Networking as one of the key components of a successful job search. As a career coach, I encourage and teach my clients to have what I refer to as “information gathering” conversations as one of the components of their job search strategy. Some career coaches and recruiters refer to these as “exploratory interviews.” Whatever you call it – networking is key to your job search success. Especially when you consider that statistically between 65-80% of new jobs are secured through referrals.
Networking and talking to people who work at companies that you are interested is all about building relationships. Learning how others got their start in their career, or what projects a company is working on, can help you focus your direction, learn about new career options, and reflect on your potential fit with an organization.
Building relationships is a powerful networking tool. Not only are you building your professional network, you could be “the” one who gets a phone call when a new position opens up. You can have conversations with people, whether their company has any current job openings or not. Keep in mind, that most companies welcome employee referrals of high-caliber talent. Being proactive in your search and making connections can help open doors for you. These conversations can bridge the distance between where you are in your career today and where you want to be.
As a quick anecdote: Remember the call I received from one of my coaching clients, sharing how she “serendipitously” received a call about a new job opportunity from someone she sat down and had an information gathering conversation with a few months ago? Well, I’m happy to report back that she secured the job offer and is now working in her dream role in a new industry!
If you want to learn more about how to have information gathering conversations, please feel free to contact me. And if you have your own “serendipitous” experience – I’d love to hear about it!