Telling people that your life is anything less than perfect can be embarrassing.
As in: I’m single, but I’d like to be in a relationship. Or: I have a job, but it’s not really fulfilling, and I’d like a different one.
On a rational level, everyone knows this is ridiculous. In all likelihood, the person you’re talking to is dealing with their own life imperfections, and will totally get where you’re coming from.
They may also be able to help you.
That’s according to Alexandra Cavoulacos and Kathryn Minshew, authors of “The New Rules of Work.” The book distills the most important lessons Cavoulacos and Minshew have learned as COO and CEO, respectively, of career advice and job listings site The Muse.
The authors recommend an effective strategy for anyone who’s in the second scenario mentioned above: being unfulfilled by your work — or being unemployed — and wanting a new gig. Send an email to people who know you well, either socially or professionally, and let them know you’re looking for a new job.
Here’s a template for that mass email, which you should send using the bcc function:
Hi friends and colleagues,
I hope all is well! As many of you know, I have been a [your job title] at [your company] for [however long you’ve been there]. I’m looking to shift gears within [your field] and am reaching out to ask for your help with any leads or contacts.
I am looking for [the type of position you’re looking for], with a focus on [your focus], in [your location], ideally in the [specific field]. I am particularly interested in [the type of work you’re interested in doing], but would also consider [another type of work you find interesting].
If you know of any job opportunities or leads, please send them my way. Below is a list summarizing my past experience, target positions, and dream companies. My resume is also attached for your reference, so please feel free to pass it along.
Thanks in advance for your help! I hope you catch up with you individually soon.
Be sure to attach your resume — but know that not everyone will open it. So at the bottom of the email, list the past few positions you’ve held, a few types of positions you’re seeking, and a few of your dream companies.
If there’s someone who works for one of your dream companies, or someone who can help you in a very specific way, you can email them separately with a targeted request.
Be sure to thank anyone who responds to your email. (It sounds obvious, but in the chaos of job searching, you might forget!)
Sending this email — especially now that you have a template — is relatively easy. The hard part is getting over that fear of asking for a favour.
The authors write: “Remind yourself on a daily basis that you are a valuable asset and that most people want to help you; after all, if someone recommends you for a role in her company and it works out, she comes out looking good!”
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