Yes, there are dream jobs still available, but you don’t see them advertised. They are secured through networking. Below are some tips you need to embrace to build a strong, professional network. The more people you know, the better it will be for you to generate leads.
1. Reach Out to Your Peers in The Industry
Don’t be intimidated by thinking that people won’t be willing to network or unable to respond. Yes, there will be people who ignore you, but there is collaboration within industry sectors wanting to help each other. Be proactive and even bold and brassy by connecting with peers at your level working for the competitors. You never know to whom they are connected and how they can initiate leads to help you move in a positive career direction.
2. Connect with Alumni
Working extensively with EMBA graduates and candidates, I am constantly amazed at the inability to want to connect with university or college alumni. In short, you are a member of an exclusive club that is open to sharing and having constructive dialogue. The relationship is already warm; make it hot by connecting with alumni who work at your targeted employers or who may be able to advance more leads for you. The alumni directory is a gold book not to be ignored. Also, use the alumni LinkedIn groups to introduce yourself to this exclusive club.
3. Join Professional LinkedIn and Facebook Groups
These two platforms are a gold mine for generating ideas and leads. Be astute in the groups you join; don’t join a woodworking group or knitting group that will bring you minimal value. Select groups pertinent to your career direction and goals, and be sure to create a generic introduction about who you are in MS Word. On joining these groups, introduce yourself. I know from experience with my many clients that the ROI is dramatic.
4. Attend Meetups
The last few years, Meetups.com has spread like wildfire across the world. Each major city now has an extensive Meetup network for people of different professions, interests and persuasions. These networking meetings can bring significant value. Generally, they are held in a fun setting and relaxed environment. This can be less intimidating than in a formal networking setting.
Volunteering is two-fold. Not only are you helping an organization or a population in need of help, but your peer volunteers also have a network. You never know who you might meet while volunteering. On a side note, volunteering is also good for your career management, as recruiters and HR professionals are looking for that section on your resume titled “Community Involvement” which shows you are willing to give your time for free and share your talents and skills. What message does that send to a future employer?
6. Attend Professional Events, Workshops and Conferences
There are events, workshops and conferences galore dedicated to enhancing your skills and building your network. Conferences tend to be attended by others with similar skills or interests, therefore, easing your introduction into conversation. Attending also allows you an opportunity to learn from your peers and external experts. Formal networking events could be regarded as dinners or breakfasts where again, you sit at a table and are forced to open up dialogue.
To wrap up, networking is not just about you, it’s about the others you meet. It’s a two-way street; give before you take. Above all, be genuine. Don’t give a false impression about yourself and don’t make promises you can’t meet. Grasp networking as a mainstay in working towards your dream job. Happy networking!