Networking (Just ASK!)
What is Networking?
“An extended group of people with similar interests or concerns who interact and remain in informal contact for mutual assistance or support.” -Dictionary.com
Simply put, networking is connecting with others to share information and contacts. It is an excellent way to gain access to people and opportunities in the “Knocking” phase of Just ASK!
The main benefit of networking is to increase the number and range of opportunities you explore. It is estimated that somewhere between 65% - 85% of all positions are filled through some form of networking. This is what is known as the “Hidden Job Market”.
Networking also minimizes your competition; typically, you’re the only one competing!
Purpose of Networking
WARNING: The next statement will sound a little weird…are you ready?
The purpose of networking is NOT to get a job. Yes, the outcome of networking will be employment.
The purpose of networking is to increase your visibility by obtaining two things:
The reality is that you will be hired because you are perceived as the solution to a problem and as a good fit for the organization…NOT because you need a job!
Bottom Line: If you are meeting with a “decision maker,” you make a good impression on them, and they have a need for someone to fill the kind of position you are researching (whether they’ve advertised or not), they WILL turn the conversation in that direction.
Why People Will Network With You
People will network with you for some or all of the following reasons:
- They know you
- You are referred to them by someone they know
- It is good business
- People like to help others
Where to Network
Think about where you can yield the highest return for your time investment in networking. Ideally, you want to talk with people who are working in your field of interest. The good news is that “birds of a feather do flock together” in social entities called associations. There are literally thousands of professional and industry associations in the United States. There is an association for almost anything you can imagine…and then some!
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