Sunday, December 18, 2011

My current focus is networking

It's that time of year where companies slow down on hiring, the people that work in them slow down on working and it seems like a tough time to be seeking out open positions.  Rather than frustrate myself, I am trying to position myself to be readily and quickly available for when things finally get back on track in late January, new budgets approved, new work load assessed and hopefully there will be a big demand in the Seattle markets for newly minted PhDs.  How am I going to get ready for that?  I am really focusing on networking for the rest of the month.  I want to meet people, remind the people that I know that I am still here actively looking for a job. 

This feels like I am hauling business cards everywhere, and I am hoping to fill up my calender with coffee and lunches and that sort of thing.  But, I am currently reading the Networking classic "Never Eat Alone" (Why did it take my so long to start reading this book?  It's good, practical advise about how to be professional, and build mutually beneficial professional relationships.  I think the mutually beneficial part is really important for this whole thing to work out- I want to be remembered fondly as that helpful person who remarkably doesn't have a job yet, rather than that desperate schmuck who is scheming for work.  So, I've offered to volunteer with my local Chapter of AWIS, I shared my annotated photo album from the algae workshop with the other participants and I am making a lot of Christmas cookies.  This seems to be working because I have been getting better responses- now we have something to talk about in emails, I have provided myself the opportunity to prove my professionalism without jumping straight into OMG I want to work!  It also is giving me more interesting things to spend my time of than combing the job boards and recrafting cover letters for positions I am a terrible fit for.  It made me feel like spending a few hours working on that Picasa album of an algae lab was really productive, and having ways to break up the monotony of guilt and worthlessness that accompany joblessness is almost as valuable as the relationships I'll be able to cultivate in this way. 

Anyway, hoping to meet and endear myself to lots of people in the next few weeks and then be in a better position to find job in January.

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