‘How did you hear about this role?”
“Oh, I actually know someone.”
I can’t count the amount of times that I have had this exact conversation with family and friends. There is definitely a hidden job market that isn’t online. When I started my career in public relations, I met with several people to discuss their roles and backgrounds. It was a great opportunity that allowed me to expand my network and determine what I needed to do to land a similar role..Little did I know that I would end up receiving a call from a communications manager that a spoke to earlier. Her department was hiring a communications coordinator and she ended up recommending me for the role. I started a few weeks later.
This is why I always believe that regardless of the industry, networking will only benefit your development.
Explore new career opportunities
As I mentioned earlier, networking can open you up to new career opportunities. Hamilton HIVE is a great option for young professionals looking to start or advance their career and professional networks in Hamilton. When I started networking, I also looked for organizations or membership opportunities within my field to network with. Plus, many organizations that provide networking opportunities for young professionals, also provide mentee/ mentor opportunities for their members.
Develop in your current role
Not looking for a new opportunity? No problem. Networking can help you meet new people, provide sales opportunities and get advice about your current career path. This advice is invaluable and can help you make decisions about your career.
Increase your connections
You are not only meeting the people in the room, but you are opening yourself up to their network. This is great if you are looking for a new role or opportunity. Keep in mind that although the person you’re speaking to might not be able to help, they might know someone who can.
Improve your conversation skills
If you tend to be nervous about your conversation skills, networking is the perfect opportunity to practice it! I remember going to a networking event with a few colleagues from school and afterwards when we were discussing the event, some of them mentioned that they just didn’t know what to talk about and it quickly got awkward. If you need tips on how to prepare for your next event, check out this great article by Entrepreneur, that discusses the 19 ways to “kill it” at your next networking event.
I hope these tips have helped and that networking will open you to new opportunities in the future! Let me know in the comments below – what is your best networking tip? Don’t forget to head over to our Twitter or Facebook page with your questions!