Networking is essential in this day and age. If you are a job seeker, no matter how many certifications/degrees you have or experience you have, you will have a difficult time before you could land a job in the desired role.
There are exceptions to the above rule but mainly such a thing happens. We often find ourselves, due to lack of employment opportunities, in jobs we begin to hate down the line. Because it can keep your income running but if does not connect with you on a personal level you would seek means to quit.
Point being that along with good academic and professional background, you ought to have networks in your list. And if you don’t you must learn how to network with people because these networks are your references and will be able to secure you a decent job of your preference if all else fails.
Some tips are:
1. Leverage your existing connections
Networking at the core of it means meeting and forming new relationships with people. But meeting new people and bonding with them is a time taking procedure, though it pays off when forged, but in the short term, you should seek to leverage existing connections.
So start somewhere, drop in a “Hi” and a “Hello”. Craft a message and don’t sound like a sheepie-job seeker. Then pitch it to the person in your list on LinkedIn or in your contacts on phone. See, what they say when asked for help. Steve Jobs said that usually, people are willing to help, only we need to ask.
2. Start small
In addition to starting somewhere, you will naturally start small if you haven’t got any network connections, already. So don’t sweat in building and forming relations overnight. You can’t know and befriend 500 million people. Not humanly feasible. Therefore, start small (3-5 connections) and work your way up from there.
3. Instead of seeking, try offering help
I remember when I was working on my Thesis I asked people to fill my survey pertaining to e-commerce platform usability and people just wouldn’t care. Why would they set aside a couple of minutes (which are oh so valuable these days) to help a man in need? What’s they are to gain out of this?
The question is pretty legit and there is no complaining there. It’s human nature. So the next I went around in a food court seeking to fill out questionnaires, I bought a mini chocolatebag and whomever I would approach I’d offer them a chocolate and then asked to fill out my survey.
The count increased considerable. Why?
It wasn’t I was offering them cash or anything but what they felt was a feeling being valued. That I am not going to care about,once I have had my way of having them fill out surveys? Who remember names and faces? So, if not possible to help in a major way, at least help them feel valued.
The result, you’d have a list of people who would be willing to associate themselves with you. In the above case, it would be based on my choc-distributing gesture and if you employ other tips, you will become successful in your networking endeavor.