There is a very prevalent trend right now where people have lost the energy to network. Attendance is down at some events, and people in career transition are resistant to the suggestion to spend the bulk of their time networking.
This is a foolish mistake and now is the time to snap out of your networking lethargy.
For every excuse people bring me, there is a good reason to overcome it. A job won’t fall in your lap, and probably won’t come through an advert. You have to get off your chair, dress accordingly, and make those external connections. Here are my thoughts on some of the more common excuses I hear for not networking:
- Too busy to network? Whether you’re gainfully employed or in career transition, you must put the time into managing your career and nurturing your network. I tell people to think about their ROT (return on time) and with networking, there is a huge return. Maybe not today, maybe not even tomorrow, but the seeds you plant will benefit and enhance your career for years!
- Too shy to network? Whether you’re a true introvert or not, you may have convinced yourself that you’re not good at networking, or you’re just not willing to push past the initial discomfort of practicing a new skill. Gather strength and ideas from these experts at Harvard Business Review, Inc.com and Psychology Today.
- Have a job so you don’t need to network? I always say that the day you land a job is the day to start your next job search. Just as business owners must continually do business development to cope with an unpredictable flow of clients, it’s no different when you have a job. The fact you have a job today doesn’t mean you will have a job tomorrow. Your future is always uncertain at best.
- Convinced networking doesn’t work? You can’t make up your mind after one meeting. If networking isn’t bringing results, you may be using the wrong approach, connecting with the wrong people or attending the wrong event for your career aspirations and career management. Pinpoint and connect with people who can generate viable job leads and bring influence to your career goals. Politely and eloquently ask each person you meet for three further leads.
- Don’t know where to start so you don’t attend? Ask colleagues or mentors for referrals to both formal networking groups and influencers you can meet one-on-one. Check social media sites and Meetup.com for local groups, or start your own to really be known as a serious networker.
I’m a firm believer that there is a job for everybody, but with 91% of jobs in Canada unadvertised, you’ll have to network to find your next career opportunity.
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