Finding a job in today's economy can be tough, but there are opportunities if you know where to look. The best way to find these opportunities is not through online job boards, the classifieds, or employment agencies - it's by talking to people around you. Your network of friends, relatives, colleagues, and acquaintances is a valuable job search resource. Networking may sound intimidating, but it can be rewarding and fun, even if you're sky or feel like you don't know many people.
WHAT IS NETWORKING?
The vast majority of job openings are never advertised; they're filled by word of mouth. That's why networking is the best way to find a job. Unfortunately, many job seekers are hesitant to take advantage of networking because they're afraid of being seen as pushy, annoying, or self-serving. Networking is about building relationships.
You already know how to network.
Networking is nothing more than getting to know people. Whether you realize it or not, you're already networking every day and everywhere you go. You are networking when you strike up a conversation with the person next to you in line, introduce yourself to other parents at your child's school, meet a friend of a friend, catch up with a former co-worker, or stop to chat with your neighbor. Everyone you meet can help you move your job search forward.
Tapping the hidden job market may take more planning and nerve than searching online, but it's much more effective. Adopting a networking lifestyly - a lifestyle of connecting and helping others in good times and bad - will help you find the right job, make valuable connections in your chosen field, and stay focused and motivated during your job search.
YOU KNOW MORE PEOPLE THAN YOU THINK
You may think that you don't know anyone who can help you with your job search. But you know more people than you think, and there's a very good chance that at least a few of these people know someone who can give you career advice or point you to a job opening. You'll never know if you don't ask!
Make a list of the people in your network. NOW!
REACH OUT TO YOUR NETWORK
All the connections in the world won't help you find a job if no one knows about your situation. Once you've drawn up your list, start making contact with the people in your network. Let them know that you're looking for a job. Be specific about what kind of work you're looking for and ask them if they have any information or know anyone in a relevant field. Don't assume that certain people won't be able to help. You may be surprised by who they know.
IMPROVE YOUR COMMUNICATION SKILLS
Effective communication is a cornerstone of job networking. As simple as communication may seem, much of what we try to communicate - and others try to communicate to us - gets misunderstood.
Effective communication combines a set of learned skills: attentive listening, recognizing and using nonverbal cues, managing stress in the moment, and understanding your own emotions and those of the person you're communicating with.