Networking is an excellent way to research your target professions, industries and economies. It also is a great way to gather insider advice on market-specific techniques and tools to use in your job search. And it is virtually the only way to tap into the unadvertised job market! Start with people you know. Your contacts might not have insights into your target market, but they could know others who do.
As you develop your networking strategy, identify people you know who are knowledgeable or well-connected in your target market or the community at large. They can either give you good advice and insights into the market and/or connect you to others.
Perhaps an even better approach is to consider what you need to learn to execute a more effective search and then consider who you know who might have the answers and advice you seek. If you have developed a job-search strategic plan, that will be a great tool to identify your knowledge gaps and guide your networking efforts.
Though you likely have a number of professional contacts you have developed over the years, here are additional resources to help you rapidly and effectively grow your network.