We all know how important networking is when it comes to job hunting. But many people still feel awkward doing it and just don’t get the results they’re looking for.
We all love to feel connected to others and be part of a community both in our home and professional lives. And when it comes to job hunting, networking can play such an important part in your success.
In fact, did you know that according to a survey conducted by LinkedIn in 2016, 85% of all jobs are filled via networking? So don’t underestimate the power of networking.
But why is it that so many people have issues with networking? And how can networking be more fun instead of feeling like a chore?
We caught up with Denise Mooney to find out. Denise is a career coach whose focus is on helping people to find clarity and build confidence through proven strategies for successful career transformation.
With expertise in job search, networking, resume development and interview training, Denise has worked with professionals across a range of industries from graduates to CEOs.
Denise talks a lot about networking because she has noticed many of her clients find it challenging and tend to give up too soon if they don’t see quick results.
As Denise explains, “it’s such a shame, because building a strong network of people who support you and who you can make a contribution to as well, is one of the best things you can do for yourself, whether you’re a business owner or an employee.”
Denise offers the following tips to help make networking more fun for yourself, so you’ll be happy to keep on going and actually achieve the results you’re hoping for.
Play the Long Game
Networking needs to be less transactional and more about making connections. So don’t worry if you go to events and end up connecting with only 2 people. Those connections are probably more valuable and meaningful. There’s more to be said for this than having surface level chats with 50 people who may not remember you.
Attend Events That Genuinely Interest You
By attending events that you have a genuine interest in, you’ll feel comfortable and increase your chances of meeting more like-minded people. It’s much easier to strike up conversations with people on the same wave length as you, and you’ll be more likely to enjoy spending time with them. Plus it will be much more fun. Remember, you are the sum total of the 5 people you surround yourself with the most.
Get Curious About People
What do you want to know beyond what they do? Ask them about their hobbies and other interests. Your conversations don’t have to be work or business related. Follow your natural curiosity. Ask questions that start with “how”, “what”, “when”, “where”, and “why” to create openness and avoid the dreaded yes/no answers that can be conversation stoppers.
It’s important you make an effort to progress the relationship. Within 24-48 hours of having met someone you would like to keep in touch with, send them a thank you note. Tell them that you see the potential for future collaboration and would love to add them to your network. Perhaps arrange a time to catch up for coffee. You have to be proactive when you’re building that community around yourself and make sure you’re surrounding yourself with the right people.
Denise Mooney is a career coach based in Melbourne, Australia.
Her work is about self-discovery as much as strategy. She believes the key to finding the ideal career is to gain a deep understanding of your values, strengths and core desires as well as the challenges that hinder your progress.
To find out more about Denise’s career coaching services, visit her website.