I have always networked, even when I didn't realize that I was doing just that. I love to learn from people and I am interested in finding out new ways to do things particularly if this learning will make the path smoother.
There are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to networking that I would like to dispel. This post shares 3 myths that need to be dispelled about networking.
MYTH 1: You need to be advanced in your career to network
FALSE! The best time to network to advance your career is NOW.
A lot of early career and even students assume that you network when you have a job and/or a career that's just not true. My previous post on 5 reasons why you need to network to level-up your career, I talk about the benefits of networking. One of the ways in which networking can help you early in your career is meeting interesting people eventually shape your career path OR open your eyes to career possibilities that you didn't think possible.
MYTH 2: You should only network when you're actively looking for a job
FALSE! The contrary is actually what should happen
By all means network when you are actively looking for a job. However, know that if you are DESPERATELY looking for a job, it will show and this will hurt your networking game. Just like in dating, networking while desperate puts people off. The best time to network is when you have nothing that you are actively looking for as it allows you to genuinely learn about an organization or explore a career path. Now if you ARE actively looking for a job, take a step back and give yourself the space to get a job if the bills need to be paid and then turn your energy into finding something that meets both your passions and your responsibilities.
MYTH 3: You should only network with people in your immediate circle
FALSE! There are no hard and fast rules about NOT reaching out to people outside of your circle. While an introduction often helps it is not a necessity. If you ARE going to reach out to people you don't know, introduce ourself and let them know how you found them: internet, company website, social media e.g. linked in. Let them know what you would like in a couple of brief sentences and ask them to connect you with someone who may be able to help you if they are no able to. This way you have the opportunity to learn from someone you didn't previously know and you tap into their network.
When we made the crazy move from Montreal to Ottawa, a manager friend suggested that I COLD EMAIL people who worked in public health. This was scary for me BUT I did it. In my email I asked if they were willing to share my information with someone who may be hiring. Out of 10 people I emailed, ONE responded and said she wasn't hiring but that she knew a Director who might be given my profile and his work. Guess what? When I emailed the director, I mentioned the previous person and said Ms. X mentioned that may be looking for someone with my profile. Long story short, I got invited to chat, got interviewed as they were indeed looking to staff for positions and got the job.
Networking is a tool that can expand the employment possibilities. Over this month I will be sharing various lessons so you can level-up your career by expanding your network. I will also have templates exclusive to subscribers.
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