... networking is building a community.
What’s the most import thing when looking for job? Resume! Right? Errt. Wrong! What’s a resume do? It talks about your history and highlights your accomplishments. This may talk to your skills and abilities but what is it lacking? Personality. Even if you inject a degree of personality into your resume, you are missing out on really letting your personality work for you.
Networking is hard. It’s even harder when you’re looking for a job and this is why you should make it a regular part of you life. Why do you need to network? (Hint- it’s not all about you.) There are lots of reasons and benefits that come from networking, but networking is building a community.
If you’re wondering why you need a community, I encourage you to go over to duckduckgo and search for some reasons on your own. Unless you’re a mountain hermit, it’s hard not to be a part of some sort of community whether you go to church, have kids in school, have a job, live in a neighborhood, have friends or family… you’re a part of some community somewhere. As we grow those communities and people from one start linking to people in others you start to see the power of community and start hearing the phrase “it’s a small world.”
Your community, including the one you build through networking, will be a source of inspiration, support and resources. In a job search, you’ll want all of those. I recently experienced this again. We all know job searching is hard and can be depressing. Right when I was feeling particularly down, the low point on a gradual 2 week decline in mood and spirit and confidence, just as I had finally admitted I was depressed and my efforts to stay positive and focused had failed, I got an email from someone I met networking. They were doing a focus group and wanted me to be a part of it. After I agreed, she emailed me back to ask if I could come early because she wanted to get my opinion on a couple things beforehand. It made a huge difference to my spirit. Here, right at the depths of a low point, this person who had no idea how I was feeling, reached out to me for help. When we met, I said feel free to hit me up if you ever need anything, and they did! Having someone think of me, and then see the some value in my skills was big boost.
A couple days later, someone else hit me up. Someone else on the job hunt as well. And as we chatted, they reminded me that if I get depressed, to remember that it’s hard, it’s not personal, and there are a whole lot of others in the same boat. Then he pointed me to a thread in another slack channel where a big discussion on exactly that topic was underway. There must have been 10-15 people job searching, all talking about being down, how hard it is, and how they have or were getting through it. Then there were another 10-15 who had jobs but were chiming in about their experiences or what they’ve seen on from the inside; why candidates hadn’t gotten a job and the myriad of reasons, many arbitrary and completely unrelated to the candidate.
This article started out as a list of reasons and benefits of networking, but as I tried to categorize them, it all just seemed to roll up to community. Make yourself a part of a community. Build your community. That community, your network, will bring benefits beyond referrals, industry knowledge and trends, resources and career development and all the benefits.
On referrals, I want to share this quote from this article.
Employee referrals have the highest applicant to hire conversion rate – only 7% apply but this accounts for 40% of all hires.
Post date September 9, 2012
Reasons to network
And here’s my own list.
- To share your knowledge
- To be of help to others
- Find resources
- Make Friends
- Give and receive support
- Give and receive referrals
- Grow your industry knowledge
- Learn of trends