Mon Apr 28, 2008
I mentioned in part one of this series that 80% of jobs can only be found in that elusive place called “the hidden job market.” About 20% of those gigs can be gotten through employment services, cold calling, and other tactics, such as information interviews. But the other 60% are landed through referrals. That makes networking your only way to access a big chunk of the job market.
So how do you rustle up some contacts in Vancouver, a city that has a reputation for being a tad on the chilly side?
Well, a great way to get started is to join the local West coast STC chapter. Volunteering for them is a great way to make some contacts, probably even more so that just showing up for meetings.
Sign up for T-Net direct, a weekly newsletter that tells you what BC technology events are happening around town. Go to events outside of your field, where you don’t expect to see a lot of other writers. That way you’ll be more unique and make more valuable connections than you would hanging out with other writers who are looking for work.
Let everyone know you’re looking for work, and if your cousin’s roommate’s girlfriend tells you her brother is a technical writer, ask for his contact info and set up an informational interview. Having some connection, no matter how distant, is always better than interviewing a complete stranger.
Most importantly, don’t network to find work. Network to be social and meet people. If you approach everybody as a possible job lead, they’ll smell the sleaze on you a mile away. Stay loose and have fun.
So how do you ace the tech-writing interview? That’ll be in part 3, coming this Friday.