For some of you, the word ‘networking’ sends shivers up your spine. Just thinking about making small talk, the feelings of intimidation and the dreaded sales pitch is simply too much. Networking can be considered a chore and I am sure many of you are thinking that you have better things to do with your time than to put yourselves through this ordeal.
However, it's true. Approximately 7 out of 10 jobs are obtained through networking and you are more likely to find career opportunities and roles through networking than any other job search approach. Think about it for a minute – who would you choose if you were recruiting for an additional member of your team? Would you choose the individual who had developed a trustworthy relationship with you through networking or the complete stranger who applied for the position through a job advertisement? I know which option I would choose and I am sure you do too!
What should you do now?
If you are looking for a new job or a career change, make networking a key part of your job search. This does not mean you have to approach all your contacts and beg for a job! It is about meeting people who may be able to provide you with useful information to progress your job search as well as further contacts.
If you are considering a career change, use networking to broaden your awareness of your marketability for alternative employment by asking for other people's opinions. If you are looking for a new job, networking may uncover a suitable vacancy that hadn’t even been advertised. Just remember, avoid feeling frustrated if you do not get any immediate results. The results of networking can take time to appear but it will be worth it in the end!
(My networking factsheet on how to succeed at networking events may also assist.)