Networking and your job search!
Job Search Part 3: What networking can do for your job search!
Networking – this is the third and last post in a short series on Job Search. In the first at this link we said that you have a decision to make! The clearer you are about the kind of work you want, the more likely you are to be successful.
In the second post at this link, I set out some options for you about where to look for work
On-Line Job Sites
Contacting employers directly
LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter
Local newspapers and bulletin boards
Graduate and Intern schemes
Word of mouth – Networking
I said that I thought networking was the most effective way to look for work; so that is what we are going to tackle to-day.
Most jobs, particularly in the private sector, are never advertised at all. You find out about those jobs through talking to people – networking.
Letting people you know, and people they can introduce you to, know what you have to offer, really does bring new opportunities. These contacts can offer advice from own their experiences of job search. They can tell you about the sector they work in and they can introduce you to others, so that your network expands.
But networking is more than just asking for help! You need to make it a two-way conversation. In order to receive, you should be ready to give.
So what have you got to share in this conversation? Well, you can be an attentive audience! You can listen with real interest, attention and respect to what they have to say. Plus you can share your own knowledge. You can talk about your own sector and you can share your own contacts. Sometimes people are really grateful for an opportunity to talk about what is happening to them at work. Play your part and offer support when it is needed.
Make it an ongoing and mutual conversation. You can become ambassadors for each other and connect each other with new possibilities.
You can network beyond your existing circle. For example at a meeting of your professional organization. If you don’t already belong to the professional organization for your sector, now is the time to join. It can be expensive but it is a really good investment. Your professional organization can help you keep you up to date with developments in your profession and in your market sector, It can give you early warning about possible changes legislation. Knowing about new trends helps you to keep up personal development even though you are out of work. Most importantly when you are out of work it provides a way to stay linked-in to the world of work.
You can network, as well, at events like job fairs which are intended to bring employers together with potential new employees. And if you are thinking of making a career change into starting your own business, lots of business networking events are held for you each week.
Networking is having a conversation
Remember, the keys to success on any networking occasion are establishing a relationship and having a conversation. It is about showing you are someone they want, but it is not about selling yourself in a way that embarrasses you or the people you talk to. Have a short description of who you are and what you do crafted before you arrive. But have a care with the traditional elevator pitch about what you have to offer at work. Have one ready but use it with care and discretion. Too many people at networking events treat them as opportunity to sell themselves rather than to make contacts.
Try to remember something particular about each of the new contact that you make. Find a quiet place to make a couple of notes after your conversation. Then follow up after the event in a way that shows you can add value. For example, if someone has a particular interest find a book or a newspaper article that you can send to them.
To network wel,l you need to understand the networking process and have the confidence to take an active part in it. If you would like one to one advice on networking email me. I am happy to offer readers of this blog a free half hour coaching session by phone or Skype
I know you can get that job you have hoped for and I would like to help you. My contact details are below
Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link