The Power of Networking
Good news! I recently started a new part time job with a startup called Subset. It's not a full time data analyst job (which I'm still looking for) but it's a step in the right direction. I'll be working in content marketing, which is the process of publishing content (e.g. blog posts) online with purpose of attracting more leads to the business. I'll be working on growing the Subset LinkedIn Page. I'll be learning about marketing and using my analytical skills to increase followers and post engagement.
But what does this have to do with networking? Well I didn't actually apply to the job. A few months ago the founder reached out to me asking me to test the product. From there we had a few calls where I offered my suggestions. We also connected on LinkedIn and he began seeing my content there. Then about 2 weeks ago the founder reached out to me to discuss working together. Through networking I was able to get this job.
Now, onto the important question. How can you network?
Well you can either do it in person or online. For in person it could be attending conferences and joining local professional organizations. Or you could volunteer with a non profit or sit on a committee. When I was a paralegal I joined a professional association of paralegals. It let me learn more about my local law firms and meet others in my field. Now, I volunteer at a local non-profit.
The other way is online. This is where I do most of my networking . The main benefits are: it isn't limited to who's in your area. Which is useful for those who live in more rural areas. It's also easier for shy people to get started since you're not meeting anyone face to face.
I use LinkedIn for all my online professional networking. You can use another platform like Twitter but LinkedIn is the largest professional networking site.
Comment on other people's posts
Build relationships before asking for help
Sending personalized connection requests to others who work in the role you want
Reach out to recruiters, hiring managers, and people in the roles you are working toward
Posting content and engage with others in the comments
To begin set a goal. Make it tangible and specific. Something like:
comment on 3 LinkedIn posts a day; and
send connection requests to 5 hiring managers/recruiters a day.
It doesn't matter how you do it. Just start.
While getting a job isn't a guarantee with networking it is a possibility. One of my connections, Diane Grair, wrote about how network got her current job in her LinkedIn post. A lot of my connections talk about the power of networking. Don't sleep on the power of networking.
By doing this everyday overtime your network will grow. The benefits often take time. Don't expect to network this week and get a job the next. Sometimes your network won't come in handy until a few years down the line. But you don't know. Either way don't discount the value of networking. It's only part of the job search process but it's an important one. If you're on LinkedIn feel free to follow/connect with me.