In a previous article titled ‘Future Job Skills: Solving Problems and Making Decisions’, we discussed the importance of having to be able to analyze digital information from various forms of media. It’s an important skill for solving problems and making decisions, especially since technology is now dominant in business. Now, let’s focus on networking, which is just as important as having analytical skills in a professional setting, particularly if you are looking for a career change.
There’s a saying that goes “It’s not who you know but who knows you.” In a cutthroat economy where everyone is looking for a job, it helps when you know someone who can help you get noticed. The Balance states that at least 60% of jobs are found through networking, with some studies even reporting higher statistics.
Employers always want to hire people whom they know and trust. Traits like work ethic, personality, and how you’d fit into a company’s culture are difficult to gauge from a resume, which is why some companies prioritize applications that were recommended by their current employees. It’s important to build a web of contacts if you want to progress far in your career, which is why you should consider improving your networking like your career depends on it.
So how do you go into building a solid network that you can depend on? In this day and age, social media makes it easier to form bonds and connections with lots of different people. Establishing a network is very achievable.
Expanding your web of contacts
Now that we’ve established the importance of having a network, here are a few tips that can help you expand your contacts.
1. If you’re a high school or college graduate, chances are, you already have a lot of connections even if most of them are acquaintances. Your professors – who will know a professional person or two outside the campus – can point you in the right direction. Menlo Coaching states that establishing great relationships with the faculty, alumni, or even your classmates can enrich your understanding of what the school can do for you, so it’s important to make these connections. Remember that your network grows exponentially bigger as you meet new people who come with their own network.
2. Become socially approachable at all times. After all, you can’t attract new people if you’re not easy to talk to. Very Well Mind has a few tips on how you can improve your appeal to people, including good eye contact and positive body language while conversing with others.
3. Sign up to LinkedIn. This is very important, as it is the world’s biggest professional network with over 270 million members around the world. About 90 of the Fortune 100 companies use LinkedIn when hiring people so you should make your presence known on this website.
4. Go to talks related to your career. Some job seekers get out of their offices and attend talks in order to expand their business associations. Apart from gaining new knowledge through attending the talks, you’ll have a good chance to meet new people by talking to attendees who are working in the same field as you. Don’t just rely on your online contacts, get out of your seat from time to time. Some professionals prefer offering work or business deals with people whom they have met in person.
Networking may seem like an old-fashioned way to find a job, but in today’s ultra-competitive and digital job market it is even more vital. Finding the right connections through establishing a good network of friends and associates could be the key to unlocking your career. This is why you must network like your career depends on it. Because it does.
Content contributed by Alice Claire
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