At a recent “Being The One” workshop, our savvy participants wanted to know how to convert connections into interviews.
Networking is such a popular and important subject because that’s where the hidden jobs are found. According to an article posted on National Public Radio online, npr.org, at least 70 percent, if not 80 percent, of jobs are not published. These jobs are filled and therefore found, through networking.
Unfortunately, most of the people I speak with say they hate networking. They view it as a desperate approach to groups of strangers or people in their own circles whom they already know to ask for current job leads and the possibility of exploratory interviews. The feeling of desperation and futility drains them as they feel like they are begging.
That’s because they are doing it wrong.
The good news is there is a better way. So let’s talk about how to handle networking the right way.
These are the three legs to the stool and you’ll see how they converge.
- Going to events: The purpose of going to events is to meet people who can help lead you to influential contacts, and for you to make meaningful contributions to them first. The follow-up is key! The best way to grow a relationship is to invite someone to get together to explore supporting each other in whatever you are looking to achieve. It doesn’t matter how much or how little experience you have. The intention to make a difference, whether you’re successful in producing value or not, is almost always appreciated.
- Meeting One-on-one: When you sit down or get on the phone for the purpose of networking, focus your attention as much as possible on asking questions and listening for ways to provide value. The value you offer may be endless and priceless. Draw from your war stories, your skill with technology, your other connections, your sense of humor, your ability to listen or any other resources, talents or ideas that you come up with at the time. Just the very nature of your desire to be on the team will have them start to think of you as one of their team members. As you are doing that, you’re also asking who do they know would be worthwhile for you to meet. By that, you mean it will be worthwhile for both parties.3. Pursuing your targets to get together to explore supporting each other in whatever you are each l: While the better jobs are sourced usually through networking, it is still a good idea to continue looking at job listings and applying for jobs that attract you. When you see a company that you are excited to work for, use LinkedIn and search the expanding web of people you know who are connected to people in the company you want to get into and ask for a targeted introduction.
Don’t let the three-prong approach scare you. Practice it and watch how neatly it comes together.
And if I can help you, please call me. I’m here for you to be THE ONE, the absolute best candidate for a job you’ll love.