Creative Jobhunting using Networking
Research by Dr Kaberi Gayen (Napier University Employment Research Institute) found that job-seekers who have many employed friends are more likely to find work themselves. The “who you know” theory is as important as ever.
Networking can be used, once you have completed your initial research, to gain a first-hand insight into jobs and careers that will help you to ensure that you have made the right choice. It can also be used for actual job hunting, and the contacts that you make through networking to inform yourself about careers may be helpful later when you are actually seeking jobs.
At its simplest, networking is just asking people to help you. Most people enjoy talking about their work and are usually happy to help others who are interested in that work. You can develop a network through existing contacts, or create your own using the ideas below.
Suppose, for example, that you want to find out about careers in insurance. Start with people that you know – do you have any friends or family who work in, or know people who work in, that field? What about your own, or your family’s insurance policies – perhaps the nice salesperson who arranged the contents insurance for your student house last year could help? Are there any graduates in your University Careers Network you could get in touch with – or a professional body?
Remember, when networking, that your first contact does not need to be a person actually doing the job that you want to do if they might be able to put you in touch with the right person. Your interest may be in insurance broking, rather than sales, for example, but that salesperson may know brokers or know somebody else who does. This is what networking is all about – once you’ve found the first people to start your network, others will begin to fall into place.
“Speak to people and tell them what you are looking for. I work part time at Waitrose (foodstore) and often talk to my customers about university and what I’m doing, many have given me ideas and said they know someone and have so passed on the names of companies to me.”
Below is a list of some sources you could use to find contacts for your network:
- Friends and relatives
- Friends of relatives; relatives of friends
- Tutors, academics
- Community contacts – doctors, accountants, bankers, church members, Chambers of Commerce, community volunteers etc
- Local employers
- Professional Institutes and Associations
- Members of clubs and societies
- People mentioned in newspapers, magazines, professional journals
- Ex-graduates from your institution – many universities now have networks of these who can help you.
- Anyone you meet!
Send people who have helped you a Christmas card to thank them and remind them of you. SOURCE: University of Kent. CLICK HERE to see original article.