Good networking is about connections, creating real relationships where there is a sharing of relevant information on a personal as well as business level. It involves finding out information about things others like, ways to help them solve problems and other information ,as networking is about them and how you can help them. It also involves sharing information about what is happening with you and your efforts about what is important in your life such as the fact that you are job hunting. It takes time to nurture these relationships so good networkers take time to develop and enhance their network contacts forever.
From a networking standpoint, an example of a good opportunity to network is during the holidays. The standard slogan of a career coach I worked with includes the only double negative that I use, “You will never not network again.” This could not be truer than during the holidays. The networking field is especially vast during the holidays. This is the time we are more likely to see family and friends in person. As you speak on the telephone; write family letter updates; post on Facebook; tweet on Twitter; post to Instagram; and gather together in holiday celebrations; remember to take time to really connect with friends and family and find out what is happening in their lives. Make notes about your interactions so you will be able to continue to find ways to connect afterwards. You never know which of their loose connections may be the one they can refer you to regarding a job they heard about. These efforts can help you become more engaged in your relationships. You may find that people you were not as close to are now people you spend an increased amount of time interacting with from a personal as well as business standpoint. Remember, as your life has changed, their lives may have changed, too. This leads to finding more common ground than before for discussions.
If you would like more information on networking and job search, please feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Andrea Goldman is the Senior Director of Human Resources at ICD.