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Effective Networking

From Professional-Resumes.com




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At Executive/Management level networking is a very effective tool in the job-hunting process. With the business world becoming increasingly intertwined so many good contacts are made through the art of networking it seems foolish not to draw on this resource when the time comes for some aggressive job seeking.

Networking is not about calling up acquaintances and asking for favours. This is a common misconception and something that people feel very apprehensive about. The apprehension comes about from the fear of embarrassment and the fear of rejection, both very normal emotions.

If you are already thinking of calling an acquaintance and thinking of the embarrassment you will feel, take a step back and think how you would feel if someone phoned up and asked you for help. Obviously you would want to offer all the help you could and would feel genuinely flattered at having been the person they chose to ask.

It is a universally recognised fact that few of us like asking for help, feeling that we can cope with just about everything on our own. Networking is very often an unknown quantity and is more about technique and preparation than a casual call to a business associate or acquaintance.

Fear of rejection though very understandable is also unjustified. You are not actually asking these people for a job, but advice, guidance and contacts.

If confidentiality is another concern particularly at Executive/Management level where the community is quite tight knit you need to choose your contacts wisely and ensure that they can maintain confidentiality on your behalf.

Networking is almost certainly more straightforward for the candidate who is currently unemployed as they can be very forthright about their intentions and ask open questions without fear of reprisal. Those in employment have no option but to hedge around their intentions asking questions such as the following:

  1. ‘I like this company very much but have some concerns about career prospects here’.
  2. ‘I don’t feel that I am gaining the experience that I need in order to develop further within this role’.
  3. ‘I have begun to feel that I have stayed too long in the one environment considering the pace of change in today’s business environment’.
By using statements like this entered lightly into everyday conversation you open up possibilities in which you can admit that if you received a job offer you would be tempted to consider it strongly.

You may feel that you don’t have the time for networking but that is the beauty of this technique. You simply intertwine it into your daily activities whether at work, at home, socially, with family, friends and colleagues etc. Create opportunities with acquaintances by initiating conversations ostensibly about work matters but which can be used to your advantage as you move the conversation around to contacts and business opportunities.

Think about the people you know both professionally and personally and the shared interests you have. Any associations, affiliations, sporting clubs etc can be used to your advantage. All of these people in turn have connections, which can prove useful to you while conducting an extensive job search.

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