From dream jobs to getting the lowdown on your destination role networking is key to career success.
Networking Makes Us Feel Dirty
US Academics found that networking literally makes people feel dirty. Yikes! Tweet: “US Academics found that networking literally makes people feel dirty. Yikes!” goo.gl/k7Y11j @Angel_HR_UK #AngelView
That’s because we’re uncomfortable making career-focused connections in contrast to spontaneous emotional connections.
Weak Ties Make Strong Networks
It’s well documented that ‘weak ties’ or acquaintances account for over 80% of professional placements. So, it’s the friend of a friend, someone we chatted to briefly at a seminar, or that recruitment agent you met with, who is more likely to be of benefit.
How to Rethink Networking
Instead of thinking of networking as cynical and self-seeking see it as a two-way street.Tweet: “Instead of thinking of networking as cynical and self-seeking see it as a two-way street.” goo.gl/k7Y11j @Angel_HR_UK #AngelView
Ultimately networking isn’t about asking for favours. It’s about creating mutually beneficial relationships.
The Power of Networking
An introduction, inside information, a new assignment, a job recommendation, shadowing or clients – all things networking can do for you. Tweet: “An introduction, inside information, a new assignment, a job recommendation, shadowing or clients – all things networking can do for you.” goo.gl/k7Y11j @Angel_HR_UK #AngelView
But it’s too late to start spreading the word when you need to. So start now and think how you could be helping someone out in return.
Of course, LinkedIn is a great way to make and manage career savvy connections. It’s reckoned that 50 is the minimum number of contacts needed for a successful LinkedIn profile. The more connections you make the more searches you’ll show up in.
Networking should be focused. So you need a clear message. Take a look at our USP and Personal Statement posts for some ideas. Then use your connections to spread the word about your ambitions and aspirations.
Like we said networking is a two-way street. No one wants to network with someone who’s having a monologue – what’s the point? Be interesting and informative. Contribute to conversations, support other people’s work, notice what they say and cheer them on.
Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg recommends asking a diverse range of people for specific advice to solve a problem, for example. This, she says, will engender much more productive relationships than a simple plea for help.
Targeted Yet Diverse Networking
If you’re aiming to bag a job in a 5 star hotel there’s little point hanging out at a fast food forum. Identify where the leaders and influencers in your sector connect. Try: websites, forums, meetup groups, talks and conferences.
Target about 4 or 5 people you want to develop a relationship with. Different types of people offer different networking benefits. These might include: the seasoned expert, sector workers with a broad reach, or junior talent who’ve got fresh ideas and their finger on the pulse.
Networking’s Not a Magic Bullet
Networking doesn’t work for everything. It’s just one weapon in your career armoury – but a powerful one. Still apply for jobs and sign up to agencies as a candidate. If you’re with a good agency you’ll be included in their talent pool or simply on their head-hunter radar which is yet another way to reach your desired goal.
Baffled by networking? Maybe you’re a seasoned pro with some great tips?
Share your insights or ask us questions here using #AngelView and you could WIN our 2016 diary! Remember, you’ll be building your network if you do!
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