OK, that might be a stretch, but it is that time of year where people are out gardening.
I enjoy gardening as I remember my parents having a very large garden and I helped do a lot of planting, cultivating and harvesting. You cannot do a harvest later in summer if you don’t plant seeds in the spring.
Robert Louis Stevenson once said, “Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.”
So how does this idea of planting “seeds” have to do with your Job Search?
Well, for starters, you always need to be working your network, planting “seeds” with the people you know that can help you find that job God has in mind for you. Just like gardening, you have to work up the “soil” of your network, plants those seeds, cultivate, and to arrive at a fruitful harvest.
Let’s take a deeper look at this.
Working up the “soil” of your network
You have to find the people you know that can help you uncover the leads to new opportunities. They may not always bear fruit, but for each “no” you get, you are getting closer to the “yes.” In addition it is providing practice to hone your job hunt skills of crafting cover letters, resumes and interviewing. I have used the term FRAN to describe your network:
- F stands for Friends.
- R stands for Relatives.
- A Stands for Associates or those people you have worked with in the past.
- N stands for neighbors, and just like the Bible, neighbors are more than just the people that live close by to you.
You Build up your FRAN network in person and also virtually though social networks. If you are not on any social networks there is ONE you doi need to join and that is LinkedIn. It is the professional networking tool that has the greatest ability for you to network into a company and bypass the HR system,
Planting “Seeds” in your network
Once you have built your network…and by the way you never stop building your network…you tell them exactly what you are looking for. Remember the 5 Points of the Elevator Speech? You need to be focused and specific as to your desired job title ( I DO point 2) and how you take your skills, abilities, and experience to help ( I HELP point 3) companies succeed with that job title. Then tell them what you are looking for and be specific (I WANT Point 4).
When you plant a garden, you don’t just plant any seed and expect it to come up as sweet corn. You have to buy and plant sweet corn seeds. Likewise in a job hunt, don’t just tell them you are looking for a job, they may just point you to the nearest fast food restaurant. That is why you need to be specific in what you are looking for. Otherwise they have no way to know how to help you.
Cultivate and Nurture Your Network
Your job working with your network doesn’t stop with your first telling them you are looking. You have to circle back with them every couple of weeks to let them know you are still in the hunt. Jobs come up all the time, so you never know when something might open up. You need to be “cultivating and nurturing” your network so when that opportunity comes up you can act.
Ultimately your network can lead you to the job God has in mind for you. God works through people to do His purpose on earth…which is a way helps each of us know our purpose here on earth.
Then after you have landed, let you network know you have landed. Give that someone that helped you the most something special to commemorate the occasion. Do not burn the bridges of your network as you may need them again and also remind them that you are there to help should they find themselves in transition.