The Importance of Networking
Career networking can be a useful tool if you are looking for a job. Networking is important for both job searching as well as moving up the ladder in your own field of work. Career networking involves the use of contacts, such as personal, professional, academic, or familial contacts in an effort to find a job in the field you want to work in. It involves making connections, asking questions, and sharing information with new contacts. These contacts can also help you achieve career goals, help you find a different career to work in or help you learn more about the field you wish to pursue. Networking is an excellent way to make connections with places you would like to work or allow you to hear about new job opportunities.
But why bother with networking? According to LinkedIn, a key networking app, “80% of professionals consider networking to important career success.” Along with this, networking also allows for qualifications reassessment. Many industries often change the requirements for jobs, and this causes many people’s current qualifications and skills to become of no real worth to an employer. For example, as employers shift to more efficient and automated techniques and equipment, the skills required for this change. Many people expect certain requirements to be on an application, then discover that this is unrealistic with the employer’s expectations after they have networked with employees and businesses.
Similarly, there are many job opportunities that are often hidden because employers chose not to advertise them. A large number of employers or recruiters use networking to find new candidates for open job positions. Searching through job-searching tools can be draining, but networking can be a way to find jobs that suit you and your skills better.
One of the possible ways to network is within your own workplace. Connections within your personal work can help you get to know higher managers, more mentoring, and practical training. By spending time to get to know your colleagues, you open up to lots of opportunities that they can assist with your transition or recommend you to previous supervisors to find you new roles. Supervisors and managers are able to give you good letters of recommendation and give you inside information on new and opening jobs within your field. Co-workers that you have a strong relationship with may be willing to offer you extra training to expand your skillset. These relationships may be as simple as starting up a conversation during your lunch break, or in the break room. If you reach out to your coworkers, you can get more information about both what you can do for them as well as what they can do for you. These opportunities for improvement within the workplace makes you a better candidate for future job opportunities.
Here are some tips that you should think about when you are beginning to network:
Include the right people when networking. Reach out to people who can help you with what you are searching for. If you are trying to get into a new field, then connect with friends or family that work in that industry or field. You never know who may be able to help you, so remember to connect with people in many different industries and fields.
Be proactive. Networking is crucial as well as year-round. You want to maintain healthy relationships with your network always, even if it’s just a short email to ask how they are. People are more willing to help you when they respect you and remember who you are. Make sure to keep track of all of your contacts, and that you know who is who. Whether that is on paper or electronically, make sure you know how to get in touch with them.
Know how to give and take with your network. Not only do you have to remember what others can do for you, but what you can do for others. Networking is not a one-sided act. If you come across a job listing relevant to someone you network with, let them know or share it with people who might be interested. The point is having a network of people who can help you, but it’s important to know when to return the sentiment.
Network online. There are many easy to use websites and apps that allow you to network in a simple way. Things like LinkedIn, Facebook, and other websites help you get in touch with current, former, and future coworkers and managers. Along with this, these websites can help you connect with networking events. Networking events can help you meet new people who want the same things you do, and will let you exchange information and business cards. Although networking events aren’t essential to the success of a good network, they are ways to try and build it even further.
Although you might not want or need a new job or career change any time soon, it’s still important to maintain a solid network. You never know when you might need assistance from your contacts or they might need your help. If you invest your time in your own personal network, you will have the necessary contacts when you need them.