A More Revealing Look at Networking
Let’s analyze what’s really going on here
➔ Most job search experts agree that networking may be the most important element of a successful job search. We won’t argue the point.
But maybe we can help you improve your networking by making some more careful observations about what really going on during the process.
A more careful analysis
Why do you network? Hint: it’s not to get a job, or even to get an interview. Your goal should be to meet people, to make connections. Yes, those people and/or connections may lead to a job, but it’s just as likely that some of the relationships you establish while networking may serve you well long after you’ve landed that job.
Of the people you meet while networking, why are they there? It’s not to get a job. Most (dare we say that virtually all) of them already have jobs. They’re there to build relationships with other business people. Sound familiar? See the previous paragraph. If they’re there to meet people to build relationships, why not you too?
Since they already have jobs and, as we noted earlier, probably will not directly lead to a job, your goal needs to be more interested them than yourself. Walking around a room announcing to everyone to encounter that you’re looking for a job will not get you a job, and mostly likely will not make any lasting relationships for you either.
If you show an interest in them, most people will be more than glad to talk endlessly about themselves. This will help you establish a rapport with them which you may be able to leverage into a follow-up conversation at which time you can “take it to the next level.”
It’s at this point that networking begins to pay dividends. And, in this case, dividends mean more meaningful contacts, interviews and maybe then, a job.