Why Networking Doesn't End When Your Job Search Does : Under30CEO Why Networking Doesn't End When Your Job Search Does : Under30CEO
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Why Networking Doesn’t End When Your Job Search Does

| January 22, 2010 | 21 Comments

A few nights ago I attended a Networking event hosted by a new organization called Schmoozd.  When I arrived there I met the CEO of a startup and he asked me what I was looking to gain from the event after I told him that I had a job. It made me start to think about the fact that so many people only network when they are looking for a job. This is a huge mistake that should be avoided at all costs.

5 Reasons you need to Keep Networking

Referrals: Given the current economic conditions, hiring by referral is bigger today than it’s ever been in the past. Even if you do have a job that is going great, you can’t always predict the future. If the rug gets pulled out from under you unexpectedly, it’s good to set yourself up for a soft landing. Continual networking will enable you build a group of contacts that could be potential referrals for your next role and help you speed up the process of finding your next gig.

Potential Business Partners: If you are an entrepreneur or not, networking well lead to a number of potential business partners. For example, let’s say you are a salesperson and you meet somebody who needs the exact product you are selling. The relationship you establish at a networking event could make the difference in who that new customer makes his or her purchase from. If your an entrepreneur looking for opportunities to collaborate, a contact you meet at a networking could open that door for you.

Income: In his book, The Luck Factor, Brian Tracy said that he could actually measure his income in proportion to the number of people he knew. Every time his network of contacts doubled his income doubled. The reality is that you are going to need the help of other people no matter what your long term goal is. The more contacts you have in your network, the more resources you have available to you when it comes to reaching your goals.

Lend a Helping Hand: If there’s one thing you should do if you are networking and already have a job, it’s to lend a helping hand. Let’s say you meet somebody who is looking for a job in a a particular field. After you meet that person you might meet another who is looking to hire somebody that matches the background of the first person. By providing somebody with that referral you are going to form a very strong lasting relationship. There is a law of reciprocation that makes people feel compelled to return such favors. In that moment when you need a helping hand, it’s highly likely that your gesture will not be forgotten and that person you did a favor for will do everything they can to help you.

Make new friends: One of the other things I enjoy about many of these networking events is the opportunity to make new friends. Once you are on a friendship level with somebody, the likelihood that they will want to help you out in your business efforts will increase dramatically. As adults we often get too caught up in sticking to what we know. But, if we can keep growing our social circles, this will lead to even more opportunities for person and business success.

Just because you have found a job, it’s not time to stop networking. In fact, if anything, it’s time to take it the next level. You now have another valuable asset that you can utilize to give tremendous value to the network you are building.

Srinivas Rao is a personal development blogger at The Skool of Life where he writes about self help, spirituality and personal development through his love for the sport of surfing. He’s a recent graduate of the Pepperdine MBA program and has a bachelors degree in economics from UC-Berkeley. He is currently working as a social media strategist for online travel site Cheapair.com

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  • http://Under30CEO.com Jared O'Toole

    It's interesting to see how many people spend hours and hours on job boards and submitting resumes rather then old fashioned networking. I wonder if these people put as much time into networking as they do surfing the online jobs how much more successful they would be in anything they pursue.

    Sometimes its the person at the desk next to you that is your big ticket but if you never strike up a conversation you will never know!

  • http://www.theskooloflife.com/ Srinivas Rao

    Jared,

    I will honestly say this. In the end my job was the result of submitting a resume. But networking was actually a valuable skill that I brought into an organization. I realized if I had started networking and going to events right when I was in my last semester of business school I would have probably not had such a long job search. I think you bring up a great point about striking up a conversation with the person next to you. That could be applicable to many things in life, not just careers.

  • http://twitter.com/ClintonSkakun Clinton Skakun

    There was a quote by Zig Ziglar that rings a bell here, “most people stop looking for a job just after they get one.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/DrewPeneton Drew Peneton

    Srinivas – This is so near and dear to everything I preach to my readers!

    Jared – your comment also adds a great point. Job boards are like throwing a stack of resumes into the mailbox, and nailing one to every light pole, hoping someone picks it up and decides you look better than the 1.5 million others they have seen this week.

    The key is networking, and there are even more ways to do it than there are reasons why you should. This week I had a guest poster on Boots-to-Suits talk about professional associations and their benefits. In my opinion, these are one of the biggest advantages to a new job, and a clear-cut example of why you shouldn't stop networking.

    New Job = new opportunity to interact with another community. Capitalize on it!

    Some people might be a little apprehensive about striking up a conversation with someone new, but honestly, what is the worst that could happen? When you realize the potential gain vs. the non-existent loss of making a new acquaintance, you'll become aware of what is truly out there waiting for YOU!

  • BarbaraHart

    Excellent points. I've found that those in sales or managers and owners of small companies understand why they should continue to network, but those non-sales folks who work for larger companies tend to get sucked into the corporate culture and ignore what is going on in the market. I propose a 6th reason: To keep up on the popular culture of local business. The people who know about new companies moving into the area, which organizations have won awards, or how the local election may affect downtown development will be sought out for advice, referrals, and business. Networking helps increase your local knowledge.

  • http://www.theskooloflife.com/ Srinivas Rao

    Drew: thanks for the kind words. The job boards are getting more insane and wasteful day by day. In the end while I submitted a resume for my job, the thing that made me stand out was my online presence. My CEO saw that I grew my blog and had a tangible assett of my skills. Professional associations are awesome and as my budget increases I plan on getting connected to more of them. Some include the local chamber of commerce and possibly the American Marketing association. It's funny I think my networking is actually going to increase now that I have a job. I'll be sure to check out your site :)

  • http://www.theskooloflife.com/ Srinivas Rao

    @BarbaraHart: I definitely could see that. I used to work in sales and ironically I didn't do any networking then. It was only the complete scramble in a job search that made me realize that I need to constantly be building a network. Having your eye on the pulse of the business community is another great thing. I learn valuable skills every time I attend a networking event.

  • http://Under30CEO.com Jared O'Toole

    You have to be in that “whats the worst that can happen” mindset. It never hurts to strike up a conversation or to ask if they know anyone. The people who put themselves out there are the ones that succeed but they will also tell you they had failed a million times before.

  • BarbaraHart

    You are so right. When I worked as a traditional recruiter, one of our premier Maine companies merged and re-organization happened. None of the folks I met with had attended any networking events and very few subscribed to or read the excellent local business paper. They knew nothing of the outstanding growing companies who had been in the news for months. I found it very frustrating.

  • http://www.astudentoftherealestategame.com/ Joe Stampone

    Srinivas, great post. Networking and relationships is so much more than finding a job, it's business. Two of my favorite books are “never eat alone” and “who's got your back” by Keith Ferrazzi where he discusses how to add to your bottom line through better networking and bigger relationships. You can't be successful on your own, a seismic shift is taking place – we're moving from isolation to community and collaboration.

  • http://www.theskooloflife.com/ Srinivas Rao

    Better yet, you should probably be in the “What's the best that could happen” mindset. Then you interpret reality in a whole different way.

  • http://www.theskooloflife.com/ Srinivas Rao

    “You can't be successful on your own, a seismic shift is taking place – we're moving from isolation to community and collaboration.”

    Great quote which I plan to use in the presentation I'm giving at my Alma Matter in two weeks :)

  • http://twitter.com/justathought99 Katherine Moody

    This is a great reminder of the power of networking for life! When I knew nothing about a job I had just talked my way into, networking inside and outside the company was the only reason I succeeded. Thanks for the post that hopefully everyone will print and tape up on their wall.

  • http://www.facebook.com/DrewPeneton Drew Peneton

    True, Jared! Its not only networking, its consistency within. Not everyone you meet is going to be your #1 fan, but that's no reason to avoid talking to someone you've never met before. If they like you, they'll buy from you; your time and talents are the greatest asset you have to offer.

  • http://under30ceo.com MattWilsontv

    I think of a resume as a networking tool–something that allows you to get in the door. If you have other ways of getting your foot in the door, then by all means use them. Forget GPA, it only says to your employer “yes, I'm bright and can absorb information”, I'd much rather hire someone who was a true go-getter and hustled to get in the door via networking.

  • http://under30ceo.com MattWilsontv

    I agree Clinton–why stop looking for opportunity after you find your first one? If anything you should be looking for this opportunity to snowball into bigger ones.

  • http://www.facebook.com/DrewPeneton Drew Peneton

    True, Jared! Its not only networking, its consistency within. Not everyone you meet is going to be your #1 fan, but that's no reason to avoid talking to someone you've never met before. If they like you, they'll buy from you; your time and talents are the greatest asset you have to offer.

  • http://under30ceo.com MattWilsontv

    I think of a resume as a networking tool–something that allows you to get in the door. If you have other ways of getting your foot in the door, then by all means use them. Forget GPA, it only says to your employer “yes, I'm bright and can absorb information”, I'd much rather hire someone who was a true go-getter and hustled to get in the door via networking.

  • http://under30ceo.com MattWilsontv

    I agree Clinton–why stop looking for opportunity after you find your first one? If anything you should be looking for this opportunity to snowball into bigger ones.

  • http://www.worksourcesite.com Part time jobs

    This post is extremly fascinating especially since I was browsing for thoughts on this matter last couple of days.