How to work networking, and make it work for you.
Cornell University Career Center says 80% of available jobs are not advertised.
For people in the job market, that’s good news and bad news.
Bad news first: Your dream job may never be announced. Good News Next: Your dream job may already be in your network.
What is Networking?
Technically, networking is a soft skill that helps you build and maintain professional and social relationships for mutual benefits.
The 3 Networking Q & A You Need To Know
1. Networking in a few words
Networking is building and maintaining relationships for mutual benefits.
2. How Networking works Know yourself. Be Yourself. Be authentic. Make yourself available for people you like to work and/or play with.
3. Where Networking works Everywhere, every time, every day. You’re networking.
No Networking Experience Needed
Recently I had to do a lot of work over the weekend, which would have otherwise been the time to be in the sun, playing on the beach with my family, or playing at home. To avoid interruption, and fully concentrate; I went to sit quietly at the meeting room of a really nice building for people older than 65 years old. (Mutch lives there.)
My plan worked for the first 5 hours, until a friendly lady who is somewhere in her 80’s stopped by. She was staring at my laptop, and explaining to me how unbelievable it is to be able to do so many great things with this little device on the table.
What are you doing? She asked. I’m working!
Sitting down in front of this thing…is working? It is unreal!
😊 You could see the wheels turning in her head.
80 Year Old Inexperienced Net-worker
She moved into the building 10 years ago because it is filled with people her age. Retirees, 65+. She moved in because she thought it’ll be easier to make friends. They could hang out, go out together, so that she won’t spend her days, weeks and years alone.
“In 10 years,” she told me, “not one person in this building has stopped by my door to say “Hello, how are you doing?” Not One Person. In 10 Years. She couldn’t understand why!
She explained to me that she is “ganz wutend”, German phrase for “explosively upset”, but I prefer to use “slightly peeved” :-)
To say the least, I felt sorry for the old sweet soul. How could she be living in this upscale elderly facility, with people in her age bracket, who have “nothing else” to do but hang out, go out, and enjoy their retirement days, but not have one single friend and/or visitor in 10 years?
The ABC of Networking
You may have heard:
She who has friends, must herself be friendly.
Turns out the building has activities, coffee and tea meetings for every resident, once a week. Workout sessions, meet and sing etc. This sweet old soul had apparently never bothered to show up in one of these events. She is however wondering why the people in the building aren’t showing up in her private apartment.
How to avoid people avoiding you
People will say, I’m not a good "networker".
Not true. Every human being is a "networker".
But of course, there are exceptions to every rule. For networking, here are the exceptions. If
You don’t give a hoot about anybody but yourself
You don’t bother about giving a helping hand to others in need
You don’t care about other people’s progress/projects, but your own
Then you’re an exception to the rule.
How can this get me to that 80% group that Cornell University is talking about?
Know yourself and be yourself.