Ari's Story: Networking Stepping-Stones
Ari described his networking experiences as crossing a river by way of stepping-stones. When you start out on a path, you go from one stepping-stone to another. You may not be able to see where the next stepping-stones are at, but once you are on the stone, you have a new set of stepping-stones around you to choose from. Some paths do not lead you all of the way across the river, but you can backtrack and try new stepping-stones until you find a path across.
Networking, he said, is a lot like this because when you talk to people they often have contacts with others that you can talk to. Some suggestions lead nowhere; other suggestions lead you closer to your career goals.
When Ari was laid off from work, he felt like he was at one side of the river, not sure how he would get to the other side. He spent a lot of time networking in order to learn more about what he wanted to do and to look for job leads.
He began his job search by defining what type of job he wanted: one in the high-tech industry at a smaller company than he had worked for previously. Once he defined what he was looking for, he started looking for what he wanted to do. Ari found people on LinkedIn.com whom he knew had connections with the companies he was interested in. He scheduled time with them to discuss his career plans, ask for suggestions, and get names of other people he could talk to. “Most people are inherently interested in helping others,” Ari said.
In addition to networking through LinkedIn, Ari also took time every week to attend professional networking meetings. He attended three different LDS employment resource centers’ networking groups in Utah, USA, to increase his networking contacts.
“The more people you have helping you out, the better off you are,” Ari said. “So I went to a lot of places.”
Through his networking efforts, he was able to find a job. However, it was not entirely what he was looking for. He took the job, but continued to look for other opportunities that would better fit his needs.
Several months after Ari took the job, Chad, one of the people he had met through the Centerville networking group, e-mailed him. Chad had been impressed with Ari’s experience and demeanor. He e-mailed Ari to let him know about an account manager opening at a company he had researched. He felt it was a good fit for Ari.
Ari called the company and talked with the hiring manager over the phone. She was interested in meeting with Ari, so she had him apply for the position and scheduled a time for him to come in and interview for the position.
“As I interviewed and did my own research, I was really blown away about just how professional and how solid the company was,” Ari said. “In terms of things I was looking for, this was a really good fit.” The company hired Ari as an account manager.
“I really feel like I’ve been blessed by being able to find this company and [by] Chad helping me out,” Ari said.