If you attend a church, mosque, temple or other house of worship, seek out the leader of your congregation for networking assistance.
They’re a great resource for networking because:
- it’s their job to help you,
- they may know many leaders in your community by name and be only a phone call or two away from almost anyone else you want to meet; and
- the advice and suggestions of religious leaders carry special weight with many people in the community, so a recommendation from the head of your congregation can be especially valuable!
It’s a good idea to ask the magic question of your religious leader: “Given my experience and the value I can offer an employer, who do you know that I should be talking to?”
But you can take your networking a couple of steps further.
For instance, ask your clergy leader to write you a letter of introduction. Ask them this question: “If a business leader walked into the room, would you have a problem introducing me based on what you know about me?”
They’ll probably say that wouldn’t be a problem. So you can say: “Since I’m not a sales person – I’m a people person – could I jot down a letter of introduction on church stationery and show it to you for your approval and signature?”
Again, they’ll probably agree with you, especially since you’re saving them the time of writing that letter.
So, sit down and write a letter from our pastor that introduces you as a problem solver and suggests that it would be good for the reader to meet you. Get your pastor’s signature, along with as many names of potential employers and community leaders in your congregation as possible
Make copies, then mail those letters to your new networking contacts.
Wait a couple of days, then call the recipients of your introductory letter and ask if they have been contacted by the pastor/rabbi/iman/guru. Use a script like this when you call: “I asked Father Flanagan about who the top leaders in town were and your name came up. I was sharing with him some things I can bring to the table as a problem solver in your industry and I’d like a 20-minute meeting with you to show you what I showed him. Which would work better for you, this Wed. or Thur. afternoon?”
Thanks to Bob Donovan for this tip! He helps people find the right career for themselves. Author of widely acclaimed "What Ever Happened to Dick and Jane?" and developer of PDA software that helps people communicate more effectively, Bob is responsible for attracting more than 10,000 people to career opportunities. Find Bob at www.mrznet.com and www.zprofiler.com
Action Step: Your religious leader (or spiritual confidant, psychiatrist, whatever) is in the business of helping people. Why not tap into their desire to help, not to mention their network of contacts in the community, and enlist them in your job search?