“The richest people in the world look for and build networks, everyone else looks for work”, – Robert Kiyosaki.
You’ve heard it before, “it’s all about who you know”. As an early career candidate, we don’t graduate from college with a rolodex of professionals with job leads. It’s up to us to get out there and meet new people who will hopefully, lead us to job opportunities. Networking is one of the most important aspects of job hunting.
Making connections with those who may not see the world exactly as we do allows us to expand our knowledge, and ultimately our networks. Networking means getting outside of your comfort zone and your inner circle of friends. Talking to people you don’t know well will trigger new ideas and job leads.
Mark Granovetter, a sociologist and Stanford Professor did a study on a group of people in Boston who had recently started new jobs. He wanted to see how their networks fostered their social mobility. In the completion of his study, Granovetter determined it wasn’t peoples closest friends that helped them with jobs leads. “Rather, more than three-quarters of new jobs had come from leads from contacts who were seen only ‘occasionally’ or ‘rarely’.”
As humans, we have a natural tendency to stick by those we are most comfortable with. But as research shows, those acquaintances we are not so close to or comfortable with are those people we need to be reaching out to. Dr. Ivan Misner explains, “Networking is more about ‘farming’ than it is about ‘hunting’. It’s about cultivating relationships.” As early career candidates we need to get out there and build a foundation of personal resources. Broadening our network is the key to establishing a professional connection. Remember, it’s all about who you know.
Simple steps to take to start networking ….
- Reconnect with an old friend over coffee – it might lead to something!
- Ask a friend to connect you with someone they know that you could have an informational interview with. Find out what they do for work, what they like about it, etc.
- Attend a Networking Event!
To learn more about networking and mastering the transition from college to the working world, we recommend the book, “The Defining Decade”, by Meg Jay.