Did you know that 80% of available jobs are never advertised because they are found through networking? So what does this mean for the current climate of job hunting? Well, scouring the web for job opportunities may not land you a great job anymore. LinkedIn also reports that 70% of people in 2016 were hired at a company where they had a connection. These statistics highlight that a lot of the time it’s all about who you know rather than what you know.
If this is the case, then networking is a fundamental aspect of career growth. Networking does not only increase your chances of getting job opportunities, but also for clients leads, new partnerships and speaking and writing opportunities.
This now brings into question how do you network well?
1) One of the best ways of networking is achieved through reaching out to people you already know. This could be networking with your colleagues or past alumni and even friends. If you haven’t reached out to someone in a while, it is a great idea to approach them asking if you could do anything for them. After all networking is a two-way street.
2) A room full of professionals all of which have a spectrum of connections? Events and conferences are a field day for networking. Having the confidence to approach people and take an interest in what they like to do rather than what they do, develops a rapport. Moreover, handing them your business card at the end helps to solidify that connection.
3) Informal interviews are a perfect way of making connections without the pressure of a face-to-face interview. They can be organised at a casual setting, like over a coffee for example. They give you an opportunity to learn about different people, companies and careers. They are useful because there are no obligations following the interview and you have gained an associate.
4) Many of us may find it difficult to find the time to do valuable networking. This is where social networking comes in handy. Social media platforms such as LinkedIn are perfect for establishing and keeping in touch with new connections. A simple message on LinkedIn can lead to a variety of opportunities. For example, a LinkedIn report states that more than one third claim a casual conversation on LinkedIn Messaging has led to a new opportunity.
There are so many ways to start networking right now and they have a number of advantages. Pushing yourself and building the confidence to reach out to different contacts has the potential of leading you onto your perfect job or even a step up in your career.
Written by Jessie Randhawa