Should Unemployed Attend High School Reunions?

High school reunions attract about 27 million yearly. That's what Reunion Research says. But this year, you're jobless. Should you attend?

You better. That's because high school reunions are perfect for networking for your next job. The 150,000 class reunions held each year have an average of about 180 people attending. After they talk about themselves, then your former classmates are very interested in you. This is your platform to describe what kind of job opportunities you're seeking.

Most of those 180 are what networking experts call 'weak links' and they're the best sources for jobs. "Weak links' are people you don't know well, at least not anymore. That means they have access to information about work opportunities that your usual contacts probably don't. They travel in different professional and social circles. Also, unlike those who might know you too well, they haven't pigeonholed you as a salesperson, flight attendant, or insurance adjuster. As a result, they might just blurt out, 'Martha, there's an opening at my company for a coordinator and you'd be perfect.' Before you were laid off you were a security guard.

Of course, you have to make a good impression. Here are tips:

Listen. That shows you're interested in them, which is always the right move. In addition, it shows you're confident. The insecure talk too much.

Be upbeat. Don't express regrets. Actually, no one wants to hear a laundry list of your mistakes.

Ask for help. That shifts the power to the other person, which makes them feel good. They will be more likely to, yes, help.

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