Updated: Dec 13, 2018
Research indicates that between 70% and 85% of candidates find their jobs through networking. That's not surprising when we consider that over 70% of jobs are never published.
Even if you’re not currently looking for a new opportunity, the data indicate that you will...likely sooner, rather than later. What many end up saying is, "I wish I had done a better job keeping up with my network before I was in a search." Want to avoid that common feeling? It's go time.
A few tips as you consider your strategy:
1. Stop feeling yucky about networking. Networking is about building social relationships. Period. It just happens that it's also the most effective job search strategy. Be curious about other people, and seek to add value. There's nothing yucky about that.
2. Consider any social event or activity a networking opportunity. You are not just allowed, but encouraged to have fun! Aren’t you more confident and enthusiastic when you’re having fun? Find an event that actually sounds interesting to you, and commit to meeting a new person. An AI conference, a poetry workshop, and a tailgate party all count.
3. Start with low-hanging fruit. Catch up with friends, or reach out to a former colleague before you attend the next conference of your professional association. Even if it's been a while, it's never too late to send a note that says you were thinking of someone. Social relationships are one of the strongest predictors of longevity.
4. Be willing to be vulnerable. (Ex: “This is my first time here, any tips?” or simply, "May I join you?") Research indicates that vulnerability increases likability.
5. Create an email signature that includes your mobile number (with a polished voicemail message) and your LinkedIn profile URL so people can contact/research you easily.
Serious about contributing at a higher, more aligned level? I’d love to get acquainted.
Emma Garrett is an Executive Coach, helping high-integrity leaders position themselves for what’s next in work and life. If you're ready for your next chapter, consider scheduling a free call to share your situation and goals.