Networking Your Way to a Great Job
Are you networking your way to a great job? If not, find out how you can achieve your career dreams even faster
Some people call networking a "hidden job market". Perhaps this is due to the fact that it is not like a job fair where finding a great job is the objective of the event. In a networking situation, the goal is to get to know other people and develop mutual relationships that benefit one another. In some cases, it just happens to lead to a great job offer.
The outcome in meeting other people in any given situation can lead you to find a great job whether it is the stated purpose of the meeting or not. Everything depends on what you say and do. Networking your way to a great job is about relationships.
The first thing to realize is that very few people want to meet other people just for fun at networking events. Everyone has an agenda. This isn't a negative, just a statement of fact. Be prepared mentally to recognize this fact and use it to your advantage. Each person is there for a reason. Each person has a purpose in mind.
Everyone wants something or they wouldn't be there.
The way to use this to your advantage is to supply each person you meet with what they are looking for. How are you supposed to figure out what they are after?
Listen to them
The easiest way to get someone to open up is to ask them a few probing questions and let them talk. You will find out more about them in a matter of moments than if you read their autobiography.
As they talk, two things happen. The first one is obvious. You learn about them. The second is not obvious, but perhaps it is even more important than the first. The other person becomes "invested" in you. The more they share, the more they like you because you actively listen to them.
Did you catch that phrase? You have to ACTIVELY LISTEN
to them. Genuinely and sincerely listen to them
. Do not just nod here and there. What they are telling you can provide you with the information you need to create future conversations (and situations) that benefit YOU. Networking your way to a great job means you have to pay attention.
You want a great job, right? Keep reading
People are motivated by a variety of things. When you find out what motivates them, you can help them achieve what they want in terms that benefit you, too. How does this benefit you in your job search?
Read this example:
Cara already understands the process of active listening. She knows that people like to talk about themselves and that they share the secrets of their hopes and desires when they do so.
She enters a room where a networking group is gathering and surveys the people inside. Before she gets three feet into the room, she is greeted by a nicely dressed gentleman named Brent. Within 15 seconds, Cara turns the conversation to his interests by asking him why an obviously successful man like him would need a networking group to further his career. He laughs and begins to talk.
Cara learns that Brent started the group as a means to grow his business while opening himself up to some possible new ventures. Of course, the name recognition doesn't hurt him, he confides.
Now that Cara knows a lot about what makes Brent tick, she can guide this conversation or future conversations toward meeting Brent's needs (if she chooses to follow up on it).
How could she help Brent and herself, too? The possibilities are endless, but here are a few:
- Offer Brent a handful of key ideas to grow his business
- Suggest a personal public relations campaign designed to generate additional name recognition among his peers and within the community as well
- Present a business opportunity which diversifies Brent's interests while increasing his revenue base
Cara could present any one of these ideas to Brent with a plan to see any given project through to its completion or until a specific date.
Bingo, she now has a job which she created by listening to others and fulfilling their needs.
Yes, it can be that easy
The important thing to realize is that you have to become secondary in the process of networking. It will not be about you or your needs. This is not an easy task because we are all hard-wired to think about ourselves. When you focus on others, though, you have the ability to gain some amazing rewards. Not only will you be more successful in life and in business, but people will actually LIKE YOU MORE because you are an active listener.
Networking your way to a great job can be fun when you approach it with the right attitude. You hold the hope for success within you. Explore it. Make it work.
Never settle for mediocrity
If you are finished reading "Networking Your Way to a Great Job", click here to read more about the job search process
Click here to understand how Job Search Stress can work against you as you search for the right job.