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I Tried Networking But My Contacts Don't Care

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Dear Career,

I've read that the most effective way to find a job is networking so I've tried. Recently, someone made an introduction for me that I thought would be amazing, but the contact hasn't gotten back to me. It's been two weeks.

I've tried sending messages and calling, but I'm getting nowhere. What should I do? Doesn't this person care? Don't they realize I really need a job? Why did they leave me hanging?

-- Left Hanging

Dear Hanging,

I feel your pain -- I've been there. You leave a Hiring Our Heroes or In Gear Career networking event with a stack of business cards and an introduction to at least one person you just know is going to give you great leads. Then you email, call or send other messages only to get no reply. It's definitely frustrating.

Here's the thing to remember though: They're human too. All of the people you met are leading busy lives, and many of them are volunteering their time in addition to their paying jobs in order to help others make connections or to offer their expertise. Although two weeks feels like an eternity when you're job searching, it's really not that long in the professional world.  

Also, as hard as it may be to hear, those people don't owe you anything. Would it be great if every contact you met immediately followed through with what they promised? Yes, of course, but that's just not life.

So what can you do? If you've contacted them politely a couple of times and you've heard nothing back, honestly the best thing to do is move on. If a friend or colleague of yours introduced you, reach back out to your friend and ask them if they've heard from the person. Mention that you were really excited about the potential leads the contact could provide, but you've not heard anything. A note from your friend may get their attention better than a message from a virtual stranger.

After this, unless your friend or the contact asks you to keep reminding them, please move on. Although networking is a highly effective method for finding a job, no one promised it would be easy or immediate. Keep smiling; keep meeting new people and that new opportunity will present itself.

Keep Pushing, Career

-- Have a spouse career question to submit? Email us at DearCareer@Military.com.