When it comes to the job search, “networking” is probably your least favorite word right after “resume” and “interview.” But networking is your friend, not your foe. We listed it in our Top 5 Job Search Secrets, but now we’re going to dive deeper and prove to you why it’s a great career tool.
What Does It Mean?
Networking is simply growing your list of professional connections inside and outside of your company. These are the kind of people you’d feel comfortable asking for help, whether it’s for a job or for advice, and you’d do the same for them. They might not be your best friends, but they’re people you respect.
Where Do I Do It?
Opportunities for networking are everywhere. Don’t dismiss the chance to meet someone new or pass along a business card. Here are a few easy networking opportunities:
- Local professional organizations and events: Walk up to at least 5 new people and introduce yourself.
- Trade shows: Don’t leave until you’ve swapped business cards with at least 5 people.
- Informational interviews: Set up a lunch date, phone chat, or email conversation with someone you admire once a month – people within your own company count!
What’s In It For Me?
Establishing a network inside and outside of your company can secure your career for years to come. Getting face time in front of higher-ups at your place of employment may help you get promoted in the future. Connections made outside of work may help you land an interview if you find yourself unemployed.
Every time you build network, you increase the number of people who trust you, respect you, and will recommend you. And that will only further your career.
What’s your favorite networking tip? Comment below or share it on our Facebook wall.
Image by thinkpanama.