How Did This Executive Develop Such a Robust Network?
Just to recap our story so far; our executive launched her job search and in 8 short weeks had 2 job offers. She had “applied” online to only 1 position. The first few weeks were spent contacting 75 of her existing network who in turn referred her to about 30 more people which netted her 8 interviews. She lost track of how many phone calls and coffee dates she made, but her networking paid off. She accepted one of the job offers and will start her new job soon.
You may be sitting there wondering what is it that makes an executive doing a job search and networking something to learn from. Think of it like this. How many presidents or CEO’s do most companies have? Usually 1. They may have more Vice Presidents, but the numbers of those positions compared to other positions are incredibly small. You don’t typically find these executive positions posted on job boards. If that’s true, then how do these executives find their jobs? By building and maintaining a healthy network of people who they can tap into for anything from industry trends, a plumber or a job lead. You don’t have to be an executive to gain many of the same benefits as an executive IF you pay attention to what they do. That’s what this story is about.
When I spoke to this executive and drilled down on her networking habits so I could give you some insider information, her bottom line was this: “You can’t start building your network when you look for a job – it’s got to be something you do all the time. I already had the network built when I started looking. My network is the people I meet every day in work or outside activities. I take an interest in these people and find out all about them. The thing is, when you’re interested in them, they’ll take an interest in you. From that point, you simply find ways to stay connected.”
I did inquire about her ability to maintain details about people; and she confessed she didn’t have any system, but rather a great memory. I think for us mere mortals we do have to do something as minimal as take notes so you can retain some of what you learn about others, until you know them well enough that you have a full grasp of their information.
Another important point this executive made about her recent networking: “I didn’t just call up my network and ask for job leads. I spent time getting current industry information that I knew would be interesting and of value to my network. I came bearing gifts. Your relationships are about mutual exchange. The more people in my network I spoke to, the more valuable and rich the information was that I could share.”
Networking is all about making and maintaining relationships. You don’t start and stop making relationships based on your work status – although it’s easy to slip into a lazy mode of simply only keeping up the most critical relationships. My observations is that a fairly large number of people only keep up on the life and times of less than 5 people – not good. When you get into a critical mode of needing something big like a new job, you shouldn’t suddenly discover the phone. Humans build networks – or relationships with others as it is mutually beneficial, not to mention emotionally required for our survival. That network, however big it is, always requires maintenance and time. It’s a worthwhile investment.
If you are a job seeker and your network is sparse, all is not lost; but you do need to start networking now and keep networking even after you get your next job. The best way to get a job, even jobs that are in scarce supply like an executive position, will always be through networking. With all of the internet – job posting hype we seem too caught up in the allure or ease the internet job search seems to suggest. Act like an executive and learn from what they do that creates success for them. Network like an executive and get amazing job search results.
What holds you back from networking?
For more career tips and advice – FREE newsletter and eworkbook: http://CareerMakeoverToolKitShouldIstayorShouldIGo.com/ From Dorothy Tannahill-Moran – Your Career Change Agent from www.nextchapternewlife.com and www.mbahighway.com