We love the saying ‘Your network is your net worth.’ It’s true. So, what exactly is your network and what role does it have in your career?
‘A personal network is a set of human contacts known to an individual, with whom that individual would expect to interact at intervals to support a given set of activities.’ Wikipedia
A network isn’t about the amount of LinkedIn contacts you have amassed, but how you interact and build your contacts to create value in your relationships. This can be as simple as commenting on LinkedIn posts or attending networking events in person.
Leah Lambart, Career Coach at Relaunch Me believes that for many, “networking is the most important and most effective way of landing your dream job.” “Essentially, networking is about finding a job via who you know, rather than what you know.” Lambart says that other benefits include advice, opportunities and open doors that you wouldn’t have considered. It’s also beneficial in terms of maintaining confidence during your job search.
So, what are the steps you should take to building your network and your personal relationships?
- Talk to lots of different people
- Don’t close yourself off to roles because they can often be a stepping stone to set you up for the bigger role, the better role that comes next.
So how do you network effectively if you are new to it or looking to improve?
- Making more time for people
- Starting with the relationship, not with the Resume
- Focusing on what you can offer, not what you can get out of the relationship
Carter Cast, author of the book, “The Right (and Wrong) Stuff: How Brilliant Careers Are Made, advises that most organisations don’t focus on the career development of their employees. It’s really in the hands of employees to take charge of this for themselves. Networking is a key strategy to opening yourself up to advisors, mentors and connections that can make a difference to your career.
Additionally, there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to networking. If you’re an introvert, for example, catching up with people one-on-one over coffee is a great way to build and maintain relationships with your network.
If you’re in the process of searching for your next role, speak to the recruitment team at Flexi Personnel.