Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Importance of Networking When Job Hunting

Reading a NYT article over the weekend, I was reminded of the importance of networking when looking for a job or simply more freelance work. One phrase from the article stuck with me: "I tapped into a network of colleagues and friends and told everyone I was job hunting."

It occurred to me that sometimes we can be too proud or even ashamed to tell people we are looking for work, but that we shouldn't be--otherwise we'll miss some good job leads. This is specially true in freelance medical writing, where clients ask their networks for referrals to hire new medical writers. 

A few months ago, I began transitioning from a full time job to telecommuting, then to part time and now into freelancing. I started looking for gigs in the usual places (Internet job postings, etc.) but nothing came out of it. 

Then, a former colleague emailed asking how things were going and I mentioned that work was slow and that if she knew of something to please let me know. A few days later, she came back to me with a great freelance project from her organization which I was happy to take on.  I hadn't even began working on this when a recruiter call me about another job. It turned out my colleague had mentioned my name to someone else in her company and they in turn mentioned my name to this recruiter.

So, don't limit yourself to sending out resumes to every company in the phone book. Network and let your colleagues and friends about your medical writing skills. Even in the midst of a recession, medical writers can still find jobs. 

If you have had similar experiences about the importance of networking, please share them.

Thanks for reading! 


Natasha Das said...

I agree, Diego. When one's planning to freelance, networking really helps.

When a medical writer friend of mine asked me to help him with some editing and proofreading because he was overloaded with work for the month, I wasn't really aware what medical writing really was. My friend opened doors for me and I walked in.

It was at a party that I met another lady. The next time she called me up was to invite me for a guest lecture on medical writing at a clinical research institute.

The mantra for a good freelance business development is ''. You never know where business may flow in from.

Anonymous said...

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