Easy Ways to Build Your Network
It’s “Recruiter Shawn” here! I have been recruiting in tech in Silicon Valley for over 25 years. The most recent 14 years have been in corporate: Yahoo and Amazon. With all the layoffs going around, it can be a scary time. I’ve seen bad years in tech (hello, 2002 and 2008) and I am here to tell you that the job market will come back. I have been getting a lot of questions from jobseekers asking “What’s one important thing I should be doing right now?”
If you have been impacted by recent layoffs, are looking to change careers, or are just in the process of building your career, one thing is for certain: you should be focusing a great deal of your time on networking. Networking is the secret sauce to the career search recipe. 85% of jobs are obtained through networking so DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP. It’s really not so much a “step” as it is a process in your entire career journey from your initial job search and continuing on past retirement.
A lot of people don’t think they can’t network. As a recruiter I hear the phrase “ I don’t know anyone” and “I don't have time to network” often. First, let go of the idea that networking is a scary high level single step like a job interview or an event on your calendar where you are walking around strangers, dressed to impress, handing out your resume. Think of networking instead as more of an everyday life experience or daily process. You can and should network everywhere you can go. If you change your mindset and make minor conversation adjustments with who you already communicate with, you can shift from small talk about “nothing” to small talk with “purpose”.
Let's start with the easy ways to build your network.
Ways to “connect”: LinkedIn and other networking platforms, e-mail, phone, social media.
Former and current workers: Go through your worker list.
Alumni or current schoolmates: Go through people you go or went to school with.
Your social situations: Think about who you talk to on a daily basis. Connect with them.
These are just some of the easy ways to build your network. Building up your social community is an ongoing process that is ever changing. You never know which one of your connections will end up working at your dream company or in the role of your desired job. Remember, the more people you connect with and start to build conversations around where they work, roles they have had, passions or interests they have and you have, the better your odds of landing a job become.
Article tips by Shawn Cartwright
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