Teaching our candidates about networking may seem like a very basic concept – and it is for those that are already used to maintaining one. However, for those who haven’t had the need to utilize a network for career transition purposes, it can seem like a foreign concept and developing one can feel like a daunting task!
Networking is a powerful way to market oneself when looking to make a career move. It can also be the easiest first step. In basic terms, by developing our networks, we increase our opportunities! Through the course of the CMS outplacement program, we help our candidates to establish and develop their networks using three main tools:
1. Their Current Contacts,
2. Social Media Outlets, and
3. Industry Specific Networking Groups
Cast the Net Wide!
Connecting with existing friends and colleagues who are eager to help in a time of need is vital and can give one a personalized introduction to potential new job opportunities. Obviously, the more contacts one has, the more opportunities they create for themselves. So, we must teach our job search candidates to cast their nets as wide as possible – to connect with friends of friends, develop social media networks such as LinkedIn, join industry specific groups – and, to ask their networks for help, something that many can be reluctant to do.
As part of their CMS outplacement program, our coaches provide their candidates with guidance on simple daily tasks that will help to grow their networks plus, they are instrumental in providing reminders on such things as the importance of ensuring correspondence, and their social media profiles, are always professional.
Build and Strengthen Networks – Even after a Job Search is Complete!
It is also important for us to teach our candidates about the essence of networking, the importance of maintaining a network and the ‘pay it forward’ principle. Asking your network for help when you need it, also means that you can be of help to others in their time of need.
As veteran author and career columnist Harvey Mackey says:
“If I had to name the single characteristic shared by all the truly successful people I’ve met over a lifetime, I’d say it is the ability to create and nurture a network of contacts. A network replaces the weakness of the individual with the strength of a support system. You don’t have to know everything as long as you know the people who do.”