Employment and careers — Finding the right job through good networking tactics

Story by David Altom, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs

ESGRFRANKFORT, Ky. — If we’ve learned anything in today’s US military environment it’s that communications is the key to mission success.  The new buzz word for 21st century operations, “jointness,” requires it; ground troops talk to aviation assets, blue talks to green, squads take direction from headquarters — and the list goes on.

The same goes for looking for a job in “the real world.”  You’re out there on your own, either unemployed or underemployed, and you need top cover and you need it now.  Just as you’d use any number of technologies and practices on the battlefield to call in air support, you’ve got to communicate with potential employers and let them know you’re available.  Not only that, but you have to let them know that you have the right skill set and attitude and that you’re the right person for the job.

And how to do you do that, you might ask?  You network, that’s how.

“Network, network, network,” says Tammie Hollar, Employment Transition Coordinator with Kentucky Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve.  “That’s the key to finding the right job.  Half of all retained hires are via networking, so you can see why we push it.  It’s what works in our world today.”

Hollar counsels Guard members routinely on how to find employment and she loves what she does.  And one of her favorite things to talk about is networking.  She considers it one of the three legs on the tripod of “job readiness,” along with a good resume and the ability to deliver at an interview.

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Good networking tactics can help you find your way through to employment and a satisfying career. (Photo by Sgt. David Bolton, Public Affairs Specialist, 133rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment, Kentucky Army National Guard)

“Networking is making connections with others,” said Hollar.  “You can network by posting your availability to LinkedIn, contact others in your field via phone, text or email and get out into your community, volunteer.”

Just uploading a general resume to websites doesn’t cut it anymore to find a great job or career; instead, probably the most effective way to network is start by going online.  Sites such as LinkedIn and Hero 2 to Hired (also known as “H2H”) are the new normal.

Hollar’s advice on networking?  “Own it and take responsibility for your future. Utilize the resources that are available to be successful in your search.  Connect with people in the area you would like to be employed in.”

Keep in mind that all the advice in the world isn’t any good without hard work on the part of the job-seeker.

“This process is for someone who’s made looking for a job their job,” said Hollar.  “We’re here to help people who are interested in being employed, especially those who’ve been interested for a while.

“Do not depend on someone else to find you a job.  That belongs to you,” said Hollar.  “You have to have it in your heart, and you usually get out of it what you put into it.”

One of the misconceptions about working with agencies like ESGR is that they’re going to hand you a job.  That’s not exactly true.

“There’s a myth that we’re a staffing agency,” said Hollar.  “We don’t find you jobs — we help you prepare to be employed.”

Good advice from someone who knows.

For more information on Kentucky’s Employment of Guard and Reserve and how they can help you email philip.k.miller.ctr@mail.mil or timothy.e.stinnett2.ctr@mail.mil or call 502-607-1532 or 502-607-6055.

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