Yes, people are powerful. As my job hunt continues, I’m finding how helpful people are. I’ve contacted several people through LinkedIn and have been bowled over by their generosity and willingness to help. I’ve always appreciated the power of word of mouth. In my previous career, that was how I acquired new clients. But that’s a little different from being willing to help someone who is essentially a complete stranger.

Networking

LinkedIn is a powerful networking and research tool. I’ve recently connected with people who are in my field and have been so supportive in helping me with my job searching efforts. I’m new to my field, so my frustration has been with positions (nearly all) which require years of experience. So my strategy has been to be open to opportunities that will allow me to “get my foot in the door”. I think there’s merit in learning about an organization from the inside and then move toward the position I’m educated for, but lack experience with. That is exactly what played out when I first started my previous career as a commercial photographer. I interviewed for a studio photographer position at a regional department store chain that had an in-house advertising department. During the interview, I was informed that “Well, actually, our darkroom guy just quit, so that’s the position we need to be filled.” I took it. Eight months later I was shooting tabletop catalog photography, a year and a half from then I was the sole fashion photographer.

When I left the department store corporation after ten years, my V.P. of Advertising gave me the name of a former client of his. For the next six years, I created catalog photography for the stores that serviced the U.S. Navy personnel in the U.S. and overseas.

I know I’ll find the right position eventually. I just need to keep in mind my end goals: Work in a positive, nurturing environment where I can grow as an Instructional Designer. With the help of friends and strangers, I believe I will get there.

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