With the economy falling apart and people losing jobs left and right, there’s a book that addresses this in a lighthearted, non-depressing voice. No Job? No Prob! (Skyhorse Publishing, 2008) by Nicholas Nigro is an entertaining, yet very enlightening, book about how to handle not having a job. I’m delighted to have an excerpt from the book today. These are 20 great suggestions for doing successful networking, even if you do have a job!
By Nicholas Nigro
1. Everybody Lives in a Community, Including You There’s no getting around the fact that you live in a community of individuals. So, right off the bat, you’ve got something in common with either a whole mess of people or, if you call home a rural hamlet, a somewhat smaller demographic. Whatever their exact census numbers, neighbors can assume signi?cant roles in your growing network. Explore the chief concerns facing your community and attend any 290 local meetings that occur. Volunteer your time vis-à-vis community matters. If you require assistance in this networking terrain, you might just ?nd MeetTheNeighbors.com helpful. This website brings neighbors together and empowers them with the tips, tools, and techniques to communicate, organize, and—of course—socialize.
2. The Jaycees The United States Junior Chamber of Commerce (Jaycees) at USJaycees.org is an organization that could very possibly augment your network of contacts. The only ?y in the ointment is that this out?t is for young folks only. If you’re past the decrepit age of forty-one, you’ll have to look elsewhere for a networking boost. If you meet the age requirements, the Jaycees could de?nitely assist you in locating a job, career, or business startup. It’s a group that will, at the very least, facilitate meetings with new people, furnish potential job leads, and supply timely information on what’s happening in your community with regards to the business at hand.
3. YMCA and YWCA These two organizations—one for men, YMCA.net, and one for women, YWCA.org—are, above all else, committed to enhancing youngsters’ lives, building stronger families, and improving communities by encouraging volunteerism. Many neighborhoods throughout the country are fortunate enough to have YMCA and YWCA centers— with their trademark ?tness programs (including swimming pools)— on their terra ?rma. In the big picture, YMCA and YWCA out?ts are essentially places to lend a helping hand while meeting fellow helpers and helpees.
4. Alumni Associations If you are a graduate from a college or university, you are an alumnus. There is also an alumni association waiting with open arms for you and, yes, a pecuniary contribution of some sort. Alumni groups regularly organize social events and encourage networking. They publish newsletters which detail the adventures of their membership. Don’t forget, too, that high schools also have alumni associations. Fear not descending the ladder a few rungs. You’re all adults now. In addition, if you were a member of a fraternity or sorority in your college days, these esteemed out?ts haven’t forgotten you. Once you’re an accepted pledge, you’re a pledge for life. It’s sort of like a tattoo. So, by
all means, take advantage of this permanent brand in your networking odyssey.
5. Digg This The website Digg.com proclaims that it is all about “Sharing and Discovery.” It is a cyber spot for news, videos, images, and podcasts that are submitted entirely by the Digg community, which consists of humble sorts just like you. Get yourself out there any way you can. That’s how networks become NETWORKS.
6. One Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words If you’ve got photographs that you want accessible to your current network—family, friends, and others—in one fell swoop, showcase them on Flickr.com. This website portal decrees, “Share Your Photos, Watch the World.” In other words, there are a lot of folks who are members of Flickr, and some of them just might be interested in your images. Remember the old saying: Seeing is believing.
7. Share and Share Alike Since we’re on the subject of networking beyond the traditional comfort zone, you might consider joining an online community with a mission to bring people together with shared interests. In fact, it’s a community that facilitates business connections and romantic connections, too. And, by the way, there are no laws that prohibit seeking both at the same time. So, check out Orkut.com and bolster your network with, for starters, virtual contact and then—who knows?—physical contact.
8. Political Activism No matter where you land on the political spectrum, there are opportunities for networking therein. Conservative, liberal, Republican, Democrat—it doesn’t matter. You could join a local political party organization. You could also get involved with issue-oriented groups, be they supporting abortion rights or gun rights or anything in between. In other words, translate your political leanings into network building. For assistance in this fertile area, visit SpeakOut.com, which is a website chock full of information on both the issues of the day and the pathways to activism. In fact, the site features copious links to advocacy groups that run the entire left-to-right gamut.
9. Save the Planet There are an awful lot of people all across the world who prefer not to swim in waste waters and breathe Los Angeles–style smog. If environmental issues mean something to you, there are environmental groups aplenty that would be as pleased as punch to welcome you as a member. Check out ActionNetwork.org, which will furnish you with the names and websites of the leading environmental advocacy organizations. There are excellent networking possibilities here, as there are in just about all out?ts dedicated to a cause.
10. Rotary Clubs The motto of Rotary International is “Service Above Self.” And you’ve probably spotted local Rotary Club signs along many highways and byways in your travels. Did you ever wonder what on earth a Rotary Club is, and who its members are? Well, Rotary International is the world’s pioneering service club. Its individual chapters consist of volunteers. Visit Rotary.org for further information on Rotary Clubs and what they do. Many Rotarians are well-connected members of their respective communities, which should be of interest to you.
11. Business Networking If you want to sample a networking out?t that is speci?cally dedicated to business, look no further than Ryze.com. Members can erect network-oriented homepages to attract quality business contacts.
12. You Can Never Have Too Many of Them True friends are rare and hard to come by. So, it behooves you to perpetually be chumming for buddies. FriendFinder.com allows you to run personal ads for whate
ver your heart desires, including a good time and a little loving.
13. Blog Away It’s the twenty-?rst century. So, if you want to build your network by reaching out to new folks, a blog of your own could be just what the doctor ordered. But it’s not going to do you any good to blog away, and blog away some more, and—in the end—reach the virtual audience equivalent of a black hole. To extend your network, why not seek to fashion your own blog network, if you will? For a better understanding how this voluble cyber bailiwick functions, call on HomeTurfMedia.com and 9Rules.com. Reach as many people as you can with your blogging insight. It’s a network builder for sure.
14. The Right Links At LinkedIn.com, you will encounter a website business with the mission to strengthen and build your existing network. And since that’s precisely what this entire section is all about, why not have a look-see?
15. Best Friends on Four Legs The pet care industry is growing in leaps and bounds because of the incredible bond that people feel for their companion animals. Pets are now unmistakable members of the family and we are “pet parents.” This sociological phenomenon has introduced a variety of networking possibilities. In other words, employ your love of animals to meet fellow animal lovers. Volunteer at an animal shelter. Join a club devoted to your specific breed of cat or dog. Gather and frolic with fellow canine parents and their canines at park runs. Join organizations, such as the Humane Society of the United States at HSUS.org.
16. Make Networking Your Hobby Whatever you call your hobbies or special interests, there are like-minded folks out there who share them. These are prime possibilities for your budding network. Many hobbies have clubs and societies for their devotees’ bene?t. Attend events and shows in your hobby ?eld. Talk and trade with your fellow hobbyists.
17. Convert Your Talents Into a Network Whether you have a knack for crafting or painting; whether you can ?x cars or computers; whether you can tickle the ivories on a piano or strum the strings on a guitar, there are networking opportunities amidst one and all of these special talents and countless others, too. Just place yourself on life’s big stage, even if it’s in your little sliver of the world. Let people see and experience your extraordinary genius. Artistic? You could attend arts and crafts shows and sell your creations. Handy? You could volunteer your services as Mr. Fix It at a senior citizen center and elsewhere. A musical talent? Play the piano at a local watering hole or a church function.
18. Network Channeling In a previous chapter, we noted that posting videos on YouTube.com was an interesting avenue to travel down for a whole host of reasons. And you don’t have to post home videos of yourself and your friends pulling people’s pants down or anything like that. You can post less personal productions, such as clips from television programs or movies. Once you put videos up for the entire world to see, people slowly but surely visit your channel, as it’s called, and could eventually become your subscribers and friends. As you can appreciate, there are potential networking tentacles in all of this.
19. Start a Group This is the Information Age. Hence, you have opportunities galore to initiate cyber groups. In fact, you could host your own group today on Groups.Yahoo.com or Groups.MSN.com. There are discussion groups devoted to every imaginable subject and interest. Why not establish a group dedicated to the travails of unemployment, inviting members to share ideas on how to best weather the storm, as well as their personal experiences? You’d be surprised how many people would sign on to your group, and some of these folks could become integral parts of your growing network.
20. Instant Networking We would be remiss if we did not reiterate the names of the two most popular social networking websites on the Internet: MySpace.com and Facebook.com. These two cyber portals are rooted in meeting people with common interests. They enable their members both to promote themselves and to connect with the wider world.
Check out No Job? No Prob! (Skyhorse Publishing, 2008) by Nicholas Nigro. It’s a great read and a great resource!