A-Z guide to finding work you love - letter N
So we're now on the letter N, where N stands for... networking.
Once you get to the stage where you know what career path you'd like to follow, networking is a key part of your job search strategy. You're probably aware of this, but what actions are you actually taking?
This is the attitude that I believe you need to have if you are to be a successful networker - imagine if jobs were never advertised and recruitment agencies never existed, what would you do to try and find work? OK you might be thinking that some recruitment agencies may as well not exist, but that's not the point!
Networking is far more interesting than simply looking at vacancies. It means you are being proactive by connecting with people and you never know where conversations may lead. So what can you do and how can you do it in a non-cringy way? After all, not everyone finds it easy to apprach people they don't know.
Firstly, use your current network of friends, family and colleagues. Is there anyone you know that works in the industry that you are interested in? Arrange an informal chat with them to discuss your thoughts.
You could even go on social media and ask your friends if they know anyone that can help you find the right contact. With all your 500 or so friends, someone somewhere will know someone who can help!
This approach is much easier that approaching people you don't know and starting off the conversation with, 'you don't know me but...'
Failing these approaches, find out where your ideal contact might hang out. It could be at exhibitions, networking events or conferences. It could be online on social media. If they are using these sites, you should be too.
Once you do make contact with them, your aim is not to ask them if there are any vacancies at their place of work. It's about research. Find out more about they're day to day role, current issues within the industry and the kind out recruit they might be looking for in the future. If someone loves their job, they'll be happy to talk about it.
So networking is a vital stage in your quest to find work you love. If done effectively you never know where it may lead.
1. Draw up a list of four ideal people that you would like to have a conversation with.
2. Decide how you will find/approach them and do it within seven days.
For an audio version of this article, visit https://youtu.be/HHQaiu3rY4Q.