Studies indicate that the best way to locate a job is through networking. Attempting to shift to a totally new industry? Network. Attempting to maneuver across the nation to a totally new job market? Network. Trying to get in the latest company in the town or work for the hottest boss? Network. Trying to overcome a perceived shortage in your educational or professional background? Network.
It’s difficult to deny the advantages of career networking, yet career seekers always dismiss this proven way of finding a new job. Resistance to career networking usually is because of an erroneous understanding of how to begin, or to a self-imposed barrier of some type. Try these five simple steps to start your career networking strategy.
- Avoid assumptions. Frequently, the first words from the mouth of a brand new networker are,”I don’t know anybody who can help me get to where I need. Everybody I know is just like me.” You may be surprised who people know. Your closest friends and relatives know someone you should meet or somebody who knows someone. Do not assume your existing network is filled with dead ends.
- Begin on your comfort zone. One misconception about networking is that you must talk to people you don’t know. This is embarrassing for a whole lot of people because they just don’t like speaking to strangers or don’t know what to say. Choose a few people (friends, relatives, co-workers, etc.) you know, like and trust to start with them.
- Identify your goals. What is it you need this year? A new position in your business? A new job altogether? New projects to broaden your résumé? Knowing what you want to achieve will help you decide your strategy and what to say.
- Just ask. Since your first time is always a little awkward, simply make a decision that you’re going to just ask. . .to meet, speak on the phone, get advice, or whatever it’s you will need to do. As soon as you get over the initial fear and distress of asking, it becomes easier.
- Resolve to not ask for a job. That is right; don’t ask someone for a job. If you ask somebody for something not within their capacity to provide you, he or she’ll be less likely to want to assist you. It’s a common human reaction: we often avoid what causes us pain, and several people equate failure with pain. As opposed to asking for a job, request information, others to speak to, or opinions on how people perceive your skills, skills and marketability. Nearly everyone is able to successfully offer you what you need in these areas.
Following these five simple steps will allow you to quickly begin networking and much more quickly locate your next job.