A recent study found that people with strong career networking skills enjoy greater job satisfaction and make more money during their working lives. They also tend to land jobs faster.
Career Networking Case Study
For example, one of my resume clients landed a dream job last week. He made the connection to his new employer through a co-worker at his last job.
How did that happen?
Well, one day, we were on the phone, and he mentioned how much time it was taking him to fill out online job applications.
I gave him the numbers about his likelihood of success via that route and suggested he start networking.
My gosh, he did! And. It. Worked!
Networking with Former Colleagues
In fact, a different study, which was done at at Carnegie-Mellon University, found that people you have strong ties with provide significantly more job search help than people who don’t know you well.
The authors recommended identifying companies where you already know people, then looking for jobs in those companies.
Simple Career Networking Techniques
So, here are some 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 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 network.
Also, give as well as take when networking. When a current or former 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 a lifetime. Thus, lending a hand creates good karma for you.
Internal Networking & Career Satisfaction
And a final grace note, the researchers found that internal career networking has a bigger impact on career satisfaction than external networking.
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Updated January 2021
© 2010 – 2021, 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 has written for and been quoted by 100+ business and general media outlets, including Forbes, Mashable, Fast Company, Inc., Entrepreneur, the New York Times, USA Today, Time, CBS, the BBC, Lifehacker, Social Media Today, IT World, SmartBrief, and Business News Daily.
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