It is usually the day one engages in a job search that one finds themselves thinking about “how to network.” Unfortunately, it’s at that very time that you need perfect networking skills. The only way to become a good networker is to practice. Network practice makes perfect and is never done.
Combining the euphoria of being liberated from your current position with the pressure of engaging in a job search and being unemployed, it’s the wrong time to add learning a new skill like networking.
Most people fear networking nearly as much as public speaking. In many ways, networking is public speaking.
Some simple suggestions you can do to engage in developing your networking skills are:
- Always be networking. It’s part of your daily effort in any job.
- Every time you meet someone is an opportunity to practice networking.
- Don’t immediately use networking as an opportunity to “get something.” Expectations will be crushed.
- Use networking as an opportunity to “give something.” Giving will have returns.
- Don’t fear it, use it as a challenge and reward. If I make this connection, I’ll allow myself to do that.
The key to success is to realize that it’s not comfortable, unless you practice it. Once you start, it’s a lot of fun, and you will only become a good networker by practicing.
The greatest achievement is when others recognize you for your networking skills. You will get there by practicing, giving, and giving a lot. Great sales people understand this technique, and leverage it every hour of the day. In looking for a job, you are selling yourself – recognize that giving and exchanging information is going to expose you to new people, and demonstrate that you have something of value to offer. That’s how you will find your next job…, or your next job will find you.
Barton Professional Placement Group can help, but these skills are the way job seekers will make themselves visible, and be recognized as they look for new challenges, opportunities and jobs along their career path.