Networking can really feel daunting as a result of it means speaking to strangers, however there’s one other means to do it: Just have completely different conversations with the people you’re already talking to, says profession coach Dawn Graham.
In 2002, Dawn Graham was working for a profitable world firm and making ready to transfer throughout the US to tackle an thrilling new position. Then, instantly at 5PM one Tuesday, she acquired a voicemail from HR — she had been let go.
She started frantically looking on-line job boards and making use of for any place that appeared remotely associated to her expertise. One night time, mortified, depressing and never listening to again from anybody, she bumped right into a neighbor in the elevator and shared her scenario. After mentioning a few of the corporations she was making use of to, she discovered that his colleague was married to a director at one in every of her prime decisions. He supplied to go alongside her resume.
“Within two weeks, I had an interview,” says Graham, now a profession coach, radio host and profession director for the MBA Program for Executives at The Wharton School at The University of Pennsylvania, in a TEDxJHUDC Talk. “Months of building an intimate relationship with my computer … got me nothing. One brief conversation with a human landed me an opportunity.”
There’s one perception that anybody on the lookout for a brand new job wants to recover from, in accordance to Graham: “We think that if we’re competent and qualified we shouldn’t need help finding a new job.” This is essentially due to two causes — our dread of networking and our misplaced religion in the effectiveness of job websites. “Regardless of the overwhelming evidence for networking, we’re still seduced into a linear click-apply-send process because approaching people we don’t know makes us feel vulnerable,” says Graham.
But we are able to’t hold ignoring this truth: Networking is important and efficient. “Hiring managers want to make good decisions, and they want to do it efficiently,” says Graham. “They hate hiring as much as candidates hate the job search.” They need job candidates whom they know they will belief, and that’s why they like ones who come by means of private referrals — people who’ve principally been pre-screened for them. As a end result, referrals have a 50 p.c likelihood of getting an interview, whereas non-referrals have solely a three p.c likelihood, in accordance to Graham. Another eye-opening stat: Up to 80 p.c of jobs are by no means posted as a result of they’ve already been crammed — by referrals or inside candidates.
Networking doesn’t simply imply speaking to strangers. In truth, Graham has a a lot simpler suggestion: “The simplest thing we can do is initiate career conversations with people we already know.” All you want to do is change what you discuss to them about.
Think about it: Can the people you routinely work together with — your siblings, neighbors, yoga buddies, classmates, your hairdresser, guide membership, or the regulars at the canine park — precisely describe your experience in a single to two sentences? Can you clarify theirs?” asks Graham. “I bet most people in your life have no idea what your career goals are, much less what you do every day at work. I’m not talking about surface details like you work at a startup, are a lawyer, or do something in marketing, but your aspirations and particular expertise. ”
How to begin these conversations: “Be curious about their goals first,” advises Graham. She explains, “Helping others is a great way to build relationships, and when you ask, ‘Hey, what’s one goal you have for this year?,’ most people will reciprocate and dig into your goals as well. These conversations can lead to brainstorming, introductions you might make, relevant news you recently heard, or a job you can be interested in, maybe today or maybe six months from now.”
Just keep in mind, says Graham: “Everyone you know has a network just waiting to be discovered.”
Watch her TEDxJHUDC discuss right here: