Why Networking Can Help You Land Your Dream Job?
Networking can be annoying and uncomfortable. You sit in a room with a group of people trying to force conversations with people who don’t really know you. At one point I had this mentality. In college, they stressed the importance of networking but for some reason, I couldn’t get out of my shell to hold up a conversation. I would often walk away from the conversation trying to send a follow-up email showing my interest. In reality, my personality was so dry in person they probably wouldn’t believe it was me sending the email. After college, I tiptoed into the world of networking especially after I struggled with finding a job in my field. I reached out to previous employers I interned with expressing interest in finding a job. The conversations became awkward because no real relationship was built between me and these employers. They didn’t really know who Teeara was as a person. It was more so a robot who came into work, completed all assignments, and went home. I would often walk into the workplace with the mentality "these people aren’t my friends I’m just here to work." I had to learn about workplace politics. They may not be my friends but forming professional, genuine, and respectful work relationships allow one to get a feel of you. As I started to break into the industry I noticed people like to work with people who can bring a sense of culture to the team.
Networking is Marketing. Marketing yourself. Your uniqueness and what you stand for - Christine Lynch
Here are a few ways you can build your network and continue to keep those relationships flowing even when you move on to your next role.
Network with Former Co-Workers
Don't forget about your co-workers. This is why it's important to be cordial in the workplace not fake but professional and genuine. You never know when you will need a counterpart or a manager to vouch for you. Anytime I’m in search of a job I always reach out to my former co-workers and managers to see if they know anyone in the industry who is hiring. Your co-worker can leave and go on to a new role at a new company. It's important to keep those relationships flowing because you may never know when you will cross paths again in the workplace.
Slide in those LinkedIn DM’s
This is the only place where its less awkward to slide in someones DM’s seeking inquires about a job. Recruiters love to connect with job seekers and it makes their life much easier than having to go out and search for the perfect candidate. Whenever I’m interested in a company the first place I look is LinkedIn to scope out the current employees as well as their roles and detailed job descriptions. Also, I like to see if we have any mutual friends. If we do that’s a major plus because employers are more comfortable with referrals. I prefer to go directly to management expressing interest. Most times if the conversation goes well they will either reach out to the recruiter with your resume or if you decide to go directly to the recruiter the team will have a heads up. Many recruiters are located in different cities covering many different markets so I always prefer to build a direct relationship with the team I’m seeking to work with. Most times they're the decision makers when it comes to providing me the offer letter.
Get out and Attend Networking Events
Don't show up just to collect the business cards. To be honest I hate business cards because they can easily get lost. I would collect them and immediately request the professional on LinkedIn or Social Media. Always come to each event with a strategy and goal. I like to leave the event building genuine bonds with at least 3 people. My first networking event in NYC was a mixture of business and social. The advertising agency won new business and they were looking to hire and fill those roles for that particular account. I connected with recruiters and was able to receive a one on one session. The recruiters provided me suggestions on what department will work best for me based on the resume I submitted. Always do your research. I no longer live in the NJ/NYC area but I made sure when I moved to Atlanta to reach out to the office located here. This was part of the reason how I found my first media job.
Network in the workplace
Working in media I'm exposed to many different companies who I work with daily to help achieve the goals of the client. After every business meeting, I will connect with each individual on LinkedIn. This allows you to keep in contact even if you move on to another company. When I was laid off from my first media job I had over 5 interviews lined up within that month. No this isn't because my resume was perfect it was because of the power of networking. Those companies respected the work I produced and wanted to spread the love and send my resume out to their friends and co-workers. This put your resume ahead of everyone who submitted their application through the online portal with no connection.
If your struggling to find a job please do not get discourage master the art of building those relationships. If you currently have a job continue to build those relationships in the work place while showing up everyday as the best version of you.