One of the most common complaints I hear from job seekers today is that they hate networking. They say to me, “I know 80% of jobs are gotten by networking, but I just hate begging people for a job." At which point I say, “If you feel like networking is begging for a job, then you're doing it wrong."
Networking isn't begging. It's giving.
When you network, the goal isn't to ask for a job. The goal is to give the other person a chance to get to know you. It's time spent sharing ideas and having meaningful conversations around industry-related topics as a way to feel more comfortable with one another. Most importantly, it's your way to do research on a person to determine how you might help them some day with their career. Let me explain...
Why Networking Is A Job Search Priority
When you network, you get three things:
- A sense of what makes the other person happy and inspired.
- An idea of the best way to converse with the other person to make them feel appreciated.
- An opportunity to showcase what it would be like to have you as a colleague.
Your networking should involve you asking a lot of questions and carefully listening to the answers. The goal should be to get to know the person in a way that will make it easier to connect with them again. From there, you focus on reaching out to them on a regular basis, each time focusing on getting to know them better and feeling more comfortable communicating with one another.
Eventually, you will come to trust each other enough to ask for assistance in a natural way. This is what networking is about. If you focus on what they need and how you might make them feel good about having you as a colleague, the natural result will be referring you to jobs. It's that simple.
The Secret To Networking Success?
Now that you know why networking is a job search priority, the key is to learn how to execute an effective networking strategy. I suggest you seek resources that will coach you through the process and provide you with examples of how to do this. The more you can learn the right way to network, the less it will feel like a chore.
Once you master the right networking techniques, you'll find yourself wanting to network—even after your job search is complete. Why? You'll love the fact you are helping others and making friends—the real rewards of effective networking during a job search!
We hope you're now inspired to put yourself out there in the world of professional networking. Make networking a priority in your job search, and see how quickly your efforts pay off.
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This post was originally published at an earlier date.
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