Updated: Jun 3
Job searching has always been a tough task - even before the pandemic. Now that most of the world’s economy has shut down, businesses both big and small are forced to discover new means of survival. Loss of jobs and even the skeletal workforce took a huge toll on a majority of workers. By networking strategically through our close and professional contacts, we can ease the burden of job searching while strengthening our existing relationships. Networking may also be the key in discovering new avenues in terms of job searching, and you may find that even the most unlikely person could be the best person to help you in your quest!
Here are a few tips in Job Searching Through Your Network:
1. Know Your Network
It would be an impossible task to create a list of everyone you ever knew in your life. Even if you’re an introvert who longs for former connections, with today’s social media platforms you would only need a few clicks and minimal energy to reconnect with your old contacts! What’s a better way of spending your time this pandemic than reconnecting with old friends or colleagues online? And yes, you might know more people than you think.
2. Learn to Reach Out
You likely already have an existing network of people from all walks of life - don’t discount the benefits of connecting with former supervisors, family, old/current friends, professors, TA’s, coaches, etc. The only thing you need to do when you’re job searching is reach out through your network and tap their potential! If you’re lucky, one of them might even be hiring with their business! Even if they’re not, reaching out to your network for connection, informational interviewing, brainstorming, creating a partnership or starting a small business would all be meaningful collaborative opportunities. The first thing you need to do is to reach out to them, with a small caveat - see tip #3!
3. Strive to Build Authentic Relationships
When trying to strengthen or reconnect with your network, strive to remain authentic and genuine in your intentions. Cultivating relationships should not be a self-serving enterprise; yes, you are inherently going to benefit from creating a strong network of professional connections, but this should be a two-way street. What skills and connections could you potentially offer someone else? Be generous with your network. Avoid connecting with others only when you need something; this type of action is transparent and can be off-putting. Even if your network is somewhat limited, we need to focus on our current and existing network and learn to not take them for granted. Focusing on building relationships with our existing network will only open up possibilities and allow connections to develop. Building relationships can have a domino effect which can also lead to more people in your network.
4. Focus On Quality Instead of Quantity When It Comes to Your Network
Successfully job searching through your network does not always entail quantity over quality. You may have a number of people in your network, but without being selective about who you connect with, you may expend your most valuable resource…time! This applies to both you and the person you are reaching out to. Be selective, clear in your intentions, and evaluate your network in a thoughtful way prior to reaching out.
5. Utilize Both Advantages and Disadvantages In Your Network
‘Strong’ ties could be regarded as connections with the most potential for further development, and ‘weak’ ones may be a little less relevant or close to your current career goals. Regardless, both ‘strong’ and ‘weak’ ties have potential for growth and further connection. Taking advantage of both means recognizing opportunities, whether they have something to offer us or not - or vice versa. Sometimes, we may not realize that we are the ones who can offer them something instead of the other way around.
6. Enrich Your Network
A good, solid network is hard to find, build, and even harder to maintain. By following all of the aforementioned steps, our network can give us opportunities we didn’t even know existed. Knowing our network, reaching out to them and maintaining a strong relationship may be all it takes to discover a job and other opportunities waiting to happen. Even that one unlikely person may have that Eureka moment or missing piece of the puzzle that we have longed for.
For more information on career guidance and success strategies, visit https://www.vocationalquest.com/career-guidance
At Vocational Quest Inc., we wish you all the best in your continued quest!