How to get a job by mindmapping your network is all about understanding that getting help from your connections to get a job is not possible unless you manage to remember them at the right time. The reason is simple: your network can give you a job way faster and easier than what sending hundreds of CVs and online applications can. So let’s look how you can make sure you remember all your important contacts at the right time.
First thing I would like to make sure is that you know what mindmapping is. To understand this just take a look at the following picture:
This is a mindmap of my life goals. I am using a free software called Xmind that you can download from www.xmind.net. I separate them in different categories depending on the time frame:
- The Vision is about my whole life’s purpose
- The 5 years is about my goals for the next five years
- The 1-2 years is about my short term goals and
- Weekly is the way all the previous categories transform themselves into my daily and weekly habits, focus and milestones.
By clicking on each category I can see more details. This way, when I feel that my finances are not in a good state the only thing I have to do is to go back to the mindmap and look if
- I do what I have decided to do to improve them in a weekly basis
- I need to change some the things I decided to do because they don’t give the results they were supposed to give.
This way I can focus at one topic at the time and improve whatever is necessary.
Now, in a similar way you can mindmap your network. For specific instructions on how to use Xmind you can download the instructions here. If you do that, then you will be able to observe how it transforms during the years. Most importantly you can see which areas are strong and you haven’t taken advantage of them yet and which areas are weak and improve them. The way I propose to my clients to do it is the following:
Separate the mindmap in 4 different categories:
- Business Partners (further separated in past, current and future)
- Future contacts
You can be flexible to create different categories as you see fit (maybe coworkers, other students (if you are a student) etc).
Now, for each category, write a few names that come immediately in mind that you have a good relationship with. When you finish that ask yourself if each of the people you wrote remind you of someone else that you know. Put them in the right category. Maybe a friend from the university reminds you of another friend. Now ask yourself if every category reminds you of another category. Maybe a person that you worked with reminds you of another person. Slowly the mindmap will start expanding. You know hundreds of people that can help you get a job that you love. But most of them believe that they cannot help you. It is your job to show them how to do it. Let’s see:
The first thing you need to do with all these people in the mindmap in front of you is to categorize them. Now you might think that you need to categorize them in terms of the relevance to the job you are looking for. It turns out that this is a very ineffective way to do it. By focusing only on those people you are forgetting about a huge number of people that can help. I would like to ask you to categorize them in terms of the level of trust you have established in each relation. You can understand the level of trust also as a measure of the strength of the relation. Without getting into much details (if you want to go deep download the full methodology here to get additional tips and hacks) what you need to do is to rate from 1-4 each relation, “1” being the strongest relation, “2” being the good relations, “3” the neutral and “4” the ones you have some issues to solve first.
Call to action – how to get a job that you love
Once you have that mindmap in front of you the time has come to put your network in good use.
- Find all the people that you have a strong relation with. Contact them to schedule a call, to go for a coffee or a lunch.
- Once you are with them discuss about your current situation and what you are looking for (for a tip on how to explain what you are looking for make sure to unlock the advices below). These people already know you well and trust you so they would be open to introduce you to potential employers or people that can give you extra help.
- Now look at the number “2” relations. If you are like most people, you will have a lot more relations tagged “2” than “1”. You cannot meet and talk with each one of them since that would take a lot of time. In this case, create a small email or message that you quickly explain your situation and ask them if they can help you in any way, either by information or introductions. Send that email/message to all of them (For a specific effective format of the message you can send make sure to unlock the tips section).
- Check all the relations tagged as “3”. Since the relation here is weaker, you need to ask them to do something really simple, because, let’s face it, they probably don’t care much about you. For them also prepare an email explaining your situation but only ask them if they know someone that can give you more information around the area you want to work in. They just need to give you a name or LinkedIn link.
I tried that technique personally when I was looking for a job (the format of the message I used is in the tips section below) and I ended up spending almost all my days for a period of three weeks having interviews (sometimes more than 3 per day – my record was 6). I was exhausted but feeling great. The more interviews you get the more confident you feel because you have more opportunities. That confidence is highly attractive for any employer making not only the number of your interviews higher but also the quality of your responses. Try that and let me know how it went.
If you liked the article make sure to check below more tips about how you can help your contacts give you easier introductions and a template that you can use to contact people to help you get a job that you love. Answering the question “how to get a job?” was never easier!
- You might be awesome. You might be capable of being amazing in 20 different roles. You do not want to close doors. But you should. You see, most people when they look for a job they try to be as open as possible. When they talk with friends they ask them if they can help them get a job in every area of 5-20 different options. They even use the sentence “I am open to everything”. Now, there have been a lot of experiments on how people come up with answers to questions. In one of those experiments they asked people to write down as fast as possible 20 white things and they measured the time it took them to do so. Then they asked them to write down 20 white things that they can find in their fridge and measured again the time it took them. You would expect that when you have more things to choose from you can find more white things faster. This is not what they found out. The average time dramatically reduced in the second case. By reducing the possible options, by focusing in smaller subsection the performance improved. If you want people to come up with ideas to help you, you need to focus in really few targets. Identify the two areas that you would love to work in and you are good at and only communicate those areas. Help them to answer your question “How to get a job” by guiding their thoughts towards a specific direction.
- The format I use to help my clients to get interviews is the following:
“Good afternoon [name]!
I wish you are doing great!
I have decided to make some changes in my life and I would like to ask for your help. I am currently looking for a new job. Now, I am in search for a company in [city that you want to work in] to work for that is looking for a person with my profile.
Do you have any company in mind that might be interested for [business development, marketing, sales, community building or any other topic you might be interested in-just don’t put more that 2-3 categories]? If not, do you have any person in mind that works in similar positions or might have a good understanding of those areas in [city you want to work in]? I would like to have a conversation with them to get a better understanding of the field in [country you want to work in].
Any information could be of great help 🙂
Now you might have noticed that in the end I am putting the country I would like to work in, not the city. The reason is simple. In case they do not have a positive answer to the first two questions, they might just know someone living in another city. Now, that person, since he has a good understanding of the field I am looking to work in he will probably know people in the city I am interested in. Moreover, I can get a fresh perspective of how things work in other cities which can give me good material for my interviews.
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