Is it possible to enter university completely unsure of where you will end up working, on to find yourself a few months to graduation with a job offer in a Fortune 500 company already in the bag?
One might say no. Personal experience tells many otherwise.
And it can be summed up in one word: NETWORKING.
Ahh, we can already hear the critics. The voices in the background with eyes rolled, claiming how they would go the “proper” and “respectable” route of finding vacancy advertisements and sending applications using a hard-earned resume and college certificate.
Well. Good luck on only relying on such respectable route to find a job.
There should be a line drawn between what is typically called a ‘cable’ route and what is called networking. We have all heard of cases where someone lands a job because his or her father knows someone and was ‘adjusted’ even though we know much better about their academic performance, teamwork, job quality and overall performance.
Heck, we’d go as far as arguing we’re the better candidates for the job.
But what we want to talk about in this article is about networking. There is a difference between networking and using ‘cables’ or special privileges to get a job. To put it simply:
- Networking means you are searching for like-minded people who share the same interests as you. If you can find mentors from the industry who fit this description, then that is much better.
- Networking does not mean you go to people in search of a job. However, you can always utilise people in your network to recommend you and network you to others; especially if they already know what your work ethics is like.
- If anything, networking is to help you keep updated with changes in the industry. This gives you an advantage with what new skills and knowledge to equip yourself with.
So, now that we have outlined our definition of networking, here is something to guide you on how to use networks to land your dream job.
Step 1:Build your network.
If possible, find seniors working in the industry that you can connect with. If you can find someone a generation above you, see if you can make this person your mentor to seek counsel and advice, especially if they are working in your dream company.
Step 2: Invest in yourself.
Join training programs, conferences and events related to your field. Use the opportunity to get to know as many people as possible, and develop good friendships with them.
Step 3: Reach out.
Inform your network you are looking for opportunities, and ask advice on how to get to your dream job, not whether or not there is a vacancy you can join. People like effort, not shortcuts. If you’re lucky, they’ll like your approach and recommend you if their company has a vacancy.
The most important thing is to be sincere. Build networks to build yourself as a person, not to exploit it purely to get something in return. Bring something to the table and hopefully, someone will return the favour.