"Networks can be the edge that you need to get your foot in the door."
A number of companies cite referrals as one of the primary methods of long term retention and even offer current employees bonuses if they can refer a successful candidate. One company we spoke to recently even hired an employees brother simply on his relation saying, “If he is anything like his brother then we want him working here!”
Networks can be the edge that you need to get your foot in the door. But how? Sitting at home or at the office dreaming about that new job just doesn’t seem to get me any closer to a job offer. Well then it is time to start moving.
Where do you want to end up working? Well…who works there already? Chances are you have some kind of connection through a friend of a friend that maybe knows a guy who lives next to someone who eats at the same restaurant as someone who works at your dream company. Jokes aside – you need to find a way to be introduced. Now…don’t be creepy (i.e. hanging out in the company lobby to “bump” into an employee) but there are strategic ways that can get you connected with the right people.
1. Research till you know everything there is to know
Whether it is through a simple google search or working your way through LinkedIN you need to find out everything there is to know about your dream company. What do they do exactly? Who works there? What is their company culture? What do they celebrate? What do they hold as their driving vision? Make notes and follow every lead there is. If there are people that you may know working there already then message them to find out more. Most people are open to a coffee to chat about their jobs if you are kind and ask for their help.
2. Go to one of the meetups that these employees would attend
Every week there are industry related meetups where people share ideas and network over common passions. There is a good chance that the company that you are dreaming to work at either has employees that host meetups or attend meetups. Find out what they are and where they are.
3. Chat to key people but not everyone
When you are looking to make a career move it is key to speak to the right people. You don’t want to throw your intentions onto Social Media as it can make you look desperate and possibly get you into hot water with your boss. Rather send a few carefully crafted emails to friends and family stating your intentions and asking them for assistance. Who knows? They may have a gem of advice to share with you that could take you one step closer to that dream job!
4. Be persistent and don’t give up!
Job hunting is challenging and your attempts to network and make key connections may turn up empty. You may even come across as a weirdo as you try to connect with completely new people. Don’t be discouraged. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. If you are serious about landing that dream job then just keep moving forward until you find what you are hoping for. You never know…you may be one conversation away from an introduction that could change your career!