Looking for a job – personal interactions
Trying to find a new job usually causes anxiety, at least on some level. Change can, and usually is, a positive, but the process of that change can cause worry and feelings of uncertainty. In the current climate, this may be more common than ever before. In a world that is currently filled with things that are out of our control, I think it is important to remember that there are always things we can control, and when it comes to job hunting, that can be making sure we do all we can to ensure the best opportunities are available options to us.
Being in the right place at the right time is a common anecdote of people and how they have found a job. This can’t happen for everyone, but being in the positon for this to happen can be half the battle. ‘Networking’ is a term used for the interaction between people to exchange information and develop contacts on a professional or social level. It may not seem to be a vital part of employment, but in recent years the focus has shifted on finding out just how many jobs are filled by it. Upwards of 70 percent of people are found to have taken their current position due to networking.
To be honest, when I think about networking I have a stereotype from films where people are smartly dressed at a party and are introducing people to others they know. They talk about who they are, what they do, and where they work. However, this is just a stereotype because networking doesn’t always have to be so formal – it is actually about connecting with people – which can be carried out in much less formal settings. It isn’t just about new people you can connect with either, it can also include the strengthening of existing connections people may have such as the people you have previously worked with or even just met.
Connecting with people who could potentially help you in the future doesn’t always have to be about what you can gain from the connection, it can also be about showing what you can do for them. Volunteering for a role or offering your help could be something that is remembered in the future, and could lead to possibilities you didn’t even know existed. It can also enrich your CV and give you something extra to discuss with others when talking about your job, or even in future interviews.
Personal interactions when networking also do not always have to be in person. There are websites that allow for networking, and there is also the option of communicating with people via email. Asking the question of whether people or companies are looking for new employees, or if there are any new opportunities in the pipe line can be a good way of initially connecting with someone. It can also show confidence as you are being proactive in looking for new opportunities. Confidence is one of the key attributes that is valued by employers, and by expressing what you can do for the employer in an initial email could show this.
Looking for a job is not always a fun experience, but it can be made better by knowing what to look out for and how it can be made better. Researching what you want to do, and then how you can get there, can be invaluable to getting where you want to go. Even if you want to completely change job fields, starting to network can help you focus on who you should be talking to and what you should be doing to ensure you are going in the right direction to get the job you want.
Sarah Keeping MBPsS MSc PgDip GDip BA (Hons) Cert HE
Follow Sarah on twitter at @keepingapproach