Developing your network: honing in on your targets

Apart from targeting certain people and companies, where can you start your networking? While you never know in advance exactly who will help you and who will not, don’t overlook anyone or decide in advance that he or she won’t assist you. Keep in mind that you probably have more (and better) contacts than you might think — they are simply a few steps down the networking chart. What follows is a list of potential sources for personal contacts. Consider each sphere of “relations” carefully; you never know who might be able to help in your job search.

Your family, friends and neighbours
Social acquaintances: bridge group, softball team, golf buddies, etc.
People you have worked with, past and present
Customers, past and present
People who sold to you or your company
Church, synagogue or mosque
Parents of your children’s friends
Trade groups: meetings, conventions or directories
Alumni organizations: directories or placement operations
Social club members
Health club members
PTA members
Classmates from any level of school
Teachers: your teachers, professors, your children’s teachers
Anybody to whom you wrote a check in the last year
Lawyer, accountant, real estate agent
Doctor, dentist, optician
Insurance agent, stockbroker, travel agent
Dry cleaner
Politicians and other influential people in the community
Friends with whom you served in the military
Volunteer associations
Your parents’ friends