The Question Heard Around the World
Right now there are any number of meetings going on all over the globe – in many languages, the question asked is:
‘Does anyone know a good person for this job?’
Or, can you recommend someone?
Often, an organisation won’t advertise all its roles. So the outside world never finds out about them.
Not to mention, searching out a new hire is time-consuming and costly – in terms of money and time. So it’s natural that hiring companies would reach out to their own network to maximise their own chances of hiring the right person.
How likely are you to be one of those recommended people?
Look at Past Colleagues
A good step for more experienced candidates. Who have you worked with in the past that could help you now? A former colleague will know your strengths, and be able to advocate for you to an organisation. That kind of recommendation goes further than the best cover letter.
Some people find the idea of reaching out to find a new job off-putting. They don’t want to put themselves out there, or be seen to be doing it – you can soften your approach by making it clear that while you are enjoying your current role, you’re just exploring and open to new opportunities. This is often all your former colleague or friends need to hear to pass along any opportunities they may be aware of.
If you find ‘networking’ a bit intimidating, why not approach it differently? Challenge the way you’ve been thinking about it. Remember that networking, in its simplest form, is something you do every day. Talking to colleagues, to 3rd parties, to managers all the way down to your barista!
Networking is something you already know how to do instinctively because you successfully network with other people almost every day.
Getting Out There
Often, this can be as simple of accepting invites to an event or join a club or society. Think in terms of a University Soc – Ruby, Dance, History. Depending on your career and stage of life, you might meet people through children’s sporting activity – so get involved and show a genuine interest in others.
Professional bodies like the Institute of Chartered Accountants and the Law Society organise a number of events. Networking is often at the core of these.
This is opportunity to hear about who’s hiring, as well as to discuss the business environment, competition, and the industry. It’s not a coincidence that most Finance Directors in Ireland have that strong network support network that they’d built up along their way.
To network successfully, you need to give back as much assistance as you receive. Maintain regular contact with your former colleagues who you got on well with and who know how good you are. Offer advice and assistance where relevant. Even if you can’t provide practical solutions to their issues, you can at least offer them moral support and encouragement.
If you are keen to improve your networking game this year, a simple resolution may be to simply accept invites to events and gatherings – once a week/fortnight/month depending on what you are hoping to achieve.
For a discussion about your career, please contact Paul McClatchie, Director, Engage People on firstname.lastname@example.org