Network to Find Your Next Job

Networking strategies range from basic to sophisticated. Here are some general ideas on effective networking techniques:

  • Initiate contacts for the sole purpose of networking. Do not just wait to bump into people. The best career self-managers always look to expand their contacts.
  • Develop a networking list. Make contact with each person on the list. Add names of people you meet or to whom you are referred. Update the list regularly.
  • Set networking goals. Write down specific goals for the number of networking contacts to make each day or each week, and then monitor your performance.
  • Set goals for each meeting. Meet with a purpose; don’t just “get together” to see where it leads. Express the goal when you set the meeting.
  • Come prepared. Know about the person you’re meeting. Do research. Have a list of questions to ask. While you are talking, take notes.
  • Ask for referrals. Ask the person if he or she knows someone else you should meet. Ask permission to use the person’s name when initiating contact.
  • Maintain networking files. Keep records of the meeting outcomes and note important information about the person. This will be helpful downstream.
  • Meet in person whenever possible. Telephone contacts are sufficient for most networking events, but face time is much more valuable.
  • Express appreciation early and often. Let them know you value the information and their professional opinion. Send thanks by email or snail mail.
  • Plan the next steps. If you are to follow up, make a note on your calendar. If you agree to do something, be sure to follow through. Set the right tone.

There are four basic categories of networking contacts. Each brings a unique value. A good campaign draws the best from each of the four categories.


1. People you know well.

These are the people closest to you: family, friends, neighbors and colleagues. They have the greatest interest in your success and are excellent networking contacts. Also, they are the people with whom you are most comfortable.

This is a good place to begin your networking campaign, because you can ask for the most assistance from this group. However, it is important to set clear goals and expectations. They might want to help more than you want. Remember to acknowledge their value and say “thank you” throughout the process.


2. People you see occasionally.

Examples might be acquaintances and business contacts. More than 25 percent of the people who find jobs through networking received the referral from someone they see once a year or less.

While you might be less comfortable with these people, they also have the greatest potential value. Ask this group for ideas and referrals. When making contact, you might need to reintroduce yourself. State your purpose, acknowledge their value and request a meeting.

It’s a good idea to set reasonable time limits like 20 or 30 minutes, and be sure to stick to your time limit. Come well prepared and be professional and organized in the discussion. This attitude will generate additional referrals.


3. Referrals from networking contacts.

Expand your network by meeting people who are friends, associates and acquaintances of your networking contacts. Remember to ask at each meeting if the person knows anyone else to whom you should talk. Sometimes these will be people with additional information, but they could also be potential employers.

At this point, most job seekers are out of their comfort zone. Simultaneously, this is where you can find the real action. You are getting closer to that next position or project.

When approaching the referral contact, introduce yourself with a lead statement that will get their attention. If given permission, use the name of the person who referred you. State your purpose clearly and request a meeting.

4. Cold calling people you do not know.

Through your research and networking, you will probably discover names of people with whom you should talk. This type of contact takes an additional level of confidence, but the potential is great. Take the initiative and you will discover these contacts can really pay off.


Now, start networking today!

Cumberland Farms Sponsors Massachusetts Food Drive with 4-H

Throughout the month of November, Cumberland Farms is helping Massachusetts 4-H to collect food for the hungry as part of a statewide food drive.

The USDA reports more than a half million people in Massachusetts are struggling to put food on the table this year. Cumberland Farms encourages the public to help ease this crisis in any way they can, and to contribute non-perishable food at any Cumberland Farms store in the Bay State. The 4-H volunteers hope to collect 12,000 pounds of food for food pantries in their local communities across Massachusetts.
"We are proud to sponsor the young people of 4-H who are working hard to assist those families in need," said Ari Haseotes, President of Cumberland Farms Retail Division.
Throughout November, 4-H members will retrieve donations from each Cumberland Farms store, and deliver it to local food banks. This is the third consecutive year the convenience store has supported the 4-H Massachusetts Food Drive as part of the company's Corporate Giving Program.

Cumberland Farms Celebrates New Store Openings

To mark the grand opening of its newest remodeled convenience store in Brookfield, Mass., Cumberland Farms is kicking off a month-long fundraiser Wednesday that will benefit the students of Brookfield Elementary School. For the next month, Cumberland Farms will donate 20 cents from every Chill Zone beverage and cup of coffee sold at its 225 Main St. store in Brookfield to the school's current fifth grade class. All proceeds will support a class trip to Camp Bournedale, which the students will take in sixth grade. Cumberland Farms said it hopes to raise at least $1,000 for the class trip.
"With so many tight budgets these days, the costs of school trips can seem overwhelming to families," Principal Kathleen Hosterman said in a statement. "This donation will help lessen those burdens, and encourage our students to keep learning. We're grateful to Cumberland Farms for this generous donation, and thank them for their support."
Ari Haseotes, president of Cumberland Farms Retail Division, stated: "This fundraiser is our way of thanking the Brookfield families who patronize our stores. It's our pleasure to give something back to them, and help these kids take new adventures and broaden their minds."
In addition, Cumberland Farms recently celebrated the grand opening of its newly remodeled store in Southampton, Mass., by kicking off another month-long fundraiser -- this one benefiting the students of William E. Norris School. The fundraiser began Oct. 25.
From now through Nov. 25, the convenience store chain will donate 20 cents from every Chill Zone beverage and cup of coffee sold at the store, located at 130 College Highway and Route 10 in Southampton, to William E. Norris School. All of the proceeds will go toward purchasing new gym equipment for the students, including a new rock wall.
So far this year, Cumberland Farms has donated more than $10,000 to support local schools.
Family owned for over 70 years, the chain operates a network of c-stores across 11 states.