Networking is probably one of the best ways to expand and improve your career. It's not always easy, but I reckon you need to be pretty pro-active, particularly if you're making a career change.
Here are some useful hints:
- Go through your contacts book and make a note of people that you need to contact in some way. It might be that you can send a Christmas Card to them with a short note explaining your situation "Just to let you know I've left…….in case you need someone with my skills and experience……." Or send them a letter, giving a positive spin on your current situation, and similarly suggesting they might like to take advantage of your new-found availability and skills. Or email them with the same information.
- Follow-up cards, letters and emails with a phone call - NOT a pushy, annoying, nagging phone call, but a pleasant enquiring one - "I was just checking that you'd received my card/letter/email - and wondered whether I could call in to see you some time to discuss it further………
- Ring at least once every couple of months to review the situation. Or re-send your CV with a new letter - it's amazing how quickly your old one will have got buried under a pile of others. You also never know when a commission has just landed on their desk and they desperately need staff.
- Find ways to expand your contacts. This is particularly important if you're just starting out. It's no good sitting at home wanting to learn more about a particular skill, for example editing - you need to meet people who ARE editors, or who work with editors, or who can link you with them. Find out where you can maybe work shadow someone, or ask if you can call in to talk about the job or role, or watch someone as they work.
- Join societies like the Royal Television Society……a great way of networking!