Written by Sophie Down | December 22, 2014
In terms of the job seeker, networking is essentially getting to know others to enhance your career prospects. Methods can include using social media, attending industry shows or events, contacting educational associations and more. All of these can be invaluable to your job search, so Webrecruit looks at why networking is important and what it can do for you.
1. Anyone can network
You don’t have to be the CEO of a company to network, and if anything the more contacts you make at the start of your career the better. It doesn’t matter what level you are at, or what you plan to do as your occupation; there will be others who will be in the same boat looking to join the discussion.
2. It can be a Job Fastrack
Okay, so it may not be that straight forward. But the likelihood is there will be jobs that you won’t have heard about until you meet certain people. You may even be referred by others, when someone mentions a job opening. This is why it’s important to make clear when networking where your skills and interests lie.
3. You don’t Know until You’ve Done it
You don’t know who knows who until you have started to build your network. You can always be surprised by who you meet, and how beneficial it can be. And what if you don’t? You may continue to procrastinate and filter out opportunities that could advance your career.
4. It Can Create Opportunities
The opportunities of networking can be endless, so it is important to start building yours and make the most of what networking can do. The more hard yards you put in, the more opportunities you create for yourself; increasing your introductions and eventually your referrals.
5. Start to Build Your Contacts
It is important to remember to stay in touch with people; you can’t benefit through networking by meeting someone once. First impressions count when meeting people, online through your social media pages and website as well as offline. If you have met someone who can help you follow them up or return the favour; networking becomes a two way street.
6. Obtain Knowledge
Networking is an opportunity to obtain and share useful information, therefore look to discover people who can influence your career in a positive way. Networking events are worthwhile and can be free. Such events can be a good place to chat to like-minded people who have similar interests as you and therefore a way to build your knowledge and awareness as well as your connections base.
7. You Can Start with Friends
If you aren’t sure where to begin, you can start with your circle of friends. It is important as a starting point to socialise as much as you can, starting with your own contacts with the aim of expanding your network.
8. Discover More About You
Talking to others is a method in which you can find out more about yourself. From what you enjoy talking about, to the events that you attend, these can help you discover your interests or realise what skills you would like to build on.
9. Talking to People Who Know
If you are unsure about a certain career path, what better way to find out more than to speak to people who are there already? Networking can result in you following or speaking to individuals who are high up in their profession, who will have plenty of information on what they did to get there. Or you can speak to those just starting out; to discuss options available for your career development.
10. You can Get Inspired
You may come across someone who really influences and motivates you. Public speakers at business networking events can be the kick you were looking for, to spark your interest and get into action.
Networking doesn’t mean you have to be at every event or treat each introduction as ‘get all the information that you can’ session. Networking is about building relationships with people, which are mutually beneficial. Remember to manage your networking, thinking about what your aims are and how you can achieve them. Start networking today, by joining LinkedIn and discovering like minded people.