Most of us have a circle of friends, family, and colleagues that we can relate to. You might be surprised at just how large your circle is. According to the American Funeral Directors Association, 250 people attend an average funeral. Think about this for this a moment - if the average person has a loose circle of 250 people in their lives, the potential reach of the ordinary person is mind-boggling.
When you are searching for work, you need to think about using or expanding this network of yours. From my experience working in career and employment counselling I would say there is a direct relationship between people’s networks and the level of success they reach in their careers.
As the saying goes, it’s not what you know, but who you know. This is why some people manage to find opportunities while others just get stuck regardless of their skills, expertise, and experience.
When searching for work it is far more productive and less taxing to build on the goodwill and warmth of your network than to cold call and apply for jobs at companies where you have no connections. The best positions are usually found through word of mouth.
Networking can also help you in all aspects of career management. It provides you with valuable information, support, and feedback regarding the following:
Tips for Improving Your Networking Skills
There are two types of networking. The first is passive networking, also known as the “shotgun” approach. This means broadcasting your employment goals to your established network using means such as social media. This gets word of your goals out to many people at once with little effort, but these people may not be paying much attention or may not be able to help you.
The second type of networking is active networking. This requires some work. Active networking is connecting with peers and managers in your career field. Here are some tips for meeting and impressing the right people:
Developing your own network does not have to be painful. Done right, it will be energizing and rewarding. Making your contacts work for you is not mercenary; rather it is the secret to having successful relationships that will work for you. Infuse fun into networking, work on, and nurture relationships that will enrich your life.