Networking opportunities are everywhere. That’s why it’s important to keep in mind that every day, you are in charge of your personal brand and how you choose to let others perceive you. How do you want to be known?
We often talk about the unpublished market — the 70% of jobs that aren’t marketed or advertised publicly. In fact, most of these jobs are discovered through networking. It’s no secret that networking is proven to be a vital part of connecting with others both personally and professionally. However, these domains don’t have to be separate. Your personal interactions may become your main source for career opportunities.
Work often comes up in personal or non-professional settings. Whether or not you introduced the topic, at some point you will probably discuss what you do or would like to do if the opportunity presented itself. Who knows, it’s entirely possible that your colleague from a previous job may know someone at a company you’ve had your eye on and could put in a good word for you. That’s why it’s essential to know how to turn any situation into a networking opportunity. Here’s how:
- Exchange Information Organically– In some cases, connecting on LinkedIn may be a great answer, while others may warrant a more casual approach such as swapping phone numbers or even social media accounts on some occasions. Assess the situation to determine the best route.
- Follow Up – This is an essential part of the process. After you’ve exchanged information, continue the conversation with a thoughtful message and remind them of something you spoke about. Initiating the outreach and showing interest in them will make you stand out.
- Provide Value – If someone is taking the time to help you, reciprocate the action. Willingly offer them something of value and ask them what you can do in return for their support.