The term Networking has become big paralleling the massive upswing of joblessness. People who would never ‘network’ are seeking to become proficient at it. Why? Career Management Professionals and the world at-large are declaring that networking is the biggest way to position oneself for that next career move.
So, why network? Great question. It is a proven fact that for every job advertised there might be hundreds of applications flooding companies for the coveted interview. By telephone or face-to-face – it doesn’t matter. Give me an interview… The Wall Street Journal’s Market Watch notes that for every available job there are about 6 jobless people (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/more-than-6-jobless-people-for-every-open-job-2009-10-09). Either way you shake it, the odds are not good. A person actively in the job market needs some traction. Networking is the key.
I am not down playing other methods of getting a job such as applying online and waiting for a ‘cyber-response’. This does work. I work with people, who often see good responses from this practice. But, beating the odds is the deal for now. Networking means you are connecting and getting to know people across industry and disciplines. It is who you know and who knows you.
Who do you know? If you are coming up short on remembering who you know, try this exercise. Take out a piece of paper and write at the top ‘My Contacts’. On the next line, place the date on the upper left- or right-hand side. Still don’t know anyone? List five of your neighbors, five family members, five people you work(ed) with, and five people you went to high school with. This is only the beginning. You have twenty today. Add another twenty tomorrow. These are some of the folks you will begin with. Call them and let them know you are in the job market, tell them a little about your professional background (keep this short and concise) and ask them if you can meet for coffee or lunch to discuss your job search activities and what they may have to offer as suggestions. You may not ask everyone on your list to go out for coffee – the idea is to have a conversation with each of them to let them know you are on the search.
Networking will propel you and your job search to the next level. Trust me, unbelievers have become believers. Networking is quickly spanning the human factor and the new ‘social media’ venue. Get in on it all. It is a statistical fact that those who network well usually make higher salaries. Get started today. Don’t wait, make a list and then pick up your phone
All the best in your career!