Everyone has heard the saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” Though this statement shouldn’t be taken in the most literal sense, when it comes to seeking new job opportunities, most people do find new career moves through networking. According to a recent survey conducted by LinkedIn, 85% of all jobs are filled through networking.
“How can I help?” The Business Dictionary defines networking as a mutually beneficial relationship between a group of associates who are in constant communication. To maintain your knowledge on the most updated information on the job markets, in your particular field and potential new opportunities, it is crucial to constantly be building your network.
There are plenty of reasons to network, besides getting a job. Networking allows you to ask people you meet about recent industry trends, challenges or accomplishments. You can learn tremendously from the wins (and mistakes) of others. Or, if you have an ambitious work-related project you want to pitch to your boss, you can bounce ideas off others through networking. Not convinced yet? How about getting free career advice through networking? Whether you are networking with an experienced professional in your field or a recruiter (wink, wink), you can get actionable advice on career moves you’ve been mulling over.
In today’s culture, it’s no surprise that a lot of networking is done online. Whether you’re on LinkedIn, posting your resume on job boards, managing a personal webpage, or showcasing on GitHub, it is important to ensure that your information is up to date and accurate. When it comes to online networking, there is also power in numbers. The more connections you make, the greater your chances become of finding a perfect opportunity for growth within your career.
To take those networking connections to the next level, it is important to have real face to face time with the people you are meeting. Whether you work with recruiters, attend user groups, job fairs, or annual conferences, the more personal you can make your relationships, the more effective they will be—especially in a networking sense. An article in Entrepreneur states, “The value of face-to-face networking is being recognized as one of the most powerful tools available for increasing one’s personal exposure, creating meaningful relationships and providing growth opportunities at a personal and professional level.”
The bottom line is there is no excuse to avoid networking. You can raise your professional profile and broaden your platform to opportunities. You will benefit from it, regardless of where you are in your career. Perhaps more importantly, you will also help other like-minded professionals. Don’t delay, make networking part of your life strategy!
Blog Contributor: Emily Murr