The following is an excerpt from “Voyager/Veteran: The Journey to a Successful Job Search Mindset.”

The fact is, social media doesn’t play as crucial a role in obtaining employment as is popularly believed. Most of the “hype” out there is just that — overindulged myth-making. Most employer/recruiter/job seeker connections are made through referrals, job boards, company and government websites, and outside recruiters or marketing professionals.

Here’s the bottom line: It’s more about leveraging online social media sites with old-school job hunting techniques.

No job search should focus exclusively on social media. The secret to social media networking is to mix and incorporate it with off-line strategies. Networking is a face-to-face, person-to-person function. The people you meet with in person should represent a wide range of folks from different fields who can help you achieve your goals.

So what kind of people do you want in your network? Let’s consider the people who can be most helpful in guiding you on your path to employment:

1. The Advisor

This is an individual who has reached a level of success you aspire to achieve. Someone who provides you with an opportunity to learn from their successes, and their mistakes.

Pay attention to their words of wisdom from their life experiences. Such a relationship often offers unique perspectives, especially if they have known you for a while and have watched you evolve as a person.

2. The Benefactor

This is someone who has periodically entered your life at different times. They may have helped with making critical life decisions, personal transformations or offered objective insights with no strings attached.

3. The Insider

An insider is someone in your career or occupational field who can provide an expert level of information or access to it. You can depend on them to keep you informed of what is occurring now, and the next big thing anticipated to occur in the field. Ask them to be a sounding board on new ideas you have for moving forward with your job search.

4. The Guru

This person is generally outside of your chosen career or occupational field, but has the latest job search information. The guru can help you to be innovative and creative in developing and utilizing unconventional job search methods.

5. The Connector

This individual provides access to people, resources and information. As soon as the connector comes across something related to your specific job search goals, they send an email or dial you up on the phone to tell you about it.

Connectors are great at uncovering unique methods of making connections and locating resources or opportunities most people tend to overlook or ignore.

6. The Innovator

Including this person in your network offers you someone with whom to share out-of-the-box ideas. Innovators are exceptional at brainstorming methods of making things happen in non-conventional ways.

7. The Realist

This person is a co-planner with a gift for providing periodic reality checks. They can help you focus on your employment goals. They tell you when your expectations exceed your capability without destroying personal ambitions and dreams. The Realist is there to challenge you to make things happen.

8. The Collaborator

Here is an individual whose road to success is similar to your quest. This person is a collaborator and a planner, similar to the realist, but they can plant seeds of accomplishment on the path to reaching your goals.

Sometimes only one contact with this person can significantly impact the way you think and the outcome of your life. Be sure to include this person in your network, for they help you seek the possibilities.

9. The Partner

This is someone who is in a place and on a journey similar to yours, who is willing to share resources, opportunities and information, and who encourages you to do the same. This relationship is mutually beneficial, as you both work hard toward the same goal.

10. The Veteran Player Promoter

This person is a real player and contributor in the game of networking. They are willing to encourage you on your journey with the hopes that you in turn will encourage others in the future. The veteran player understands the concept of contributing to the successes and well-being of others by “paying it forward.”

The veteran player’s mantra: “As a brother or sister, not in arms, but as collaborating seekers of truth, communal advancement and personal transformation, you freely give to fellow veterans, young and old alike, a helping hand whenever the opportunity presents itself.”

Their reward for such generosity is the feeling of satisfaction one achieves through the mere act of giving — one of the most powerful ROIS [returns on investment] in existence. Paramount to the success of their network is the Universal Principle of learning to give before you receive, and their network is a reflection of this principle.

If, out of all the network participants listed, you were given the choice of selecting only one to be involved in your network, it would be The Veteran Player Promoter.

— Pete (P.D.) Pritchard is a Certified GCDF (Global Career Development Facilitator), a graduate of the Lila Atchison School of Community Service and Public Affairs at the University of Oregon in Eugene, where he received master’s and bachelor’s degrees. He has an associate degree in Criminal Justice Disciplines from Shasta Junior College in Redding, California. Pritchard helps veterans develop and marshal the self-motivational skills needed to move forward with their lives after serving their country.

His book, “Voyager/Veteran: The Journey to a Successful Job Search Mindset” is available for pre-order now and hits bookshelves April 6, 2021.

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