Networking for your job advancement in your career development path offers big benefits and outstanding career employment advancement opportunities that in most cases would never come your way otherwise.
Why network? Networking in the employment and career field offers the number one source of finding employment and job advancement. It is often stated that the vast majority – estimated as high as 80 – 90 % of jobs are filled inside organizations rather than outside. Generally in life people do not like risk and change. Better to deal with someone you know, can judge and trust. As well someone who recommends a future employee to an organization should have a vested interest in recommending a person who will be of good benefit to that organization. As well it should be noted that the person who does the recommendation has their own self interest to consider in case things do not work out well with the prospective hire.
In fact many employers will pay an employee who recommends a future hire a “finder’s fee” or other reward. Better to reward someone in your organization for growth than to reward an outsider such as a commercial “head hunter”.
It may be said that sometimes a firm will look outside of the norm to hire someone – especially management to shake the organization to be a “whipping boy”. This does occur. However these are not situations where you would place yourself for serious career advancement.
Networking is in actuality the process of developing relationships with people who can assist you with job search strategies and in finding strong job leads. Often people you seriously network with (including those you ask as valued references on your job resumes or applications) will become your best proponents. It should be noted that networking should be distinguished from simple hobnobbing and name dropping.
Networking in its true sense is a sincere, two ways relationship not a shallow one way activity. The distinction can not be stressed enough. If you are unable to comprehend the difference between the two – then this activity of career networking is not currently the right path for you.
The benefits of networking are great. Networking will focus your job choice and career direction. You will be tapping into jobs that you would most likely not have access to otherwise. You should be in a position to gain information and perspective about your chosen industry and firms or organizations that you would not be privy to or be able to comprehend or appreciate the significance otherwise. Specialized information such as industry and geographical trends, job search structure and protocols and hiring processes in your chosen fields will avail itself to you in your employment search.
It is a wonderful trait in interviews to be confident with industry perspectives as well as privileged information about the going ons of firms that you are making job applications for. The biggest percentage of most job interviews is based on preparation before the interview, not during it. Networking will be your best tool for successful pre interview preparation and planning.
As well networking affords self promotion in a socially acceptable manner without bragging rights to those people in the hiring stream who ultimately matter the most to you in your employment search. In effect you are practicing your communication and interviewing skills as you successfully navigate the network streams.
Remember that for all the serious work you do in your job search in the end you never know who can be of the most help to you. Be sincere and appreciative in all that you do.