Fabian S. on January 22, 2019
I am having a hard time getting myself in front of people. I have a profile on LinkedIn, and I am getting connection requests. I am also a member of my local professional organizations. I am in IT, and I work with databases. I am applying to jobs, but I am not getting a lot of call backs. I never mention my diagnosis of cancer to any jobs I apply to.
I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in April 2017, had a Whipple surgery in May 2017, and six rounds of chemotherapy, ending in February 2018. I am currently no evidence of disease.
What kind of networking should I be doing? How do I put myself out there to meet people?
Nicole Franklin, MPH
Jan 30, 2019
Cancer and Careers Staff Comment:
Thanks for writing to us. I’m happy to hear you’ve completed treatment and are in remission. Professional networking (or relationship-building) is one of the most effective ways to uncover job opportunities, so it’s great you’re thinking about how to effectively approach it during your job search —and having a LinkedIn profile is definitely a good start! It’s the ultimate online professional networking site, with more than 450 million members worldwide, and also can be an incredibly important tool in the job search process. It also sounds like you’re thinking critically about disclosure during your search, but in case you would like any additional information on that topic, I would recommend watching our webinar: https://www.cancerandcareers.org/en/community/videos/bwc/2018-webinar-online.
I’ve reached out to one of our career coaches to get their feedback on your questions, but in the meantime the following resources might be helpful:
Webinar on Building an Effective LinkedIn Profile: https://www.cancerandcareers.org/en/community/videos/bwc/linkedin
Articles on networking: https://www.cancerandcareers.org/en/looking-for-work/networking
Resume Review Service: https://www.cancerandcareers.org/resume_reviews/new
Job Search Toolkit (2nd Edition): http://www.cancerandcareers.org/publication_orders/new (features advice on improving resumes, cover letters; interview and networking tips and other useful tools to help you during a job search)
A coach will be in touch soon!
Nicole Franklin, MPH
Senior Manager of Programs
Cancer and Careers
Jan 30, 2019
Career Coach Comment:
I echo Nicole's sentiment that it is great that you are in remission!
Networking can be daunting for anyone! LinkedIn is a great place of course. When someone asks to connect with you, I suggest you craft a customized email back to them telling them that you are looking for a new job and would appreciate a quick call with them. I would also create a target list of companies that interest you and methodically find people on LinkedIn who currently work at the companies or who have in the past.
One mistake people make when networking is that they are not specific and succinct about explaining the type of job and company they want to work for. Also, they don't view every person as someone who could potentially introduce them to new people who may have leads. This includes your dentist, your neighbors, your kid's friend's parents, etc.
Industry and trade associations are great for networking because they understand what you do. Getting in the habit of asking for referrals or to be introduced to people is key.
You can also look at your local or regional business publications at the announcements about people in the news and reach out to those people who may understand what you do or seem like connectors of people even if you don't know them.
It is crucial to continue to add to your network and also to remember to ask people how you may be able to help them, if not now sometime in the future so it is a reciprocal process.
I hope this helps! There is a lot of great content on the CAC website regarding networking as Nicole mentioned.
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