Not a new concept.
Networking continues to be effective because it works. It continues to be worthwhile because of the successful outcomes. Another plus, it is not reserved for an elite group of individuals. Networking can be done, and should be done, by everyone. It does not matter if you are still in college, or a well-established CEO, networking is valuable.
You are not too young or too inexperienced to network.
Just because you are still in school doesn’t mean networking is not useful to you. On the contrary. That is one of the best times to start making connections. Those interactions that might not seem like much at the time have the power to produce results later down the road.
You also don’t have to have an official title to your name. It is not necessary to have a Ph.D. to mingle.
I find that those just starting out in their professional career do not view networking as an important step of the process. That networking doesn’t apply to them because they don’t have a detailed LinkedIn profile.
One of the best decisions you can make for yourself is to get face to face with other individuals that have the capability to introduce you to others in the community. You want to grow your network. And as you grow your network, you will gain invaluable connections and information along the way.
There is a vast amount of knowledge that you will never learn from books or webinars. Don’t delay networking.
You are not too old to network.
Another tip – don’t stop networking.
You have heard the phrase, “you’re never too old to learn.” There is always so much that can be learned by meeting with others and finding out about new trends. Stay abreast on current affairs.
Another phrase, “you are never too old to reinvent yourself.” Don’t discredit yourself because of your age. You can keep learning and reinventing yourself as much as you want. You are not held to one role.
The power of networking.
I have discussed the importance of networking, but I wanted to show some statistics that back up our advice.
- 70% – 85% of jobs come from networking and referrals
- Seventy-two percent of people say their impressions are impacted by how someone appears and their handshake
- One in four don’t network at all
- 68% of entry-level professionals value face-to-face networking more than online
- Nearly 100% of people say face-to-face meetings are essential for long-term business relationships
It’s not only about jobs, is it?
You hear a lot about how networking helps in finding jobs and applicants. While this is true, networking is not only about job searching and recruiting.
Networking brings groups of people together, who wouldn’t normally be in the same room, and encourages the exchange of ideas, solutions to obstacles, brings forth insight, and develop relationships that sometimes last a lifetime.
So, while networking does help immensely for finding a job, don’t limit the only time you participate in functions to when you are looking for employment.
Networking and job searching.
Now to the part about how networking can help you with finding a job.
One of the major reasons that networking is such an effective way to get a job is that there is something of a hidden job market out there. Some estimate that as much as 80 percent of new jobs are never listed but are instead filled internally or via networking. -PayScale
That is a large number of jobs people are potentially missing if they are not networking.
There is also something to be said about a respected individual giving their personal endorsement on your behalf. Companies are more likely to hire a referred candidate than spending time and resources doing it on their own.
If you are on the hunt for a new job, don’t forget connections you have made or can make.
Suggestions and advice.
From those who have been networking for some time now, I bring you a few suggestions and advice.
- Be aware of your online image. Once you start meeting people in the community, they will check out your online presence. Your posts will be reviewed. Your photos will be looked at. All your social media platforms will be inspected. Make sure you are representing yourself accurately.
- LinkedIn. Your LinkedIn profile has immense power to influence. This is acts as your virtual resume. Manage accordingly.
- Personal brand. You are a walking brand. What image do you want to project? Dress the part. Look sharp. Know your audience.
- Follow up. Did you meet someone you admire and respect? Follow up! Don’t just request to follow them on LinkedIn, follow-up with an email or note. Stay in contact. Meet for lunch. Keep your connections close.
I would love to hear from you on any success stories you have or questions for me. Contact me at TheClarks.Consulting@gmail.com or comment below. I look forward to hearing from you.