If you want to work in a new field, you need to work your network and get on the field. You will learn much more by sitting down with someone face-to-face than you ever will from researching industry statistics, reading press releases, or sending emails. So get offline, get out the door, and start networking in person. Your relationships, both old and new, will be your most valuable asset to get started in your new career.
- Make a Plan. Create a networking plan. Prioritize your contacts to identify the most helpful and encouraging people already in your network. Identify key people you need to meet in your new field. Then reach out to them and set meetings. Meeting in person is much more valuable than a phone call. Ask for 20 minutes of someone’s time, not for an hour. Everyone can find 20 minutes to spare. Offer to meet at whatever time of day and location they prefer. Be flexible and be gracious. Plan your critical talking points and questions in advance, to respect the time limit.
- Get Out! Find out which industry associations are the most respected and relevant to your new field, and what networking events are the most popular. Then go. Attend as many freebies as possible. Try local MeetUps, networking groups, Chamber of Commerce events and Happy Hours. Invest in the top industry luncheons, galas, fundraisers and conferences. If you know which bars and restaurants are industry favorites, become a regular. Use these activities to see and be seen, and to build strategic relationships in your new field.
- Reach for the Top. Reach out to the industry associations’ leadership. Do your homework on the board of directors, officers, committee chairs, sponsors, speakers, and members. Contact them, briefly introduce yourself, and state your case. Then stop talking and listen to what they say. Ask to meet a few weeks or days before the event. Offer to volunteer, help at the registration table, distribute materials, or greet guests at the door. By getting involved, you’ll prove that you’re serious about your transition and you’ll demonstrate your value. And when you arrive at the event, it won’t be a room full of strangers anymore.
Are you ready to make a change? Fireball Network offers career coaching to help you find your new dream job. Click here to schedule your free consultation.