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Bunker Busting Transitions, Stage Three - Contacts

Editor's note: This article is part three of a 10-part series. Click here to read stage two.

Now for the next building block your contacts - all of them.

I. Spotting

Open a file on your computer and list the names, addresses, phones, and e-mail addresses for the following people:
  1. School acquaintances from grades K through 12. This will require networking and sleuthing of the first order especially if you were a military kid, moving around all the time. Do the best you can without thinking you have to find everyone. There will almost certainly be gold in this list so don't ignore it.
  2. College - the alumni office knows where just about everyone lives.
  3. Fraternity - the headquarters knows where just about everyone lives.
  4. Sports - your coaches often know where all their winners are located.
  5. Military training - unless your career was spent with classmates nearby, this won't be easy. Try Military.com's Buddy Finder link on the Community page.
  6. Parents - retirement age friends and classmates these days usually have parents alive, well, and alert. Talk to the Moms and Dads - they often live nearby.
  7. Network, network, network - ask people if they know the whereabouts of the others.
Nuclear Tip: One of the most powerful signals about your integrity is your continued association with people you have known since you were very young. They will often unselfishly and quickly pass along your name as someone they have known since (fill in the blank) who wants to enter their field.

II. Finding

The most amazing toolkit for locating people is the Internet. Use your old address books or the sources sited above for spelling and basic information. Here are some favorite places to look (some of them are even free!):
  1. http://www.switchboard.com
  2. http://www.docusearch.com
  3. http://www.peoplefinders.com
  4. http://www.google.com
III. Criss-Crossing

Your next challenge is to take the list you prepared earlier regarding occupations and criss-cross with your list of contacts. IT IS CRITICALLY IMPORTANT FOR YOU TO IDENTIFY WHICH OF YOUR CONTACTS ARE INVOLVED IN ANY OF THE OCCUPATIONS WHERE YOU BELIEVE YOU WOULD BE COMFORTABLE. They do not have to be employed directly in that industry, particularly if they just retired. What you are after will be clearly evident in the next stage. Don't worry about location just yet. We'll get there in a few stages.

You now have your list of critical contacts matched to your list of occupations of greatest interest. Your next step is Stage Four, The Billion Dollar Question.

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