Thursday, July 17, 2008

Network, Working Girl One, You Gotta Network

That is what my dad told me when I began internship searching and again when I began job searching. I thought he was crazy because (a) I didn't know anyone with whom to network and (b) I was convinced that getting a job was as easy as sending your resume to HR. Boy, was I wrong. I told everyone I knew that I was looking for an internship or a job and, long story short, my networking paid off. 

Networking is important, but there is such thing as too much networking. Here are some networking tips & tricks to keep you on track when job searching:
  • Tell your friends and family that you are looking for a job. They may have connections or know of job openings at their companies or their friends may have openings. The possibilities are endless.
  • If you're looking to move up in the same company or field, ask your people in your company questions about how they got where they are now. But don't ask too many questions or make them feel like they are on an interview. It can be uncomfortable for them and they may realize that you are up to something. Not to mention, it is a little annoying. 
  • Even when you're not looking for a new job keep in touch with people who may be helpful in your future. This includes new coworkers, old bosses and friend. A general rule of thumb is to contact a person at least every 3 months, once a quarter. 
  • Develop and maintain relationships.
  • Confide in coworkers that you trust. Or at the very least, tell them what your career goals are and find out if they can help. 
  • Help those people who are networking with you. They can return the favor someday. And, if you're lucky, your company may offer an incentive for recommending a new hire. I received $500 (more like $300 after taxes, but still!) when someone I recommended was hired. 
  • If someone gives you a lead, gets you an interview, don't just thank the interviewer, thank the person that helped you. They will be more willing to help you again. 
Network Working Girls, Network!

23 comments:

Alexandreena said...

Yes. I cannot stress enough the importance of networking!

jenniferalaine said...

Networking is SO crucial, and it's super important to spread your name as widely as possible. Friends and family help, but the FRIENDS of your friends and family are the best place to start. You tend to have the same circles and networks as your friends and family, but if you branch out from that a little bit, it gets a lot more diverse.

biscuitinabasket said...

I worked as a summer intern in a bank while at university, and often kept in touch with some of the guys who were permanenet staff.... As soon as I applied to work there, and I got the job (easiest interview ever!).

I think the advise should spread to boys too!

btw... is it ok to link this post over on my blog - I think its a very useful post!

Aleksie said...

Never underestimate networking with everyone for almost anything. You never know who knows whom. I've heard of people being successful for jobs and housing because of networking

Christine said...

So true!

For college students, I suggest interning as much as possible to get contacts. Otherwise, attend/join networking parties and groups. The rest falls into place!

The cup is half full of something I don't like said...

Great points on networking.

It seems that most people forget to help others even if you don't need anything in return . . . . . today that is. I call it selfish altruism. I work very hard to help people who ask and it isn't just in helping them find a job. Tracking down contact information or steering a new client to someone is a great way have them want to help you in the future.

gine said...

since it seems we all believe in networking, i'll say it out loud: working girls of new york, would you like to help a working girl of rome, who fell in love with your gorgeous city, with finding a job there?

Toomerdog said...

WG1 is one smart WG! I would hasten to add though....(as a seasoned employee and employer)...that there is a difference between networking for networking's sake....( I can smell those useless people a long way off)....and truly staying in touch with friends and colleagues and associates, in a positive and mutually beneficial way. My best positions have opened up from the latter, not the former!

HOBO said...

Important :
Believe in yourself.
:)

Jennifer Scott said...

always enjoy your posts

Faustina said...

I hadn't thought much about keeping contacts at old jobs as far as networking is concerned but it's great advice. thanks.

Audrey said...

One of my favorite books is Love Is the Killer App. He's big on networking. It is so important in every aspect of our lives.

zetta172 said...

oh, working girl only. yeaaah!

zora_f. said...

an advice i'd like to add - especially if internships is what you have and job is what you want: keep yourself busy! i did three internships between my M.A. and my first real job - a time span of three years - and what got me my current job is a) my good work done at the second internship, b) staying "on the scene" (in my case, the advertising business) with the third internship and c) being available for extra-weekend-work at the place of the second internship. in short: i hung around, and my ex-intern-boss recommended me to my boss now, and she remembered me.

love your blog!

shooting star said...

yeah networking is very important..not only when one is starting out on their professional life ...but throughout one's career.....
all the points u noted down are so very true!!!.....

shaikens said...

All right, working girls, here's the deal. I definitely came across your blog via the blogs of note, of course, and I can't stop reading...

I love the way both of you write.

As far as networking goes, your daddy was right, WG1!

I want to go into broadcast, whether it be the news or just hangin' with Regis every morning laughing my panties off. So all I do now is try to network with WHOMEVER, WHERE EVER, especially on the internet! Youtube is awesome, so I just keep making a million videos a day and documenting everything.

Deep inside, I'm crossing my fingers that somehow, I'll land something one of these days.

Oh, and I guess being in school is helping. Ha!

Abdul Rahim said...

Yep
that's always true
Networking is the most important thing no matter in what industry you are in...

Sara said...

Networking is important not only outside of the place you are currently working, but also within it as well. Knowing more people at your current employer can help you land a better job at the same place.

http://mycheckedbaggage.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

Networking is very important, as is being active in professional associations. My current job happened because I took the time to go to receptions at a convention and started chatting with a gentleman who had just started at his position. We chatted for a while, then I called on him for feedback for a project I was working on at the time. Five years later, he remembered when I said I was looking for a job, and he was looking to hire someone. It worked out beautifully.

Vardhan said...

Useful post.... keep writing : ).

William said...

Nice Blog For you

William said...

Good Blog

Spandrel Studios said...

The most valuable networking I've done has been with people I don't know. Get out there, and attend an industry or local networking event. But first, prepare: think of a 10-second introduction so you can tell people about yourself - what you do, what you're proudest of, what you're looking to do.

My job search skyrocketed the moment I started seeking out local meetings in my profession. If you're not comfortable walking into a room full of people you don't know, realize that there are many other people in the same boat. Just take a breath, walk up to someone who's standing by themselves, and ask them a question. What changed my thinking was to approach it as a chance to help other people - and I've helped many other people make connections through my own network of contacts, books I've suggested, referrals I've made. It really is true that when you focus on how you can help others, things fall into place.