5 Networking Secrets to Steer Your Career to Greater Heights! by Connie Hampton

Guest Post by Connie Hampton, www.networkpolishkit.com
Contact Connie at: connie[at]networkpolishkit.com
SECRET #1: Most open positions are filled through personal networking.

SECRET #2: Companies hire only if they have a problem they can’t solve with the people they already have.

SECRET #3: The person trying to solve the problem and do their regular job knows about the need before the VP, CEO or hiring manager does.

SECRET #4: When the boss realizes that they really do need to hire someone, the first thing they say is, “Dang, we have to hire someone! Who do we know?”

SECRET #5: If they don’t know the right person, then either it is sent to HR and HR posts it (about 10% are filled through postings) or a recruiter is hired.

You, as an interested potential candidate, need to be known by the person trying to solve the problem. And you need to know if they have a problem that you want to solve!


What STRATEGIES work best to do this?

1. Decide what exactly you want in your next job – down to the color of the carpet. You might not get everything, but at least you will know how close you are to the right spot.

(Lori’s Note: Be sure to list what you want to do in your job, as well as what benefits you want, what perks & privileges, as well as salary. Then group them in order of priority: Must Haves, Nice-to-Haves, and Fun-to-Haves.)
2. Decide what companies could provide this.

Who uses your skills?

Where are they?

Are you willing to relocate? If not, then get out the map and draw your commutable distance.

Who are the companies within your commute distance?

Which ones do you like?

Do your homework!


3. Network with someone at each of your top ten companies who is NOT the person with the problem and is NOT the person you want to work for.  The reason for this is that you need to get the inside scoop on the company to see if that company should stay on your top ten list.

  • Does the FDA like them? (Lori’s Note: or other relevant governing agency…)
  • Are they about to go bankrupt?
  • Or lay off?
  • Have they just hired the person to solve that problem?


4. If they meet your criteria, your next step is to ask the person you are networking with to introduce you to the person with the problem so that you can do two important things:

  • Find out what the problem is and if it is one that you would be interested in solving. You, as an experienced professional, have solved many problems and there is at least one or two that you hope never to see again. If this company has that problem, sympathize and move on!
  • Position yourself as an expert in that problem. Offer a “sample” of advice. Say things like:When I was at X company, we had a similar problem and they tried this and that did not work, so I suggested this (other option) and it did.

At the end of the meeting say, “It would be really fun to work on this!”No Oliver Twist!

No “Please sir, may I have a job?”


5. Then go home and put the company, the people you networked with and the person you want for a boss on http://newsle.com/  Every time something interesting comes across your desk from Newsle, forward it (or a congratulatory note and the link) to the people you spoke with.
Stay on the top surface of their minds so that when the boss says, “Dang, we have to hire someone!” it will be your name that comes up.

These people will be your career network. You will find them jobs and they will find you jobs. Keep it shiny!

If you send Holiday cards, these are the people you send them to.

If you are on Plaxo these are the people you send birthday cards to.

You are Friends on Facebook and you are certainly connected on LinkedIn!


Copyright © Connie Hampton.  All rights reserved.
If you found this information helpful, please let Connie know.  Connie’s email: connie@networkpolishkit.com

Lori’s Note: What is one action YOU can take from Connie’s secrets above?  I invite you to share them with me below!  And remember to connect with me on LinkedIn, if we’re not already connected.

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Client Stories

 I was looking to make large changes in my life, both job and city.  I was a happy midwestern resident for nearly 30 years but wanted to see what life on a coast was like and get a dream job.  This was a tall order and going into it I thought I would have to make large compromises on parts of my dreams to get any of it.  

I went to Lori to help me achieve these dreams.  It was the best decision I made.

She focused on two things right out of the gate:
  1. clarify my goals, both personal and professional
  2. get me to stop selling myself short

These twin achievements allowed me to approach my hunt with confidence, patience and focus.  My original dream job was to try and combine my technical joys with a personal one.  I enjoy large scale data processing with cutting edge tools, music and baseball.  Through the tools Lori taught me and helped me unearth in myself I got that gig that would have fallen into day dream territory before our work together.  

And yeah, there's platinum records on the walls of my lobby and I have tons of data to process.

Pat Christopher, Intelligence Engineer, Seattle, WA