Imagine this – You are on a look out for job change. You are searching for some good openings in leading news papers and job portals. Not a single job that matches your requirement and your qualifications. On the other hand you happen to meet an old friend who has recently got a good job from a company in which you were seeking an opportunity. Your dream company to work for! And you start wondering from where did he have this opportunity? It was not posted in any news paper nor any job portal and your recruitment consultant is absolutely have no idea about this company is in need of such position. But the job position did exist and it is filled. With a dismay in heart but a fake smile on your face you congratulate your friend and casually ask- From where did you got to know about this opportunity? The answer your friend gives- Through Networking!
This is the power of networking in this 21st century for career success. Networking has become important for your professional career success, whether you admit or not. So if you are not a good networker chances are that you will lag behind.
Just have a look at these Google search results – “Importance of networking in career” 2670 results, “Importance of networking in career development” 479 results, “Importance of networking in job search” 10,500 results, “Networking for Career Success” 2,22,000 results.. Did you notice these results are in”…… “i.e. exact words matching results. Sounds interesting? Get started, start building your network.
Networking is the single most powerful marketing tactic to accelerate and sustain success for any individual or organization! – Adam Small
Ask any senior executive, politician or successful salesperson which single skill or habit helped them excel in their career – an overwhelming majority will respond with one simple word… Networking. In a nutshell Networking is important in all career fields and at all professional levels.
So what is Networking?
Networking is about making connections with people. These people could be from school, a part-time job, a friend of a family member, or somebody you met at a careers event. Networking is not just about people who you have met face to face. Online social networking is also an important option to explore. There are Facebook groups for various professions and LinkedIn, so you can start to build up your network in a number of ways relatively quickly. 3 Easy Ways to Strengthen Your LinkedIn Network
Once you have made these contacts it can be difficult to know how they could help you and what you should be asking them! This will probably depend on what stage of your job search you are at.
If you are deciding what sort of career area might be right for you try the following sorts of questions?
- What made you choose this career?
- What is the biggest reward you get from your job?
- What is the main reason people leave the job?
- Can you describe some actual examples of the sort of activities that your job involves?
- What is a typical day at work like for you?
If you are job hunting you could ask:
- What background experience is useful and how do people typically obtain it?
- Are there any particular types of experience or any courses that would be helpful to get into this area?
- Where and how are vacancies advertised?
- How did you get into this job?
- How competitive is the job market?
If you are making applications or preparing for interviews the following questions could give you information to help you impress employers and show that you really understand the role and the industry you are applying to:
- What are the most important current issues in this sector?
- Looking at the next 5 years, what do you think the main challenges facing the industry will be?
- Who are your major competitors?
- What would you look for on someone’s CV?
- What advice would you give to someone in my position?
You may decide that you know your contact well enough that it is appropriate to ask for favours. Make sure you consider this option carefully, as you don’t want to risk causing offence and risk losing a potentially helpful person in your network.
- Are there any opportunities for work shadowing / voluntary work with you?
- Would it be possible to let me know if anything comes up which might be suitable for me?
- Who else do you think it would be good for me to talk to?
With this new knowledge which you have learned and acquired the skills of networking, you have taken the first step for your professional career success. I am sure in coming months you will also get the dream job and some other friend of yours will start wondering from where did he have this opportunity? Do tell him about your new acquired skills of Networking. Let’s spread networking!