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Direct vs speculative approaches

In this article, we will discuss direct vs speculative approaches.

Being proactive and reaching out to potential employers is an opportunity that not everyone is willing to take. There are two ways you can go about doing this, directly, or speculatively. By following our step-by-step guide, you’ll stand out from the crowd and forge relationships that will support your journey to a career in wellness.

Step-by-step guide to building relationships. Four steps with arrows underneath, saying: Gather Info, What's Your Intention, Keep Track, Prepare

Direct Approaches

Direct emails/messages

There are a few different ways that you can use to reach out to people, here are the top mediums:

  • LinkedIn
  • Direct email
  • Instagram

STEP 1 – Gather information

The first step for LinkedIn and direct email is to gather as much information as possible and try to turn this into a warm connection. If you can proactively aim to create warmer connections with people, you are going to increase your chances of something positive happening off the back of your email/message.

Warm connections include someone you directly know and you’re asking a favour of, a friend of a friend, a friend of a colleague, a contact of a friend, someone you met at an event, etc.

If you don’t have any warm connections, what you need to focus on is research. Pick out the person you are going to contact and find out as much about them as you can. Can you uncover a connection? Are there any projects they’re working on that you relate to or have specific experience with? Is there a course that you have both done, or an event you’ve both attended? Any sort of connection can make all the difference in getting the person to take notice. Be sure to mention your warm connection in your reach out!

STEP 2 – What’s your intention?

Two of the biggest mistakes we see people make in this process is sending essays to people during the first communication and focusing too much on themselves.

Before you send your approach, ask yourself: “What is my intention and what is my goal for this email/message?”

Include a call to action at the end of the message detailing what you are asking of that person within a certain time frame, for example:

  • Asking for a coffee – provide your availability for the meeting. Find out where they work and offer to go to them and tell them how much of their time you will need, for example, 20 minutes.
  • Asking to jump on a call – give time frames and availability and brief them on what you would like support or advice on.

Be mindful of how warm your relationship is. If it’s a cold approach and you have minimal connection, focus on small wins, for example, some advice, to be referred on to someone, and asking for tips on the process. If your relationship is warm and you’re feeling confident, go for bigger wins, for example, jump on a call for 20 minutes, meet for a coffee, take them for lunch.

STEP 3 – Keep track

Add your activity to a career transition sales activity spreadsheet/document. Try not to let reach-outs like this just fade into the distance. It’s always worth following-up and keeping track of who you’ve spoken to and what their response is.

STEP 4 – Prepare

If you do manage to arrange a call or meeting, be sure to make the most of it. Prepare and research for the opportunity, engage well during the meeting, and again, think about your goal and intention for this activity. Is there another small win you can get at the end? Don’t let all your hard work amount to nothing.

Speculative Approaches

A speculative approach is about reaching out to people in the hope that they could utilise your skill set without them actively hiring.

Where applying to jobs is a reactive activity, sending out speculative applications is a proactive activity.

Here are a few of the best ways to get noticed when you’re specifically reaching out to someone with the intention of working for them, but they’re not necessarily hiring.

  • Include something personal
  • Say something nice about the person

    • Make it clear that you’re excited to work with the person/company specifically, and not just any company
  • Start off by speaking about the company and make it specific
  • Include a few sentences about your background – just enough information for them to see if you could be a good fit
  • If possible, mention the name of a mutual connection
  • Don’t ask too much – like a 30-minute phone call tomorrow

Not every approach you send is going to get a reply and it won’t always be perfect timing. What if, on that rare occasion, you reach out to someone and something wonderful happens as a result? You don’t want to risk missing out on this chance.

What do you think?

Have you ever speculatively reached out to someone you didn’t know and had a surprising positive response? Share in the Comments section.

This article is from the free online

Job Opportunities in Wellness

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FutureLearn - Learning For Life

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