Fir-ed Up.

So yesterday's post got me thinking.  How does one go about making a career change, especially in the beginning?  Is it trial by fire?  Throw a bunch of resume darts into the air and see which ones stick?  A tactic I imagine to be beyond frustrating, inefficient, and yet, logical.  Or, do you plot and plan with painstaking caution until you've pinpointed the exact career fit, then track down the VP of the department, and stalk them until they  give you a job in the mailroom and encourage you to work your way up?  Again, frustrating, inefficient, and yet, logical. 

No, none of these seem quite right. 

What I do think the best tactic would be is to use your web of contacts to get a foot in the door.  This is, by no means, a new idea.  Networking is as old as the invention of fire.  'Yo, that dude is cooking his food? I need to meet him and learn his skills.'  (Yes, cave people are thugs in my head.)  I do believe what a lot of today's career specialists leave out of the networking equation is the idea of selective networking.  Sure, I believe you should always be kind to those around you.  Strike up a conversation in the elevator.  Have good manners.  But, when it comes to getting ahead, the people that can get you where you want to go are the people that had the resources to get there themselves.  (Think of the cave man and his fire.) 

So, once you have an idea of where you'd like to go--or at least a vague idea of where you don't want to be--come up with your selective networking strategy.  Who has the resources (and perhaps the professional expertise) to get you in the right conversations, in the right social circles, in the right frame of mind?

I've tapped a few of my resources lately, but I'd love to hear what you all are doing to make your way into your dream job.  If only life were as easy as being the dude with the firewood.  Now, you have to be a five-star chef with a restaurant metropolis, your own cooking show, and a publicist to be 'the dude with skills.'

Did this (cough) light a fire under you to get networking, ahem, selectively?

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