When you’re looking for a job, your networks are really important. There’s lots of research to show what your friends and family do (or don’t do) has an impact on your chances of getting a job.
Basically, if they are unemployed it’s more likely you are too. It doesn’t mean you have to ditch everyone you have ever known and loved to find a job, though.
You can build new networks that will help you find work. You might even inspire some of your social circle along they way.
What network is best?
There are different types of networks, and you’ll get different things out of each of them.
- in person
You might think you need to focus on formal and professional networks when you’re looking for a job. These types of networks are great to meet and build connections with people in the same field or industry as you. However, the downside is that they usually come with membership fees. If you’re not working right now, it’s probably not an expense you can afford.
A better idea is to focus on informal and social networks. The Australian Jobs 2017 report says one out of three jobs are never advertised. Instead people get jobs by approaching employers directly or through word of mouth.
So if you ever suspected it’s true when you hear the saying it’s not what you know it’s who you know, you’re right.
How to work your networks
There’s no avoiding it. You’re going to have to talk to people about getting a job. Building the courage to put yourself out there and start conversations is the hardest part of networking, especially if you’re shy.
Start in your closer social networks where you are comfortable and go from there.
- Ask friends and family who have jobs if there’s any openings where they work. If there’s not, ask them what they did to get their jobs. You might get a great tip you never thought of before.
- If you’re a member of a sports team or hobby club, let people know you’re looking for a job and ask them to keep an ear out. It’s like networking squared!
- Next time you’re out and about, ask the people you encounter about work. You can talk to the check out person at the supermarket, the receptionist at the doctors’, or anyone who has a job you’d like to do. Just try and avoid doing it when they’re busy.
- Take your resume and hand it in at places you’d like to work. It’s sometimes called reverse marketing or cold calling. It can be daunting, but it could also be the way you get one of the 33% of jobs that are never advertised.
How do you work your networks? Share your tips in the comments.