If your network is smaller than you'd like, think of it as a yeast cell, with the power to expand from its tiny origin until it produces something wonderful. In this case, a new job!
Tell everyone you know that you're looking for a job. Call or e-mail every single person in your address book. Now, here's the magic question -- at the end of every conversation, ask:
“Who else do you know that I should be talking to?”
This is how you expand your network by leaps and bounds! If everyone you talk to gives you two more names, and those people give you two more names, your network will explode like crabgrass in July -- try it and see.
Eventually, someone should be able to put you in touch with a decision maker who can hire you.
Even former employers can help. If you parted on good terms with your last boss, he or she might be able to refer you to hiring managers in other companies.
Action Step: Stop thinking that your network is only as large as the people you know. It’s not. It’s FAR bigger and more valuable. When you ask: “Who else do you know that I should be talking to?” the sky is literally the limit – you could be only one or two phone calls away from talking to the CEO of General Mills, the owner of your dream company down the road … or Kevin Bacon. But you’ll never know unless you ask.