Some Advice For Networking:
Networking is the process of developing relationships with a group of relatives, friends, and acquaintances that can assist you with locating the information that you need to find a job. Ideally, a network will help you to identify where the available jobs are as well as give you the personal introductions and background information needed to pursue them. Many job-hunters admit that they are nervous and reluctant to start the process of networking – usually because they do not understand the process and have no idea where to begin. However, by not utilizing every networking opportunity, these people are greatly limiting their potential for success in the job hunt. Networking is touted by many career counselors as one of the most effective marketing techniques available to job-hunters as well as the direct route to the hidden job market. Indeed, 70% of all new jobs are found not from answering the want ads or sending out hundreds of unsolicited resumes – these jobs are acquired as a direct result of networking. Here are some steps that might make the process less intimidating.
If you want to move up or elsewhere, you need colleagues, higher-ups and others in your network to become excited about your abilities. To do so, you must be able to clearly define your professional strengths, achievements, and potential. This does not mean wearing a “Will work for a promotion or new job” sandwich board around the office. It requires subtly letting others know that you are willing and capable of doing other things.
Review and revise your resume.
When contemplating a career move, you must be ready to apply for new jobs. Keep in mind that even if you seek a position internally, you may need to submit a resume. Once you have updated and improved your resume, you can use it as a marketing tool within your company. For example, if you aspire to work in a new department, ask the manager there to look over your latest version. As you solicit feedback on your resume, you can discreetly reveal your interest in transferring to that department.
Arrange informal meetings.
After you have identified your strengths and achievements and accurately described them on your resume, think about who could help you achieve your job goals. Then schedule regular but casual get-togethers with these colleagues. Make a point of sitting near different people at each meeting or company function you attend. Solicit opinions on projects you are working on from co-workers who could be helpful to you in the end. Offer to assist colleagues with different projects, work-related or not, as your schedule permits. And, of course, don’t forget to attend those farewell luncheons.
Many believe that it is easier to find a new job if you are already employed. That may be true, but you still need to plan your job search as carefully as if you were unemployed. In fact, you should be even more cognizant of your actions now. After all, when you seek a new position with your employer, every workday is like a job interview. Establish your position in the grapevine.
Are you a part of your company’s informal structure? If not, you need to establish a role within it. Of course, to be part of the grapevine, you must have developed solid relationships around the office. In addition, when you eventually use your grapevine to find a new job, do not expect to see overnight results. This is not a quick-fix job-search strategy. Rather, a calculated, long-term tactic that serves two purposes:
• It strengthens ties with your existing network of contacts.
• It facilitates your employment goals (sometimes when you least expect it).
In summary, networking is something every professional should be doing on a proactive and daily basis whether currently employed or not.