In your job search, networking is an important component to success. However, if you are not doing it properly, all of the networking you are doing may be for nothing. The process of networking involves talking to numerous people and building up the number of people you know within your industry or in correlating industries. The goal is to get your name out there to ensure that if someone knows about a position, they think of you.
Networking Can Go Wrong
There are some cases in which networking doesn’t aid, but actually hurts a person’s ability to find a job. If you are like most people, you do talk to friends and family on a regular basis. But, are you talking to the right people in the right way? Here are some ways networking could be working against you.
- You are not talking to anyone that could hire you. In short, you are spending too much time talking to and getting to know other people doing the job you are doing. If you are not networking with human resource professionals, managers or business owners, you are missing out.
- Are you desperate? It’s obvious if you are. Don’t network in such a way as you end up looking like you are begging for a job. In fact, you should not start networking when you are out of a job, but while you are still employed. You don’t want to be the person thought of as desperate for work.
- You love to add names but you are not building any relationship with those you are speaking to through your networking. It is not about quantity. Often, there’s talk about how many people you have following you on your favorite social media platform. The problem is, if you are not engaging the right people often enough, they will not remember you.
- Do you have goals? If you don’t have goals for your career or know what type of position you are looking for, those you are networking with will not know either. That’s the problem with networking – you have to work to define the career path you are taking.
- You aren’t talking to the right people. Ask yourself if the person you are networking with has connections to the people you want to work with in the future. Too many dead-end contacts will hurt you in the long-term and they definitely will not help you to find the job you want.
How are you networking? Is it paying off? If not, now may be the time to take some significant steps to make changes.
Ask yourself what you could be doing to better your network of people, such as building your network in a different way or better engaging the individuals you are networking with. There’s no doubt you need to talk to people to find a job. However, it’s all about talking to the right people in the right way to get the results you need.