The Smart Way to Network for Your Next Job

networking blog

In today’s market, when we think networking, we think digital media.  We think posting on LinkedIn, conquering Google’s algorithm, and writing emails that get noticed.  Long gone are the days of passing a business card and flipping a stocked Rolodex.  Today’s networking is multi-layered and omnipresent.

Smart employees should be networking for tomorrow’s job today.  And although digital media is important, networking’s human element should not be undervalued.

Here are five ways to network for your next job right now.

Network Now #1: Network every day to every person

Everyone likes the person in the office who takes the time to get to know other people.  It’s as simple (or as difficult) as that.  Make sure no one is treated with less respect than anyone else, and talk to everyone, even if they may never benefit your career.  The good relationships you establish with coworkers- people working in your same industry- will yield a lifetime of benefit.  Amanda Augustine, Top Resume, states: “Networking isn’t merely the exchange of information with others — and it’s certainly not about begging for favors. Networking is about establishing and nurturing long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with the people you meet, whether you’re waiting to order your morning coffee, participating in an intramural sports league, or attending a work conference.”

Network Now #2: Recognize Mutually Beneficial Relationships

When we network, we are not establishing relationships for our benefit only.  We can potentially help someone else just as easily as they can advocate for us.  Bonnie Marcus from Forbes Women explains: “When we believe that any attempt to establish relationships is only for our benefit, we are less inclined to pursue these conversations. ‘It’s all about me and I’m uncomfortable asking for help.’ A strong network, however, is built with mutually beneficial relationships: where both parties benefit. In the process of getting to know someone, you understand how you can add value and help them, and they are then willing to help you.”

Practically speaking, this means thinking of ways you can help others as you establish relationships on your own behalf.

#3 Network Now: Listen and Nurture

Networking is about speaking up and selling yourself, but there is no better way to “say the right thing” unless you learn to listen.  Make an impression by listening and responding intelligently.  Never dominate the conversation.  If your ultimate goal is to share something about yourself and your business, this will best come across throughout the ebb and flow of conversation.

Active listening means making eye contact (instead of looking at a phone), avoiding distractions, repeating back what someone has said to show you have listened, and asking the right questions.  Never look around the room for someone else (or someone better) to talk to.

While seeking new relationships, don’t forget to value your current network of relationships—through phone calls, holiday cards, Facebook posts, emails, etc.  Something small like wishing someone a happy birthday or sending flowers can go a long way.

#4 Network Now: Maintain Personalized Digital Presence

There are so many ways to network with digital media, but there is one tip that is highly effective, yet undervalued.  That is the power of writing a LinkedIn endorsement.  When you endorse someone for a skill, they feel flattered.  They are also likely to return the favor, which is mutually beneficial.

Also, when commenting on LinkedIn or another platform, make comments informed and thoughtful.   For example, a comment of “nice article” is not nearly as attention-getting as “I appreciate your article’s advice on managing sales members.”

#5 Network Now: Attend Events- Always Expand Network

Target niche network events where you will be able to make genuine connections to the people in attendance.  If you are concerned about meeting new people, think about the following advice from Colleen DeBaise, Entrepreneur: “Resist the urge to arrive late. It’s almost counter-intuitive but showing up early at a networking event is a much better strategy than getting there on the later side. As a first attendee, you’ll notice that it’s calmer and quieter – and people won’t have settled into groups yet.

At events, focus more on making just a couple of genuine connections over meeting many people on a surface level.

Artemis Consultants is a recruiting firm that is dedicated to matching employers with the best candidates in the industry.  Let our network help you use your network in your next job search.

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