If you’ve been looking for a job, you’re sure to have heard that you should be networking. While it may sound like an obscure concept, it doesn’t have to be taken too seriously and misunderstood. Networking is really about building relationships. In fact, it’s actually what you do on a regular basis.
Why Is It Important to Network?
Avoid These Mistakes When Networking
Even though networking centers around building a relationship, people, out of nerves or desperation, make several errors that make it awkward and unproductive.
- Be pushy, selfish, or aggressive
- Lead with your elevator pitch
- Think you’re better than anyone
- Only think about your own needs
The list of don’ts could also be relevant for just being a good friend or coworker. So instead of thinking about networking as a tool to find you a job right now, think about it as a scaffolding system to help your entire career.
How Networking Can Support Your Career Aspirations
Networking is the ongoing process of building relationships with fellow colleagues in your industry or community. In today’s world, that can include networking through social media, but true networking goes deeper and is more meaningful than reacting to a news feed.
As you connect and build relationships, you will truly want to serve those people. You’ll want to help them in their career endeavors, and you hope that there’s an opportunity to grow in yours as well.
Over time, the connections and bonds you build will lead you to the right opportunities. It could be fast, or it could take some time.
Why Networking Works at Any Time
Regardless of how long you’ve been building meaningful relationships in your industry or community, there are plenty of important benefits that can turn into promising job opportunities.
- People want to do business with people they know and like.
- You may stand out from an otherwise large pool of applicants.
- You could find out about a job that has not even been posted.
A Few Basic Tips to Get Started
If this is completely out of your comfort zone, consider these three tips to make genuine connections and enrich your job search (and your life!).
It’s important to build a network before you need a job, so when the time comes, you can get the word out that you’re looking for a new opportunity. Utilize your personal, professional, and social networking connections to see if anyone has any leads. Don’t be shy about asking for recommendations or introductions to potential contacts.
Keep in Touch
Keep in touch with your connections by meeting for coffee, lunch, or attending networking events. By spending time with your connections and not always asking for a favor, you will stay on their minds even without asking them for any help. Since networking is a relationship, remember to think of other people too! Congratulate your connections on their accomplishments (professional or personal) and offer to help them in your own ways as well.
Expand Your Network
The more you network, the more opportunities you will find. You can expand your network by joining specific groups based on your career goals in addition to any other interests you have. Another effective way to meet new connections is to volunteer for local organizations.
If You Need Extra Job Search Help, Contact the Pros
After trying several tips and job search avenues, if you still need help finding the right opportunity for your career, contact Axiom Staffing Group.