Your career path may seem set in stone once you’ve chosen a field you want to be in now or in the future but it’s not. Working your way up the corporate ladder can feel like a never-ending cycle of interviews, appearances, and other networking events. Becoming better at meeting new people and making connections is important to success in today’s workplace. Luckily, there are ways to land a job through networking that won’t leave you feeling like a failure if nothing comes out of it. Below are some tips for getting the most out of your job search by connecting with the right people – both face-to-face and online.
Consistency is key
Your job search is like an exercise in perseverance. It can be an ongoing journey, and while some aspects will come easily, others can feel like a mountain you’ve got to climb every day if you are surrounded with uncertainty in the workplace. If you’re not consistent, no one will care if you never get anything done. Networking is like that – you need to keep plugging away. People will start to wonder why you’re not connecting with the people they know. You need to be consistent and focused, or your efforts may go down the drain.
Network, network, and network
No two people connected through networking may be looking for the same thing. If you’re looking for a job, your contacts can be diverse from total strangers you have yet to get acquainted with to friends. Networking is a two-way street, so be sure to return the favor by helping people find jobs or find what they are seeking.
Know the difference between personal and professional networking
While networking events can be entertaining and social, some of the more serious discussions and networking opportunities can also happen there. If you’re not clear on the difference between personal and professional networking, you could end up looking like an amateur to everyone you’re trying to meet. The professional networker can be wearing a suit and tie or dressed business casual and if this is a social occasion event. If this is the case, you could come across as stiff, uptight, and stiff-necked. You might also end up looking like a phony if you’re not careful. Sometimes, you have to put yourself in the other person’s shoes to get a good picture of how they feel.
Empower others with your experiences
You’re lucky – you know what it’s like to work hard for something and get nothing in return. Everyone has that story, and meeting people who have gone through things you’ve gone through can help you feel like you aren’t the only one. Sharing your story, experiences, and successes can give other people lee way to share theirs and make you feel like you can be more transparent with your experiences as a way to help others. Sharing your story can also give you a better understanding of why things happened the way they did, as well as your strengths and weaknesses as a way to show yourself as a person who can succeed at what you do. The ability to look inside yourself and see where you might need to work on is invaluable, and can help you identify what needs to be worked on in order to get to the next level.
Utilize technology to help you find connections
If you’re lucky enough to have a job that requires you to use certain technologies, you have an advantage over the rest of the club. Having a head start in the hiring process, you’re in a good position to bring your expertise to the table when needed. Many tech-heavy jobs will require a bachelor’s degree or higher, and finding a job in that field might require you to upgrade your skills to keep up with modern technology. If you’re worried about not being able to meet those standards, don’t be. With the right connections, you can use your technical expertise to help out in other areas as well.
Be persistent – keep looking!
Sometimes people get complacent when they are in a job. When you’ve been doing something for a long time, it feels good to stick with it, but in reality, you never know what will happen next. If you don’t try something new, you may hit a wall, or discover that something else is more suited to your needs. Networking is the same way. You’ve spent the time looking in the wrong places or you’ve been doing the wrong things. Now is the time to fix that. If you’ve been putting in the effort, it’s time to make your effort count. Networking is a process, so keep plugging away and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Whether you need a one-on-one meeting, the time for coffee, or a networking event, there are ways to make it happen. Networking events are meant to be social, so be prepared to move around, talk, and share ideas with others. Once you’ve connected with someone, make sure you say hello, and try to catch up.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it
There are plenty of opportunities to land a job through networking, but to do so, you need to be ready to put in the work. There are lots of ways to get involved at your school, including becoming a part of a club or organization dedicated to helping people with their job search. You could also contact people you’re interested in working with in a professional capacity, and see if they need any help. If they do, you can offer to help out. Networking events can be a great place to make introductions as well as to meet new people.
Be prepared with your resume
Your networking search will be a long one, and you’ll want to make sure you’re well-rounded and prepared for the interview process. Your cover letter and resume should reflect your interests, experiences, and accomplishments as well as be highly impactful.