Finance Fridays – Networking and Does It Work?
All the time I was out of work, I heard you need to network to find a job. I was never good at talking to strangers and thought this key to employment would be beyond my grasp. Networking is a great way to get a job but most people don’t understand how it works. Allow me to explain.
You can go to mixers and seminars, nibbling spray cheese on crackers with a bunch of strangers, handing out business cards and hoping it might lead to something. Honestly, you have a better chance of getting a free latte just handed to you at Starbucks. Is it possible? Sure. Does it happen that way most of the time? Nope.
So what does work? Real relationships. Let your friends and family know you are looking and what you are looking for. Any lead they send you, look into it. I got a wonderful three-month temp assignment at Adobe because a friend was going on maternity leave and recommended me. I got my current position because another friend knew I was looking and submitted my resume. Employers are more apt to interview and hire people who are known by respected employees.
What should you avoid? Being an ass. I know I hate it when I recommend someone for a position and they behave like a horses rear-end. It makes me look bad and I can tell you I will never put myself out for them again. Practice humility. TImes are tough. Learn that lofty might not be in the cards for you at this moment. Do not discount opportunities. You never know who you might meet and where that relationship will lead. There are times you need to make a leap in your life and situations act like steeping stones to the next level. Do not turn your nose up at the opportunities. It can mean the difference between stepping to the next phase or having to climb.