How To Network For A Job - A Beginner's Guide

How To Network For A Job - A Beginner's Guide

Networking. Arguably one of the best ways to get ahead in life in terms of opportunities and career growth.

Most people assume networking is all about going around, introducing themselves and asking for a job. In fact, there is a stigma behind networking as being somewhat annoying, like a salesman trying to pitch you something you do not want. This fear of being pushy or being annoying makes people stray away from it. 

However, networking is so much more than that.

Think of it not as looking for a job but making friends in the right places. When networking is done tactfully, it can even create lifelong friendships that are also beneficial to your career. Most of the time, people who know how to network would just keep in touch with each other, and if the circumstances or opportunity arises, they will notify each other.

For example, if you are great at drawing, just make it known. One day, one of your contacts might come to you and say “Hey, I have a friend who needs a great artist. I recommended you to him.” 

Networking is a long-term process. You need to nurture your social talents and the relationship that you have with your networks. The good thing is that is the easy part. The hard part, as most people find, is getting started. Truth be told, it is not even that hard at all! 

In fact, you can effectively start networking in 3 easy steps. Here is exactly how to get started on networking to give yourself greater opportunities for the future!

1. The Power of Friendship

An incredibly effective way of networking is through pre-existing friends and family. When you are having a catch-up session or just hanging out, find an opportunity to talk about what you are working on and how it has been going. Generally, these topics would come about naturally. Your friends might also even talk about you to their friends when the time is right. 

By keeping those around you updated on your career and passion, you would be pleasantly surprised when an email, text or phone call comes your way and the other person says “Hey, I got your number from so and so. I heard you are a great ____. I am looking for someone with your expertise to help me out on this project I am currently working on. Would you be interested in talking about this further?”

2. Social Media Is Your Best Friend

Social media is one of the most effective ways to get started networking with new people. Not only will you be able to connect with other like-minded individuals in your field of expertise, but you can also do it from anywhere at any time if you have an internet connection!

Your best bet is primarily LinkedIn - as the platform is intended specifically for professional networking. Through the search function, you will be able to find relevant people to your industry with just a few clicks. Send out some friend requests to them and reach out to say “Hi!” You never know where a simple greeting and acknowledgement will get you in the future!

You can also frequent Facebook and even Instagram. Make sure you are promoting yourself and what you do. Sometimes, it is even great to post content revolving around your work. Not only does this gain you more exposure, compelling others to reach out to you, but you are also increasing your credibility. When you reach out to a like-minded person, you just might hit it off!

Related: How to Write a Killer Linkedin Bio

3. Do not Be Pushy - Make Friends Instead

When you are networking with others, be professional but do not treat it like a job interview. Instead, think of it as more of a professional friendship. That means you should not just push for a job, let alone ask for one. You should aim to have a professional conversation as you would with a colleague or a peer. Talk about work related matters or find out their opinions and stances on certain things in your field.

It is good to keep in mind that the other party also has similar intentions as you. They want to create a long-lasting relationship where you might be able to recommend a customer or a client to them. They want to remain in your mind as much as you want to remain in theirs. 

By approaching it this way, it becomes a relationship that benefits both parties! As you find out more about each other, how professional you both are, and what are your areas of expertise, when the need arises, you both can recommend the right people to each other!

Remember To Keep in Touch

Being able to network is a deep and highly beneficial skill. It is easy to learn, but difficult to master. Many people do not stay in touch with their network as often as they should. As for the basics of networking and how to get started, these 3 steps are sure to set you on the right track. 


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