Sometimes a person is hired or gets an interview for a position based on who they know rather than what they know. Networking, to me, is essential in order to get interviews through LinkedIn, friends and colleagues.
My Networking History
When I started my first job at BIG RETAIL, I did not network properly. I did not know how to schmooze with co-workers from other departments. I should have looked for a proper mentor to help me with this. Instead I hung out with the “cool kids”. The coworkers I looked up to were the party guys because that was what I was still used to doing since I just graduated from college. They were not the best role models because they were often late to work, called out more than others and were irresponsible at their jobs. I socialized after work but didn’t go out of my way to network with experienced colleagues who can help me with my career.
By the time I matured and “grew” up, I got the job in Corporate and I started over with a clean slate. Fortunately I listened to older colleagues regarding behavior and career advice. I still socialized after work but in a more responsible way.
When I moved to my current company I had a better grasp on how to network. I spoke to everyone, regardless of the department they worked in. I tried to learn a little about their job and themselves. I like to be social so I realize that this might not be easy for some people. At this time became involved with the company intramural basketball and volleyball leagues. I organized the schedules and drafts for each league and most importantly, I got to meet so many people. All departments (finance, sales, news gathering, technology, etc) participated in the leagues.
Other ways how I have networked was by volunteering at events, meeting up with coworkers at the holiday party (and after party) and by joining Toastmasters.
I cannot promote LinkedIn anymore than I already have. It is a great way to have an online resume, connect with current coworkers and reconnect with former coworkers. LinkedIn has many local events that allows industries meet up and share war stories, problems and solutions. I was at an Axapta event and learned how that accounting system is used with different companies and sectors. I have also received several interview requests based on my experience and skills.
Do’s and Don’ts of Networking
- Join LinkedIn or other networking sites
- Be active within your social groups (company sport teams, Toastmasters)
- Volunteer at work events (charity events, holiday party organization, become a fire warden)
- Do not lie on your LinkedIn account or your resume
- Do not get drunk at coworkers at the Holiday Party or after-work events
- Do not act unprofessionally with coworkers at non-work events
Do you use LinkedIn or belong to local industry groups? Do you help friends/colleagues get interviews with your employer?
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