally, some jobs don’t get publicized where you can easily locate them.They’re often part of the “hidden” job market, the type you learn about by “word of mouth.” You’ll want to use the relationships you already have for help in your job search and expand your network. It isn’t just about meeting more people, though; it’s about the quality of these relationships.

I encourage you to use this time to network with others as much as is possible and to consider it one of the most important methods for finding your next job. It means you’ll be meeting with people, face to face, for breakfast, lunch, a “cup of coffee,” drinks at the end of the day, or a visit to their office. The purpose
of your time together is to learn more about them and share about yourself, your gifts, and especially what types of jobs you are looking for. If you already know the person, you’ll enrich your relationship. If you don’t know him or her, you’re building a new relationship. I’ve found that people want to help, but they need to know that you’re looking and what you’re looking for.

In Matthew 13:3-8 we find a parable about sowing seeds. While Jesus is talking about sowing the seeds of God’s word, I see applications to networking.

Then [ Jesus] told them many things in parables, saying, “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”

You’ll meet with many people where nothing will come out of that meeting, or at least, not that you know of. In that case, what you shared fell on rocky soil. Others will like you and be interested in you but will have nothing open and don’t know of anyone else who does. Consider these the seeds planted on shallow soil or among the weeds. But some of those you meet will know of an opening, introduce you to someone or pass your resume along to someone else who has an opening. That’s the fertile soil.

I’ve spoken with many who have shared their stories of success through networking. It works. Get ready to start sowing seeds for your future.

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