Networking Not Working? Perhaps you are in the wrong room
Consider this: If you’re a chef, and you’re talking to other chefs about how to cook the perfect steak, depending on your cooking methods or level of expertise you may not stand out from the others. But, if you’re in a room full of twenty-five-old novice chefs who are hosting their first dinner party, and you relay that same information, they’re going to treat you like a rock star because you know something they don’t.
So…..if you are an insurance attorney, and you attend an event geared towards insurance attorneys, you’re like the chef in a roomful of chefs: your colleagues will see you as a peer. However, if you, as an insurance attorney, go to a convention for insurance sales representatives, you’ll certainly obtain many of the same benefits you’d receive at a conference for insurance attorneys (industry news, trends, forecasts, new opportunities for jobs, etc.). The difference, of course, is that because you come at the industry from a different angle (legal, as opposed to sales), the sales reps might see you as an expert. Just as important, they won’t see you as competition for possible sales positions—and they will be open to sharing information about openings in their legal department.
Not only will those sales representatives not be your direct competition, but also an insurance salesperson looking for a job may actually be eager to share information about a legal position with an attorney because (1) sharing the information has no detrimental impact on their job search; (2) the information is not valuable to them; and (3) more importantly, they could see sharing that information with you as a way to develop a connection with someone who may be able to provide a future benefit. In the loyalty-free workplace, you need to not only increase the size of your existing networking circle, but create new circles. That means expanding your network by networking in the right rooms. This will increase your chances of getting the best information, build your confidence, and really display your expertise. Location. Location. Location.
Best of luck with you search, I know you do it!