Unlocking job opportunities
When only a small percentage of jobs are advertised, networking can be the best way to unlock the right career move.
Networking is the systematic process of developing and nurturing a web of relationships that have the potential for mutual benefit, such as information, advice, feedback, guidance and counsel.
Networking as a long-term investment
Effective networking is about building relationships over time, not simply connecting with people for short-term gain. It needs to be a way of life and integrated into everything you do, not an activity undertaken only when you are job hunting. Most importantly, networking is not about asking everyone you know to give you a job. It is about widening your circle, getting to know more people and, crucially, being known by more people.
Networking is a long-term investment, one that can contribute to your professional success as well as your career planning and job search at every stage.
"What distinguished high performers were larger and more diversified personal networks than those of average performers."
The Hidden Power of Social Networks: How work really gets done in organisations by R Cross and A Parker
Networking to support your career research
Talking to people who work in your target areas is the best way to find out more about the reality of those types of job.
Networking to find job opportunities
Once you have your base of knowledge about a career area and know why you are interested and what you have to offer, networking is a powerful way to find opportunities. Used correctly, your network will lead you to the hidden job market. Most recruitment sources estimate that only approximately 20% of job vacancies are ever openly advertised in the press or online, while 80% are filled through personal networks. The fact is that you are far less likely to find a job if you only apply to advertised vacancies.
Networking to prepare for interviews
Information on company culture, major issues affecting the organisation, even background information on the people who will be interviewing you, can all be sourced through contacts that you have developed in your target organisations.
Networking to gather salary information
Once you have landed your job offer, you need to have accurate data to support your salary negotiations. You can gather up-to-date information on market rates from your contacts in the sector.