Taking The Work Out Of Networking
It’s not what you know, it’s who you know – A phrase that we’ve all heard from time to time and it’s one that never applies more than in the workplace.
Many people have found themselves scouring newspapers, trade magazines and online sites for the perfect job, only to then hear of somebody bagging that job without so much as clicking onto Indeed.com.
Networking is the term used to describe the process of collecting a number of contacts within a certain industry or interest in order to share advice and experiences and, also, to get yourself into the loop for opportunities which may only be advertised on the grapevine rather than through traditional outlets.
Networking is a great way of showing the industry not just your skills and experience but also your drive and personality. Connecting with others within your work genre can help you amass important contacts, find out about forthcoming vacancies and, even make new friends.
How does it work?
It used to be that networking within an industry meant stilted telephone conversations and attending one boring seminar after another in the hope that you would make a useful contact. This form of networking required a certain amount of skill in order to make useful contacts without being too obvious in terms of your real motivation. Time consuming, awkward and often unproductive, networking was often a tiresome process but, things have changed!
A tangled web
With the advent of the internet came many new ways of keeping in touch with others – something which is testified to by Facebook’s 35.4 million users within the UK alone.
A quick search will net a large number of forums and web-based groups that you can join to chat with like-minded people in your industry to swap tips, advice and employment opportunities Joining these groups is quick and easy and will give you the opportunity to share your own advice and experience as well as making useful contacts.
Regular engagement within a forum helps to get your name known within the industry – which could come in handy the next time somebody hears of an opportunity that’s right up your street!
Here are some ways to take the work out of networking:
If you thought that social media is just about humble-bragging and pictures of cats, think again. As well as employment-based sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter can be used to great effect for business networking.
As well as joining existing groups on Facebook for your particular industry, try setting up your own group or page. By hosting your own page or group, you can control who joins and what sort of content is included. You can also use your page to offer tips and advice – after all, the first rule of networking is; give if you want to receive. By running a group or page, you’re automatically seen as an authority on a subject meaning that the right people will remember your name.
Meet your match
The Meet Up is one of the latest ways in which industry professionals can fill out their contact lists. Held regularly in most towns for most trade genres, Meet Ups are informal get-togethers in a social setting and afford the chance to meet face to face with your professional contemporaries over a glass of wine.
Extremely useful for anybody looking to make a move within their profession, the Meet Up is the ideal way to show off your knowledge and personality. It’s proven that face to face meetings have much more impact than online or other methods meaning that, the next time an exciting vacancy becomes available, it may just be your face that springs to mind!
As well as using networking as a means to find new or alternative employment, you can also network within your own company. Find out who the movers and shakers are within your firm and let them know who you are. Whether it’s a simple and polite email to introduce yourself, or a quick chat as you wait for the kettle to boil, the more people who know and remember you, the more opportunities you’ll be offered.