Researchers say that approximately 60-80% of jobs are found through networking. And with today’s heavy focus on social media, we have more access to our networks than ever before.
Yet, many younger generations of workers still ignore their networks when it comes to finding and landing a job.
Perhaps it’s because we’re all so used to hiding behind our computer screens, or having conversation strictly through 144-characters that we seem to have forgotten how to communicate in person.
I know that I sometimes feel extreme hesitancy to ask something of someone. I hate asking for favors, but maybe that’s human nature in us all. We want to be self-sufficient and by reaching out to others and asking them for job leads, we are essentially saying: “I need help.”
I’ve landed two jobs thanks to networking, and I’m here to tell you: It’s okay to use your network to get a job.
Who is My Network?
When you’re out looking for a job, you need to tell everyone in your network—and their mother. So who is your network?
Most people believe that networking involves meeting strangers at mixers and exchanging business cards, but your network is much deeper than that. While you can definitely rely on your colleagues and old bosses and ex-co-workers to be in your network, don’t forget about everyone else you know.
Essentially, your network is comprised of everyone you know. You just never happen to know where you’ll make a connection.
The Right Way to Use Your Network
When I knew I was getting laid off from my job, I told everyone and their mom that I was looking for a job. I of course sent out emails to all my old bosses and co-workers, and I scoured job boards like it was, well, my job, but I also told all my friends and acquaintances. I even told my hairdresser—who happened to know someone else that worked in the same field I did. I told my dentist, I told my mailman.
It was all about getting the word out because you honestly never know who knows someone that knows someone that needs someone like me to fill a position.
Why You Should Use Your Network
We’re often too afraid to ask others for help, but here’s the secret as to why you should use your network to land a job: people love helping other people.
While we may have a hard time ourselves asking others for help, the truth is that most people like to go out of their way to help out a fellow citizen.
Stop thinking that you will be a hindrance and instead think that you will bring joy by allowing someone else to help you out.