A recent study showed that people with strong career networking skills enjoy greater job satisfaction and make more money over the course of their working lives.
They also tend to land jobs faster.
Career Networking Case Study
Case in point: One of my job search clients landed a dream job last week. He made the connection to his new employer through a former co-worker at his last job.
How did this happen?
Well, one day we were on the phone, and he
was complaining about mentioned how much time it was taking him to fill out online job applications.
repeated gave him the numbers about the dubious likelihood of success via this route and suggested that he start networking.
My gosh, he did! And. It. Worked!
Simple Career Networking Techniques
The authors of the study offer several ways to build relationships with current or former co-workers and external contacts.
- Use company events to meet people and make future networking contacts.
- Catch up with colleagues from other departments about what they’re doing.
- Ask colleagues for advice.
- Say yes to invitations to functions and festivities.
- Ask colleagues to give your regards to others.
- Exchange professional tips and hints with others.
Networking Conversation Starters
If you’re wondering what types of advice to ask for, consider these questions:
- Tell me about your career path; how did you get to be a [insert job title]?
- What experience or activities have been most beneficial for your career development?
- Do you go to many networking events? Which are your favorites?
- Do you have a favorite career-related social media or professional networking site?
- What are your long-term career goals?
When you’re done talking with each person, be sure to thank them for sharing information with you. Your courtesy will help you build a strong network.
Also, be sure to give as well as take when networking. When a current or former colleague asks you talk with their spouse, family friend, or child who’s on the job market, make 15 or 20 minutes available to be helpful. Try to give:
- Real job leads in specific companies.
- Networking tips useful in the job hunting person’s industry or field (see above).
People remember those who help them find a new job for a lifetime. Thus, lending a hand creates good karma for you.
Internal Networking & Career Satisfaction
By the way, the researchers found that internal career networking had a bigger impact on career satisfaction than external networking.
Updated July 2019
Image: Syda Productions
© 2010 – 2019, Donna Svei. All rights reserved.
Donna Svei, an executive resume writer and former C-level executive, retained search consultant, and CPA, writes all of AvidCareerist’s posts. She has written for and been quoted by leading business, general, and career media outlets, including Forbes, Mashable, Fast Company, Entrepreneur, Business Insider, Lifehacker, Ask.com, Social Media Today, IT World, SmartBrief, Payscale, Business News Daily, and the Muse. Let her background and experience inform your job search strategy and decision making.