Networking for Career Success --Promoting Yourself
This week I attended a networking event at my church. There were several people there in career transition, networking for their new career. While some of them knew exactly how to network, I noticed the rest needed some networking tips. I dedicate this article to those who want to network, but need pointers on how to network. Keep in mind that 63% of people find employment through someone they know. Only about 2% of people find employment by ONLY using the internet job boards to do their job search. While the employment websites do help, they are just one tool that you should have in your collection to find that winning career. (See my blog post on linkedIn for another tool that can aid you in networking.)
There are five things you need to know when you are networking:
Know WHAT you want: What industry are you interested in working? What kind of position? What opportunities are you seeking? Be very specific. Please don’t say…. “I just need a job.” The more people know about what you need, the better they can help you accomplish what you want.
Know WHO is out there: Who could you interview to gain more information about positions like the one you seek? What are the industry organizations where you can meet people in your field?
Know HOW others can help: Different people have different ways to support and help you. They can advise you, inform you, and refer you to others that may be able to assist you with your search.
Know what to OFFER: What is the “quid pro quo” that you can offer in exchange for their assistance? It may be to provide new ideas, volunteer your help, promote the other person’s ideas, or recommend them to others.
Know WHERE people can contact you, and learn more about you: This is critical!! Have a business card that tells people how to contact you and where they can get more information about you. You may think you don’t need a card, but you are in the business of searching for the perfect career. Most of the people that were at the networking event, searching for employment, did not have a card!! So if I had someone in my circle that could help them, I have NO contact information to pass on. At minimum, you should have a card that has your name, number, email address, and a description of the positionthat you are seeking.
You may be afraid to get out there and talk about yourself. You must stretch your faith that God will give you divine connections that will help you reach your destiny. You must choose to go after that perfect job or customer for your business. You may be waiting on God, but God is waiting on you to make it happen. The word says “Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.” Commit your networking and job search to God. He will send “angels” your way.