Most people hear that you need to network to find a job. OK, so what is networking?
Networking can sound intimidating. Yet you do it every day without thinking about it. Every time you ask someone to recommend a plumber or hairstylist or dentist, you are networking. Every time you send a friend to another friend or colleague for advice or resources, you’re networking. And every time you meet a neighbor at a part and follow up to have coffee or play golf, you’re networking.
In job search, networking can be done for a couple of reasons: gathering information about your field and its employment prospects, and connecting to people who may be hiring.
Here are three great reasons to network for job search, business development and career growth
- You have to get clear about what you want to do and why you want help. Writing down your intention or goal is the biggest step toward actually realizing it. And asking someone else for help both forces and guides you to get very clear about your intention.
- You’ll make the connections that will lead to a job or work or customers. The vast majority of jobs are filled through referrals and networking, most consultants build their businesses through referrals from happy clients, and businesses rely on “word of mouth” to generate sales and build their brand.
- The very act of talking about your goal will help you reach it that much faster. When you are out there talking about your intention, the universe can step up to support you.
Remember, while you are preparing to get your “right fit” job or embark on your “right fit” career, that job or career is preparing to meet you. Employers are writing job descriptions, businesses are developing consultant specifications, and people are beginning to understand that they can’t do something by themselves and need to hire someone.
Networking puts you out there so you can learn about opportunities that may be exactly right for you. If you don’t let people know you exist through networking, they can’t help you – and possibly help themselves by hiring or recommending you. So get out there, and network!