Getting unemployed is likely to be a sudden, unexpected occurrence, and most people do not have the networking skills required to immediately switch gears and efficiently start developing job leads. There could be many reasons: feeling uncomfortable with the networking process, not knowing the process, being naturally shy, or never having to network in the past. Unfortunately, people in transition have to resort to networking as it has been found that 60 to 80 percent of people get their next jobs through networking.
The purpose of networking when looking for a job is to have relationships that one can rely on for advice, information, pointers and, hopefully, recommendations. The aim is to expand your range of personal connections. Of course, who you know is important, but in this case it is just as or possibly even more important who knows You. After all, you are the one looking for a next job.
Networking is a learned skill. And it is not necessary to be Mr. or Mrs. personality in order to be successful. Networking also includes advising people who can list the search tools and strategies that have worked for them in the past. People like to tell their particularly successful stories. Engage people in creating your own search tools. Try to unlock the hidden job market – the jobs that have not yet been advertised or that will never exist. For this reason, they are called hidden.
When you network, be considerate, honest, and timely so people are ready to lend a hand. Smiling – smiling a lot – is very effective in networking. Ingenious body language shows that you are kind and enjoying your relationship with the other person. Who wants to be associated with a sad Sue or a negative ned? It’s big enough to be in transition and others usually don’t want to hear about other’s problems. You need to project a friendly and helpful image of yourself: let the other person speak. Don’t monopolize the conversation. Exchange contact information and agree to check back within a day or two. Keep the momentum going. If you are a good networker, your chances of getting a job are vastly increased.