You’ve heard it before: Networking is the key to job-hunting success. But many of you hate the idea of telephoning complete strangers or asking favors of people you hardly know. Relax! Networking can be even more effective when it occurs in more subtle ways. Follow these five suggestions to make networking work for you:
Join an organization. Select one with a goal or mission you endorse, or that has a subject focus you find truly fascinating. Don’t choose a group just because it seems to have the most potential employers as members. The point is to connect with people with whom you have an innate bond.
Rehearse a short description of yourself before you attend the first meeting. Make it one that connects your interest in this organization with your talents and career goals. If you can’t come up with that kind of introduction, you’re getting involved with the wrong group!
Talk to someone at the first meeting you attend. To find a likely companion, scan the room for someone who looks as lost as you may feel. Or, ask permission to take a seat next to a group of regulars and let them know this is your first encounter with the organization.
Take some initiative. It’s okay to attend one meeting as a listener just to get comfortable. By your second, though, you’ll need to be more enterprising. Raise your hand when volunteers for a new committee or task force are requested. Offer to write or edit articles for the newsletter. If you’re shy or reserved, lend a hand with behind-the-scenes organization for a social or educational event. You’ll then be able to attend as one of the in-crowd.
Be honest and straightforward about your employment situation. The people you meet through your participation won’t know how to help you if you don’t let them know what you need.
By: Harrison Barnes, CEO of GrantedHow to Find a Job Through Networking by Harrison Barnes