“According to the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics, 70% of all jobs are found through networking.”
Networking is the process of establishing and maintaining relationships. Building relationships with people is essential to exploring career fields, identifying job leads, and developing your career overtime.
Get to Work
Begin the networking process by creating a list of contacts:
- Think inside the box: Identify people within your sphere of influence that may have ties to an area of interest, a career opportunity, or people you
would like to meet.
- Think outside the box: Research industry leader whom you would like to meet. Attempt to seek these people out via social media, email, or industry events.
- Prioritize your list: Group your contacts using the following:
- Group A: This group has the ability to make referrals to put you in contact with professionals working in your field or people working in organizations of interest to you. This group may also advise you on your resume, critique your presentation style, and help identify skill areas.
- Group B: This group may or may not know of specific job opportunities, but can provide information on knowledge of the industry, ideas on how to approach people, current needs in the industry, and necessary skills required.
- Group C: This group has authority to hire you for the work you want with their organization if a job/need exists. Don’t be worried if you do not have many.
Putting the “Work” in Networking
Establish relationships and position yourself for career growth with these strategies:
- Position yourself to network: Put your skills on display by being active in clubs, organizations, and professional associations.
- Dive in: Grow in your network through volunteering, job shadowing, and performing informational interviews whenever possible.
- Make your presence felt: Attend networking events such as industry mixers, conferences, career fairs, workshops, open houses, and speaking engagements. Have your resume and a list of questions on hand.