One of the things that there is an abundance of online is articles about networking. There are articles talking about what networking is; how to build a network and why you should have one; in fact I’ve added to this pile with my last two blog postings. So to buck the trend a little what I would like to do for this posting is to share four things that networking is most definitely not.
Networking is not…..
Begging for a job:
Seriously, it’s not; people and especially employers are more inclined to tune you out or try and avoid you if you keep pestering them for a job. Yes at one time they might have admired your perseverance but now they have scores of people doing the same thing so enough is enough.
A quick fix:
Many people think that the moment they start networking, job offers will start appearing. The reality is for the majority of people it takes time to build up a network to a point where you can receive referrals and use it to generate employment opportunities. How long will vary from person to person but the average is counted in months not days.
Only conducted online:
While sites such as LinkedIn have made it a lot easier to research and make connections with individuals / employers it will never take the place of a face to face meeting. It’s at those meetings where we can use tone / body language to express ourselves much more vividly than we could through an email. Also some of those potential connections may not be using the same sites that you use or even have the time to use them at all. So while online networking may be easier don’t sacrifice meeting people offline.
Your only option:
This follows on from the last point as there are a few different job search strategies that job seekers can use depending on the type of work they are looking for. Too many times people will advocate networking as the “be all and end all” of someone’s job search. The reality is though that even within networking there are several different types and there are other job search strategies that someone can use. Something that I recommend to clients is to try one job search strategy and if it doesn’t work try something else. Otherwise you’ll end up beating your head against a wall wasting time you could spend doing something productive.