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It’s no secret that we are all in the middle of one of the most dismal job markets in decades. Many people have been out of work or underemployed for record periods of time, and there are also record numbers of job seekers vying for almost every job that opens up. Craigslist, Monster.com, eLance and all the other job or freelance sites are overwhelmed with resumes and job seekers, with nowhere near enough open positions to go around. It’s a scary time to be looking for a job.

That’s why networking is more important now than it ever has been before. And with the rise of social media sites like Facebook (for casual users) or LinkedIn (for professionals), networking has taken on whole new dimensions in recent years. Here are some things to consider:

  • Get an early start. If you’re fresh out of college or if you’re trying to get a foothold in a new career move, the sooner you can start making those connections, the better off you’ll be. If you’re freelancing, cultivate more connections whenever you possibly can, from fellow freelancers or from your clients themselves. If you’re in school, hook up with your classmates or find student chapters of professional societies.
  • Choose your associates carefully. Unfortunately, a down job market also brings the scammers and fly-by-nighters out of the woodwork. They know that there are job seekers (and sometimes clients) who are bordering on desperation. They might be out to take advantage of you, or they might be looking for a pawn to help advance a cause of some sort. You don’t want that hung on you, so tread carefully and make good decisions.
  • Cast your net wide. Don’t limit yourself to just your field, or to people with tastes, interests or skills to your own. It’s easy to make this mistake and to just have associates that are in your “comfort zone,” but remember that the wider a network of people you have, the more resources you can have to fall back on if things go sour.
  • Quid pro quo. Networking is a two-way street. If there’s anything you can do for your associates in return, whether it’s job referrals, professional references or anything else, don’t hesitate to do it. It will pay off for you in the long run.
  • Go online. A staggering 84% of Americans now are engaged in some sort of online social networking, whether that means forums, newsgroups, social networking sites like LinkedIn, dating groups or what-have-you. This has been a true game-changer in many ways, helping build networks among people who may never meet face-to-face. But if you’re new to a site or forum, bear in mind the culture and environment of the site, don’t be pushy and don’t be rude. You may need introductions to get your feet wet and to be accepted. Trust your better instincts in these cases, and those connections can take you far.
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Kendall SummerHawk is a million-dollar marketing coach and author of the book, “Brilliance Unbridled”. She teaches consultants, speakers, coaches, and small business owners to manage their businesses smartly while following their soul’s desire.

I was “introduced” to Kendall last year and have been a big fan ever since. She isn’t just for business owners, but for everyone who wants to succeed in what they do. She talks about our pre-programmed MO-ney mindsets and how to change our thoughts about money–creating more and receiving it. Her “bold money goal” helped me triple my income in a year. You need to sign up for her free newsletter. It is fantastic!

Look for more guest posts from Kendall in the future. Love this woman!

Here she is: Kendall SummerHawk.

“The recent economic news is truly scaring the you-know-what out of people. The reason is not the “facts” presented by the media, but because underneath those facts is the thinly veiled threat that on an individual level, our personal safety and security is at jeopardy.

The news triggers fear that has been lying dormant in us, like a beast, just waiting to be fed. This beast grows stronger with every passing news article, late-breaking t.v. spot or report of more workers affected by the actions of a few greedy, short-sighted people.

The beast of fear keeps us down. It gnaws at our confidence like a dog on a bone. It whispers in our ear that to be afraid is to be safe. It wants us to worry because when we do, it grows stronger.

But the beauty of the beast is that it is, right now, providing us with the perfect opportunity to eradicate your fear, once and for all. Your fear doesn’t serve you, it only serves the beast.

This is a time not just in our nation’s history, but in your own personal history, to strengthen your core faith in who you are, what you bring to the world and in life itself.

My clients are continuing to make great mo-ney (one just signed on two new clients worth $10,000 EACH who both paid in full!) because they listen to their heart, where the beast can’t live. They listen to me, because they know I will always tell them the truth. And the truth is, that shrinking back from investing in yourself and your business will only feed the beast and will keep you from being paid (and paid well) for and fulfilling your Soul’s Divine Purpose.

So turn off the news, stop feeding the beast and instead look for signs of prosperity, abundance and success. They are everywhere and I challenge you to find FIVE such signs every day!”

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“Would you like to learn more simple ways entrepreneurs can brand, package and price their services to quickly move away from ‘dollars-for-hours work’ and create more money, time, and freedom in their businesses? Check out my web site, http://www.KendallSummerHawk.com, for free articles, free resources and to sign up for my free audio mini-seminar “7 Simple Steps to Create Your Multiple Streams of In-come “Money and Soul” Business.”

Award-winning small business expert Kendall SummerHawk is the “Million Dollar Marketing Coach.”

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