Bringing Home the Bacon

Have you seen the movie “Six Degrees of Separation”?

If you haven’t, you no doubt have heard of the game, “six degrees of Kevin Bacon”. The game is based on the con­cept of the small world phe­nom­e­non, and rests on the assump­tion that any actor can be linked through his or her film roles to actor Kevin Bacon within six steps.

I know from expe­ri­ence, that this works when look­ing for your next big career oppor­tu­nity.
While work­ing with a pro­fes­sional career out­place­ment firm, I was strongly encour­aged to use LinkedIn, a pro­fes­sional net­work­ing site that is free.

What a great tool!

Look­ing for another gig, whether vol­un­tary or forced on you by oth­ers, can make you feel like wig­ging out.

But even­tu­ally, you have to pull up your big boy/big girl panties, and go for it. Search­ing for a new start, whether con­tin­u­ing your career in the same indus­try and space, or if you’re think­ing about “re-careering”, there’s def­i­nitely a recipe for success.

Begin with LinkedIn. Chances are you have already enrolled and half filled out your infor­ma­tion. If  you haven’t already done so, enroll.  If you ’ sort of ’ enrolled,  fill out all your info.  Right now I’m going to tell you, at first, you feel stu­pid and a bit piti­ful. Get over it and go for it.  Up load your pic­ture. I will admit I was temped to upload a pic­ture of Brad Pitt, but fight that urge and upload your own mug shot.

Take the time to build your pro­file. Next, do searches for groups. Groups will astound you! You can search for alumni groups from your alma mater (includ­ing high school, under­grad­u­ate and grad­u­ate degrees), by com­pany (your tar­geted list of places you’d like to work), pro­fes­sional asso­ci­a­tions, and much, much more. Next, fol­low the direc­tions on the site, and “con­nect” to peo­ple you know, as well as those you find through your searches. You can also search peo­ple, and do an advanced search. So, if you’re look­ing for a per­son who has a com­mon name, you can nar­row it down by their loca­tion, pro­fes­sion, com­pany they work for , etc..

You will be amazed.

Once you make a con­nec­tion, you can then look at all of that person’s “con­nec­tions”. From there you can see who you have in com­mon, with any per­son you find on LinkedIn. From that point, you can reach out to addi­tional peo­ple or asked to be “introduced”.

I guar­an­tee you, sev­eral sur­prises await your explo­ration! I’m always astounded at how close I am, how con­nected, to find­ing peo­ple that can refer me to oppor­tu­ni­ties in their industry/organization, etc.

Be aware, LinkedIn isn’t a sil­ver bul­let, you still need to work pro­fes­sional recruiters who have exper­tise in your areas of inter­est, search job boards, and go directly to sites of com­pa­nies you think you’d like to work for and make a cold call or three.

But the con­nec­tions you make on LinkedIn will give a big boost to all of your other search efforts.

Well worth it.

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