October 24, 2006

Networking

One thing I am pretty bad at in this jobhunting thing - and that I need to get better at desperately - is networking: getting to know the right people and moving in the right circles.

I don't understand why I've been so clueless. Today's return flight home (yes, I'm home! Bliss!) was a case in point. Let me spell it out for you:

- I am interested in doing something in energy policy. However, I don't know how to get into this and everytime I try something I hit a brick wall.

- Between mid-May and today I have been on six flights to and from Moscow. At the moment, Moscow seems to be the place to be if you're in the oil biz. I fly business class, so I have vaguely assumed that at least half of my fellow passengers in business class are in this oil biz.

- I am not the kind of traveller who spontaneously has long conversations with the passenger beside me. Especially not if they're immersed in the work on their pc, as most of them are.

- Today I actually got talking to my neighbour on the plane, and hey, he's in oil & gas. So now I have his business card and he said I should get in touch if I wanted to know more or in case I was ever 'looking' for something new to do. How do I handle this? Obviously I need to email him. But I have no clue what to say. Gah.

I guess I had five other opportunities to get useful business cards. No wonder I can't get in anywhere if I don't make full use of these kind of occasions.

Next week will be another test in my networking skills - asking someone who I am meeting for the first time why he didn't reply to my email five months ago. Well, in slightly different words but that should be interesting...

2 comments:

daniel leussink said...

maybe it would be a good thing to get clear in your mind what it actually is that you want to do? working in the energy biz still sounds very vague to me. what do you see yourself doing exactly?

also i dont agree that you are not good at networking - you got the guys card, he even said to email him might you be interested in doing something. so appearantly you did something good in the conversation.

you could start out by finding out what he does before you email him. why not give him a call, anyway?

machiruda said...

"maybe it would be a good thing to get clear in your mind what it actually is that you want to do?"

Yep, that's assignment #1 for the next few weeks. It has been for the last year, I just haven't figured it out yet.

I have a clearer idea of what I want to do than only what I wrote down here. But, as long as I don't get a shot at trying any of those ideas out I still don't really know if it is truly something for me.

I will look at his company and find out more before I contact him. But still, apart from asking "how can I get a job at your company" I'm usually at a loss for how to do so-called 'informational interviews' (or whatever the Parachute-book-guy calls 'em).