What is Career Networking and why is it important? How can it help in job search? Read on to get your questions answered…
Career networking should not just be performed when you’re looking for a new job. It should be done on a regular basis and should become a part of your daily schedule. Your career network is extremely important and should be in place for you whenever you need it, both for job seeking and for moving up along the professional ladder. Networking is essential for career success, and it’s always valuable to start building your network or expanding your professional connections by attending a networking event. Since you never know when you might need it, it makes sense to have an active career network. There are several types of career networking events, both formal and informal, which will help you to expand the number of contacts which you generate through networking. Read on this blog to find out more about career networking and why it is important.
So, what is career networking?
Career networking involves using personal, professional, academic or familial contacts to assist with a job search, achieve career goals, learn more about your field, or another field you’d like to work in. Career Networking can be a good way to hear about job opportunities or get in at a company you’d like to work with.
Why should you indulge in Career Networking?
According to LinkedIn Reports, career networking has helped various individuals from various arenas and domains in various ways.
- Almost 70% of people were hired in a company where they had a connection in 2016.
- 80% of professionals consider professional networking as important to career success.
- 35% of surveyed professionals say that a casual conversation on LinkedIn has led to a new opportunity for them
- 61% of professionals agree that regular online interaction with their professional network can lead to the way into possible job opportunities.
Who should you network with?
It should always be kept in mind that not everyone you interact with will lead to positive outcomes. Hence, interacting with the right kind of individuals is a must for successful career networking. Depending upon your domains and fields, you should always interact with the correct people. On a general level, make sure to include the following individuals in your career network:
- Current or past co-workers, managers, supervisors
- Current or past clients
- Business Associates
- Alumni of your undergraduate or postgraduate schools
- Acquaintances from your personal life
- Acquaintance from your family
- Current or former teachers and/or professors
- Anyone you’ve met on your career path till this point in life.
Tips to a successful career networking
Include the right people
Your career network should include anyone who can assist you with a job search or career move. It can include past and present co-workers, bosses, friends with similar interests, colleagues from business associations, alumni from your university, or acquaintances you have met via online networking services. Your network can also include family, neighbors, and anyone who might have a connection that will help.
Realize what your career network can do for you
Over 80% of job seekers say that their network has helped with their job search. Networking contacts can help with more than job leads. They can provide referrals, to or insider information about companies you might be interested in working for. They can provide information on career fields you might want to explore or what the job market is like on the other side of the country. Your network can give you advice on where to look for jobs or review your resume. The possibilities are endless.
Keep in touch and contact your network
Don’t just contact those who can help when you have just been laid-off from your job or decide you want to look for a new position. Keep in touch with your network regularly — even if it’s just a brief email to say hello and to ask how they are doing. People are more willing to help when they know who you are.
Keep track of your network
Keep track of your personal career network somewhere. Whether it’s electronically or on paper, make sure you know who is who, where they work, and how to get in touch.
Social media networking
Sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, and a variety of other online networking websites can help you get in touch with other networkers at specific companies, with college affiliations or in a certain geographic area. In addition, if you’re a college graduate, your institute may have an alumni career network you can access. When networking with people you don’t know, make sure you know what you want. Are you looking for company information? Do you want to know about job opportunities? Be specific in what you ask for.
Attend networking events
Networking in person works, too. If you belong to a professional association, attend a meeting or a mixer. You’ll find that many of the participants have the same goals you do and will be glad to exchange business cards. If your college alma mater holds alumni networking events (many schools hold them at locations across the country) be sure to attend. There are many different types of networking events you can attend.
Nothing is better than career networking if you wish to either expand your professional network or decide to go on a job hunt. The benefits are just endless. So make sure you tap to the right networks and make the best use of them.
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