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    Use Your Centers of Influence to Boost Your Networking

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    You have a group of folks that you know on a first-name basis, know through friends, or know of. These are your three circles of influence.

    Think of it as a bulls-eye. Your hot circle of influence is in the center; the warm and cold circles are the outer circles.

    Hot Circle

    Your hot circle contains people you speak to and interact with on a regular basis.

    This group includes family, close friends, and other individuals you feel comfortable dealing with in person. These people are easy to approach, and should be easy to network with.

    • Tell them what type of work you’re looking for.
    • Ask who they know, who could be of help to your search.
    • Ask that they introduce you to their friends and hot circle of influence.
    • Talk to them when you need support.

    Make it a point to speak in person with everyone in your hot circle. Stay in close contact with these people as you continue your search. Your network is beginning to expand!

    Warm Circle

    As you move outward and away from the people you regularly interact with, you move toward and into a larger circle. Here you find people you may have worked with at one time, acquaintances, and friends of friends.

    You may not be entirely comfortable speaking to these people one-on-one, but you can absolutely approach many of the people in your warm circle. A casual introduction from a friend or a phone call from a mutual friend to let them know who you are will make it easier. This circle is definitely larger than your hot circle, and it’s one you will need to access to ramp up your job-search success.

    • Make appointments and schedule informational meetings with those your hot circle introduced you to. Alert others in your warm circle that you are in career transition.
    • Call people you used to work with. Find out where they are now. Expand to others you were in contact with: salespeople, vendors, contractors, customers, etc.
    • Call former employers to let them know you’re in the market. Ask them to put you in touch with folks they know. Send them your resume.
    • Tell people you do volunteer work with that you are looking for a new job. Ask them to tell their friends. If you’re not a volunteer, maybe do so!?
    • Tell your bank teller, your butcher, hair stylist, etc. that you are in transition. You might be surprised who they know. Leave business cards with these folks!

    Cold Circle

    Your cold circle is the largest circle available for your search. In a nutshell, it’s all the people you do not know personally.

    These folks are often people you’ve heard of or admire, but would not think of speaking to. You may have felt they were intimidating, or believe they would not have time for you. Your cold circle could include anyone from a local elected official, to the HR director or hiring authority at a corporation you’re interested in working for.

    • Continue to talk to people in your warm circle. This is a big circle of people, and one that will benefit you long term.
    • Keep track of those you communicate with. I love jibberjobber.com.
    • Touch base with people periodically, even though they may not have been able to help you when you first approached them. They may come up with information, ideas, or suggestions for you as time goes on.
    • Be sure you are keeping appointments and continually scheduling new ones.

    The cold circle is where it gets exciting! By now, you should have practice, with appointments lining up. Moving into your cold circle of influence – the largest to build your network.

    Statistics show the average person knows 1,000 people or more on a first-name basis! THIS is the power of your network! While you are in job search, constantly expand and use your network – your circles of influence!

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