By Charlotte Weeks
Most people in associations (actually, most people at ANY type of company) are frequently met with resistance when trying to do something new. Often, if you ask someone WHY they are performing a specific duty, you’ll hear, “That’s how we’ve always done it.” Obviously, there must have been a good reason at the time, and it’s very possible the task at hand is being done the best possible way. However, if you don’t stop and analyze once in a while, how will you know?
A lot of people fall into this trap during their job search, especially if it’s been years since they’ve had to look. Traditional methods such as applying to open jobs and using recruiters should still be included (if they never worked, they wouldn’t exist!). However, your time will be better spent if you cultivate “warm leads” at the organizations you want to work for. Networking is the key, but this can be accomplished in a variety of ways such as reconnecting with former co-workers or volunteering within a professional association. Becoming recognized as a subject-matter expert will make you the “hunted” versus the “hunter.” Posting articles, writing a blog, and speaking at industry events are all ways to stay visible. While not networking, you’ll build credibility, which will also turn countless people into “warm leads” for you. Whatever you do, regularly take time to analyze the results you’ve been getting. When you get a hit on your resume, call from a recruiter, or invitation to interview, take note. See what has been most effective, and spend more of your time and energy on those approaches.