by John Groth -

You’ve exhausted every job hunting lead you can think of. Your network of friends and others have turned up no productive job leads. Your job research leads you to believe another area would be more productive in your job search. Or perhaps your spouse got a job across the country into an area where you know no one.

So now you’ve relocated to another area, whatever the reason, and you don’t know anyone so how do you start looking for a new job in this unfamiliar place.

A high percentage of jobs are found through networking and working through others. This is one of the fastest and most successful ways to locate and secure a new job. This does not mean that job hunting in your new city you should neglect the traditional methods of job search.

By all means post your resume on internet job boards, answer ads and contact recruiters and other agencies. A successful job hunt requires you to use every means available, but understand most jobs are found and people hired through a referral or a job lead uncovered through networking.

So let’s focus on how your can develop a group of people from scratch who can assist you in your job search in your new community.

Networking general contacts: If you have interests or hobbies search the area and join these groups.

If you have children, become active in school related activities. Do they have an interest in sports or other outside school activities become a member of these organizations.

Every area has community service groups, like the Lions Club and Rotary Clubs. Attend their meetings and luncheons. You’ll be in a position to meet a variety of business leaders.

If you need the extra money register at several temp agencies. This could lead to full-time employment.

Stop in and talk to officials at the local Chambers of Commerce. In larger areas there may up to two dozen local chamber groups. They usually know of openings for smaller local employers. In addition, they sponsor “meet and greet,” events. Make it a point to attend. It’s an excellent opportunity to expand your network.

Search out local career fairs and plan to attend.

Enroll at a local community college to build your skills. It’s an excellent networking opportunity to meet
like- minded individuals.

In many areas there are groups dedicated to helping their members in their job hunt. These local job hunters have area information that will be invaluable to you in your job search.

Networking in your profession: If your profession has a local or state group; become a member. Attend meetings and volunteer to work on things that interest you. Whenever possible write articles of interest in their newsletter.

Use the resources of the Linkedin website to find others in your field working in the area. Contact them and use an informational interview format to find more about possible information about your career, and the hiring climate in the area.

Attend meetings and seminars hosted by your professional group. It’s another chance to network and you’ll stay current on new developments in your career.

Don’t neglect attending trade shows that have employer’s exhibiting in which you have an interest.

Old Friends and Alumni: There are very few areas in the country that is not populated with old friends and alumni of your school. Your challenge is to find them.

You school alumni association can help. Linkedin as previously mentioned is another source. If you’ve been out of high school for some time there is someone keeping track of graduates for reunion purposes. Find that person and there may be someone living in your area that you were acquainted with in high school.

How about going back to your home network and asking if they know anyone in your new area? You’d be surprised how wide you can throw your net.

Making it all Work: Planning and preparation are keys to making each new networking contact work for you. Draft a 20-30 second “elevator” speech on what you are tying to accomplish. What are your skills, what are you real good at, and how can they help?

Keep good records. Follow-up at the times promised. And always ask, “is there anyone you know who can help that I might talk to?”

With a well-developed networking job hunting plan you will see your possible contacts continue to expand, and your new area will soon be yielding you productive job leads. So instead of being a stranger in your new city, it will soon feel more like home, and hopefully will yield positive job search results.

John Groth has changed careers seven times during his working life. Learn more about career planning and job hunting tips at http://careersafter50.com. Discover how others networked their way into new jobs, built winning career plans and found the right careers by career planning after 50.

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