Networking to Find Job Opportunities

Knights, dragons and castles aren’t things you would normally encounter on a job search.


Believe it or not, using the analogy of a medieval quest can help in the job search process. It’s a technique Sheila Nielsen, principal of Nielsen Career Consulting, has used to help more than 2,000 clients improve their networking skills.

“If you think about the job search as a quest, it’s a lot more fun,” Nielsen says.

A job search, or “quest” starts at home in your “cottage.” Your goal is to meet the “keeper of the keys,” who is the person running the “castle,” which is the job you want, Nielsen explains.

As you wander through the woods to the castle you meet three kinds of people, knights, wizards and ogres. This is the networking part of a job search.

Knights and wizards are people who will help connect you to other people. If possible these people should be met with in person. “Paper is easy to forget, people are not,” Nielsen says.

You can tell if someone is going to be helpful by a simple voice test, according to Nielsen. If a person’s voice goes up when they talk to you, they are helpers. If it goes down, you’ve encountered an ogre and they’re not the most helpful creatures.

If you try and do everything from your cottage, like sending out resumes, it will most likely never make it to the castle. Dragons will intercept it of course!

Dragons guard the keeper of the keys and the castle because those important people don’t want to be bothered. That’s why the networking part of your quest is the most important.

“If you have networked behind the castle and created trusting relationships, those people will vouch for you and help you get an interview,” says Nielsen.

Medieval quests aside, it’s important to keep a good attitude. “Don’t forget that what goes around comes around,” Nielsen says.

“Create a positive buzz about yourself by helping others,” Nielsen says. “You will create a long standing network that will save you no matter what happens.”

For more advice on networking to find jobs, read Nielsen’s book, “Job Quest for Lawyers: The Essential Guide to Finding and Landing the Job You Want.The book is available through the ABA Book Store and costs $49.95.

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