Fearless
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Six Steps to Being Fearless

You’re more likely to encounter new opportunities when you come out of your shell and pick up the phone.

By Pegotty Cooper, FASAE

Do you know that two-thirds of white-collar jobs are found through conversations with someone you know or with someone who knows someone you know? And yet, many job seekers hesitate to reach out by phone to others during their job search, even when they know that this is the most likely way they will find their next position.

Why? Fear has a lot to do with it. You need to overcome your fears so you can jump in and have new conversations that might uncover that unexpected opportunity.

This simple six-step process can help you become fearless and develop an ease in creating new conversations:

Acknowledge the fear and just push through it, recognizing that this emotion is normal and often stands between you and the things you want most.

Create your own story about who you are as a sought-after workplace contributor, and put a stake in the ground about the value that you are eager to bring to an organization.

Get comfortable in not having the next step thoroughly defined. This is a time for exploration, and the person you are calling may have a key to the treasure. It could be insight about how an industry or organization works, resources that would be valuable to you, or another contact that may lead to the pot of gold.

Acknowledge the fear and just push through it, recognizing that this emotion is normal and often stands between you and the things you want most.

Prepare a brief script as a security blanket so you can refer to it if needed during the conversation. It should include a question asking, “Is this a good time for a 10- to 15-minute conversation?” Tell the person why you are calling and who referred you, state your intention for the conversation, and make your request clear and simple so that the person can say yes without concern for his or her time or reputation

Schedule time in your calendar for making these calls, and list the calls by name with the phone number and referral source. Keep track of each call you make so you can follow up with a thank you and any updates about how you used the information or contacts the person provided.

Make it a game to expand your connections and enjoy the adventure of exploring new territory. Track your results and celebrate your victories each day.

Pegotty Cooper, FASAE, is a certified coach at Career Strategy Roadmap, working exclusively with association executives. Email: [email protected]

Job Search Networking