What is networking?
Many job openings are filled during the process of networking. Building your group of friends and professional acquaintances may eventually lead you to a career opportunity. We already network with people that we regularly see on a daily basis such as our friends and acquaintances. You can begin the networking process by working to strengthen those relationships and work on your communication skills in the process. Finally, you must maintain your relationships by keeping in contact with everyone you know on a regular basis to keep your network alive. Networking is simply getting to know people and building relationships. There is a “hidden job market” that you can access by word of mouth, through “a lifestyle of connecting and helping others in good times and bad.” says that networking is so effective because:
• People primarily do business with people they know
• Job listings draw many applicants
• The job you desire may not be listed online at all
A few quick tips to remember:
• You know more people than you think. (Make a list of people in your network and ask them for career help or ideas!)
• Try not to be embarrassed—and remember to extend as much help as you ask for.
• Reach out to those people in your network. (Think of it like casting out a net and hoping to catch a fish!)
• Know what you are looking for.
• Start with your references.
• Improve your communication skills such as listening, body language, avoiding interrupting, and narrowing your focus. Body language is key to making a positive impression on people, so being aware of it is really important. (Arms uncrossed, eye contact, posture, expression. Everything is important in displaying yourself as a positive candidate for jobs and job references.)
• Manage your stress and be aware of it: try taking deep breaths when you feel stress begin to rise.
• Focus on building those relationships.
• Ask for advice and not specifically a job.
• It is very important to make sure that you maintain the relationships with those in your network after you ask for help: you do not want to make people feel used and unappreciated.
• Reciprocate!
For more details about the ideas and concepts outlined above, please <a href=”” target=”_blank”> click here</a> to read the entire article.