Video Message – Simply Networking
Here is my newest video message on networking: www.youtube.com/watch?v=6MCHbkX0KJk
How are you doing? It’s been a while since I talked to you. I’m really sorry, I had some urgent things to do, mainly a lot of networking! There are some career changes happening in my life, which I believe will have very positive outcomes for me. And it turned out that networking is a survival skill for me. That I can’t manage my career changes without managing my network. So today I would like to speak about networking.
Networking – it is a weird word, because everybody speaks about it. A plenty of articles or books keep telling you: 'You have to do networking, network at school, at work, to get the job… Everybody finds it crucial, but very few people can actually truly master it. This is because a real networking requires guts. It means doing something extra. You can really just go to work and when you get bored or fired (in the worst case scenario), you apply for another job and so on. And if you are lucky this can work for you, especially if you don’t have high expectations about your career. Most of people go through their career life like this, so maybe they really don’t need networking. But I hope my audience needs networking. It can make things easier for you, it can get you closer to your dream job. Here are a couple of things I find essential about networking:
First, you gotta network all the time. Effective networking is not about thinking of it when you urgently need it. Like: ‘I just lost my job, I need to network now!‘ This really won’t work, people won’t take you seriously and they will sense from you that you just need them for something. You can intensify it when there is a concrete need, but you gotta work on the creation of your network continuously. Start with simple things like using of LinkedIn. LinkedIn is the professional network where you can easily master networking. Or get in touch with your classmates, talk to your colleagues. Go to events like job fairs. You don’t have to see people you meet there anymore, so practice, you won’t lose anything.
Second, and this comes from my friend Kefi who left it in comments: Don’t force it, don’t push it, try to make it fun, but at the same time make it instructive. As I said networking requires guts. We naturally network with those who are alike us, who are our friends or praise us. But it ain’t easy to network with those who challenge us. We would like to almost avoid them. But try to look at networking as something educational, something that coaches you. And let all those people know that they create value for you.
And this leads me to my third point – networking should be always a win-win situation. Both sides should feel there is some added value they receive based on that connection. As I’m having mostly young audience, most of you would be networking with two biggest groups (at least in the beginning): First, your classmates and people you have met during your activities (those are around your age). Second, people who are senior to you; usually your co-workers, professors or contacts of your parents. Those are the challenging ones. But if you let those people know you wanna learn something from them, or that you would take them as mentors, most of them would be happy to share their experience and help you. If not – run! So there is a value for you because you are learning something. And since you are showing your interest and passion, there is also value for them, because most of people like to feel helpful. Perhaps they start to follow you and they can recommend you or offer you a job. Who knows?!
Important is to know that you can count on those people. And this can be really just a couple of people. Your network can be huge and different people will play different roles in it. But there will be a couple of contacts who are essential for you. People you can rely on in the case of urgency.
And that’s it; no rocket science – simply networking. Tell me how does it work for you in comments. Share your good tips and bad practices to avoid. And I hope to see you soon!