The Advantages of Networking
“If you’re not networking, you’re not working.”
Networking effectively is an essential career skill. Studies have shown that 70 to 80% of jobs are found through networking, which means an equivalent portion of your time should be devoted to this during your job search.
So how do you spend 70 to 80% of your job search time networking? That amount of time can seem overwhelming if you haven’t developed skills to help you do so effectively.
The art of networking is not about asking people for jobs, but rather gathering advice, information, and outside contacts from people with more experience than you or who are in the same field you’re interested in. Think about it as a chance to learn and make connections. Results won’t happen instantaneously. As you expand your network gradually, overtime you will see the fruits of your labor.
If the idea of networking is still overwhelming to you, just consider some of its advantages:
- You are in control. You decide who to contact and when.
- You start by contacting people you know. Once you begin meeting with people you haven’t met, you’ll be used to networking and how you present yourself.
- When you meet with a contact, you can tailor your presentation to match your strengths. You control the conversation.
- If a contact mentions a job, you can immediately take action. And if that job hasn’t been formally announced, you have a head start.
- It’s low pressure. Remember, you’re asking people for advice, not a job. Most people are happy to lend an ear and give advice—especially if you offer to pay for their coffee or meal while meeting with them.
Once you internalize the true purpose of networking, you’ll be motivated to do it—excited, even. One contact, one lunch break, one phone call at a time, bit by bit, you’ll create a web of people who will encourage you and possibly offer you job opportunities.
This blog is meant as an introduction to networking, but in the coming weeks I’ll go over some more specific tips on how to actually put networking into practice.
In the meantime, our Job Search Program is a comprehensive tool that is full of information, guidance, and tips to help you find your next job. As always, contact us or call 800.680.7768 for any and all questions you may have.