A recent study found that people with solid career networking skills have better work lives. They enjoy greater job satisfaction and make more money. They also land jobs faster.
Career Networking Case Study
For example, one of my resume clients landed a dream job last week. He connected with his new employer through a co-worker at his previous job.
How did that happen?
One day, we were on the phone, and he mentioned how much time it took him to fill out online job applications.
I gave him the numbers about his likelihood of success via that route. Then, I suggested he start networking.
My gosh, he did!
And. It. Worked!
The Magic of Former Colleagues
As we progress through our careers, our networks expand.
Our colleagues move to new organizations. They meet new people. That creates an ever-larger receptor net that catches career signals. They benefit. The people who stay in touch with them benefit.
Simple Career Networking Techniques
So, to bottle that magic for your career, here are 6 ways to meet and stay in touch with current and former co-workers:
- Use company events to meet people.
- Catch up with colleagues from other departments about what they’re doing.
- Ask colleagues for advice.
- Say yes to invitations to festivities with current and former colleagues.
- Ask colleagues to give your regards to others.
- Exchange professional tips with others.
Networking Conversation Starters
If you’re curious about what types of advice to ask for, consider these 4 questions:
- Tell me about your career path; how did you get to be a [job title]?
- What experience or activities have been most beneficial for your career?
- Do you have a favorite career-related social media or networking site?
- What are your long-term career goals?
When you’re done talking with each person, thank them for sharing information with you. Your courtesy will help you build a strong relationships.
Also, give as well as take.
When a colleague asks you to talk with someone who is looking, make 15 minutes available to be helpful.
Try to give:
- Real job leads in specific companies
- Networking tips useful in the person’s industry or field
People remember people who help them find a job for the rest of their lives. Thus, lending a hand creates good karma for you.
Here’s a recent note from one of my clients. It describes how a former colleague helped him land a higher-level title and a 44% pay increase:
“Looking for a new job has been quite a challenge, probably because of my age and needs.
Although I am in a hot market, finding the right position was challenging.
But sometimes life works in mysterious ways. I found an opportunity with someone I worked with in the past. My new job fits perfectly with my EQ and came with a 44% salary increase.
I am very happy.
At the end of the day, finding the right opportunity was more complex than an algorithm.”
He’s now a VP in a targeted industry!
Internal Networking & Career Satisfaction
And a final grace note:
The researchers found that internal networking beats external networking for career satisfaction.
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Updated April 2022
© 2010 – 2022, Donna Svei. All rights reserved.
Donna Svei, an executive resume writer and former C-level executive, retained search consultant, and CPA, authors all of AvidCareerist’s posts.
She is a Fast Company Contributor and has written for and been quoted by 100+ business and general media outlets, including Forbes, Inc., Entrepreneur, CNBC, the New York Times, USA Today, Time, US News & World Report, CBS, the BBC, Lifehacker, Social Media Today, IT World, and Business News Daily.
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