Become an Expert Networker
How to blend communication with interpersonal skills in four easy steps.
January 19, 2012
In recent years social networking has exploded. Almost everyone has at least one professional online profile on LinkedIn. There are many platforms where you can register and then establish connections with fellow members based on shared interests, work histories or other common experiences. For example, there are networks of former employees, networks for school alumni and networks for those in the same profession. Now that it is easier to find someone who might be a valuable contact, there remains the same old challenge of introducing yourself and getting their attention. What do you say to encourage a meaningful dialogue leading up to getting information, asking for help or simply initiating a contact? Identify a need they have that you can address and volunteer help.
Networking is more of an art, a gift that blends communication and interpersonal skills and a skill you should develop given that about 80 percent of executive level jobs are filled through personal connections according to Challenger, Gray & Christmas. In fact, networking could be labeled mission critical to career advancement today because what you know is not enough, success depends on who knows you and appreciates your potential contribution to their organization.
Networking is not just for job searching. Your contacts can serve as mentors, advisers and personal recruiters informing you of new opportunities. Networking opens doors and provides job leads long before they are announced publicly.
Tips on Growing Your Networking Skills
Here are a few key ways to increase your networking skills and know-how.
You will know that you have a strong network and have communicated your value effectively when your contacts reach out to you for help and with leads to new career opportunities.
Debra Feldman is the JobWhiz™, a nationally recognized expert who designs and personally implements swift, strategic and customized senior level executive job search campaigns, banishing barriers that prevent immediate success. Her gift for Networking Purposefully™ and expediting stalled job searches connects candidates directly to decision-makers, not HR.