Feeling Network Fatigue?

Everyone who is in a job search knows they should be doing extensive networking.  This can get wearying at any time, but during the pandemic with a tough job market, job searches can be longer, and networking can be even more challenging. Even if you’re spending good time on your job search every day, there’s always a lag while waiting (…and waiting…and waiting…) for people to get back to you. 

What can you do to keep your energy up and to keep from getting discouraged? Here are somethings you can do that can help with network fatigue: 

  • Volunteer. Doing something for others usually leaves us feeling positive.  It can help you remember that you DO have skills, even if you’re not applying them at work right now.  And, with the right organization, it may give you some great new networking connections. 
  • Set a goal to reach out with phone calls/emails each day (we recommend 5-10). When you’ve done those, reward yourself by taking some time for something fun; go for a walk, bike ride, play. 
  • Set 5 goals for yourself that are not directly connected to your job search (this might include exercising more, some professional development like taking a course or two, doing more reading for fun, developing a hobby, starting a side business…).  When you’re feeling overwhelmed or discouraged with networking, this will give you something positive to focus on, and give you a sense of accomplishment. 
  • Use LinkedIn strategically.  Comment on postings that others have put up.  Read books and articles in your professional field or your industry, and post them on LinkedIn with your wise comments accompanying them.  Write a short article (maybe even with a friend) and post on LinkedIn. 
  • Read a book or article at networking and try out a few new things.  A few ideas are:  Power Your Career: The Art of Tactful Self-Promotion at Work (especially section 2) by Richard Dodson and Nancy Burke; A Friend of a Friend: Understanding the Hidden Networks that Can Transform Your Life by David Burkus. (if you know of other good books, let us know!) 
  • Don’t assume, because you haven’t heard from someone you’ve called or emailed, that they are “blowing you off.” Almost always, it’s because they’re busy, and you’re not at the top of their to-do list.  Make a schedule to call them every week or two, to make sure they don’t forget you. 
  • Go back and reconnect with people you haven’t spoken to in a while to touch base and see how they’re doing (it helps you to stay top of mind). Send them an article you think they might be interested in. 
  • Send us an email (nancy@FuturePast50.com).  We’re happy to talk with you and brainstorm how you might add to your networking. 

Remember “this, too, shall pass.” Even though your job search and network might weigh heavily on your mind, it will not be forever.  If you draw a life line with your birth on one end and your death on another, put a mark for when you started your search and when you expect it will end – you’ll see that it’s just a small wedge in your life overall.  Make the most of it.