Ask Dr. Job’s chief contributor, Sandra Pesmen, is a member of the Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame and author of “DR. JOB’s Complete Career Guide.”

Winner of several journalism awards, Pesmen is a graduate of the University of Illinois Media College at Urbana, and is listed in several Who’s Who editions. She also has been Corporate Features Editor of Crain Communications Inc., founding Features Editor of Crain’s Chicago Business and a reporter/features writer for The Chicago Daily News.

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Use Your Head--Get In the Door

Q. Everyone tells me I have to develop a network of contacts if I want to find a decent job, and I'm having trouble doing that. I don't know where to look, whom I should enlist, and whom I should turn away. Can you help with that?

Ans. Many experts offer many suggestions, but some very good ones come from Harvey Mackay, author of "Use Your Head To Get Your Foot In The Door," (Portfolio $25). Among his suggestions are to ask yourself: "What were my last three contacts with this person?" "What happened as a result of the interaction?" "How did I, or the individual, benefit from the interaction?" Also keep in contact with people whom you are helping. Don't spend time with those who constantly ask for favors but don't reciprocate in an even-handed way. Also, draw a mental map, ask: "What other people have I met through this contact?" " Is this person still introducing me to worthwhile additions to my network?" You can add or subtract them from you list accordingly.

Transferring Skills to New Career

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