Networking my way to a job? No thanks!

I gave a How to Network your Way into a Job – Uncovering the Hidden Job Market workshop recently.  Before I started I asked the large group in attendance what sprang to mind when they heard the word “Networking” .  In no particular order (they are all equally awful!) here are their thoughts – cringe worthy, embarrassing, begging for a job, mortifying, bragging, brash, standing around with a glass of warm wine in your hand wondering who to talk to…I think you get the picture. 

Why does networking have such a terrible reputation?

Working with job seekers over the last five years has taught me plenty of things.  The main one being that most people equate networking to asking people for a job.  The old line of “if you hear of anything, let me know” has rarely delivered a job for anyone and that is NOT networking.  My definition of networking is to tell as many people you can about:

  • Who you are
  • What you are good at
  • What you want to do 

Check it out – no begging!  You should be able to do all of that in about 60 seconds.  And have a 10 second version prepared aswell which just focuses on the third point if you think they don’t have 60 seconds to listen to your well honed pitch.  Ask them if they had any advice for you and then stop talking and LISTEN to what they are telling you.  We are a nation of talkers and aren’t that good at listening to what people are telling us. 

Don’t assume all of your friends, old colleagues, customers, college mates, sports acquaintances and just about everyone else who may be hearing of opportunities that would suit you know what your career aim is at this moment in time.  How can they?  You need to tell them.  And yes I know it can be uncomfortable making contact with people you haven’t met for ages but that is why we have LinkedIn.  But a word of warning – while LinkedIn is a fantastic tool for initiating networking nothing beats the good old fashioned telephone or face-to-face meeting as your Networking Step 2.   Give it a go.  Fortune favours the brave!

Sinead helps clients with Networking and Active Job Search and LinkedIn Training    Contact us now for a free initial consultation

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