Did you know that 40% of job seekers find their next position through networking? Oh, you didn’t know that? Are you still spending most of your time answering ads on the internet? Then you are wasting 40% your time.
Who is in your network? How do you expand it? And how to you actually network to meet people you never met before? And, how does it lead to a job?
Who is in your network? First, start with everyone you know: family, friends, colleagues, former colleagues, former supervisors (if you left on good terms), even if you haven’t spoken in years, your personal accountant, lawyer, hairdresser, masseuse. Make a list of all these people. These are your first level contacts. Then you are going to go to each of them and find out whom they know … Ask them to introduce you via email to their contacts in other companies.
Expand your network. You can expand your network by joining an organization and becoming active – alumni association, professional association, chamber of commerce, club. Go regularly to meetings to get to know people and they get to know you. (See my blob post of July 5, 2016 on how to grow your network.) Research companies where you would like to work and find out the name of a person two levels above you and add them to your network. Then write to get the meeting.
How to Network – Go to events, committee meetings, religious services, parties…anything where there are new people whom you have never met. Introduce yourself with your pitch. Gather cards. Follow up with each person you meet to set up an information meeting. If you are shy go with a friend, a “wing man” or a colleague.
Getting Meetings – The whole idea of networking is to meet more people who can introduce to more people who can tell you about opportunities before they are even advertised. This is sometimes called the “hidden job market”. You want to get information meetings with these people to learn about what they do, what challenges they face and how someone with your qualifications might be a fit for their organization. It does not mean they have a job, or that you are applying for a job. You are expanding your reach, your visibility, so that when the time comes you are the person they think of to fill that open position.
GEFFEN C A R E E R S
Amy Geffen, PhD