As a member you're entitled to free confidential careers advice but what does this mean for you? Over the next few weeks I shall give you some scenarios. Today we look at networking.
With 30% of all jobs (regardless of sector, experience or qualifications) increasing to 80% of jobs in the graduate/professional sectors being filled through networking, it's clearly an option worth looking at.
Ah, but what about the fact all jobs have to be advertised I hear you cry. Unfortunately it doesn't always work like that an even if a job is advertised there may already be someone lined up, a recommendation in place for someone else or someone may know someone who knows someone....
So, how do you go about networking? If you take the general populous then ~12% never network, 12% network naturally without even thinking about it and that leaves everyone else.
Although you can use social media, for the purpose of this post I will concentrate on face to face networking since you remember these encounters longer than you remember an online interaction. Most people think of networking as a boring evening event where you swap business cards and go home, thinking no more about it. What if there was another way?
I went to a masterclass with career strategist John Lees who suggested the following:
1. Start with people you know: friends and family
2. Don't ask for a job, ask about them: how they got there, what they do, what the company does, ask about entry routes and ask where to find out more - in other words research!
3. Follow up with a thank you and ask them for three names to find out more and get an introduction, even if it's a quick email.
John calls this networking for softies, because most of us are softies when it comes to networking.