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It’s Who you know, stupid

August 9, 2009

It’s a well known common fact that 80% of the available jobs are not advertised. Imagine that. What we find online and in (local) newspapers is the other 20%. So, only a meagre 20% of the job openings are published!

Makes you wonder what happens to the ‘quiet’ 80%, doesn’t it? Well, I learned that these openings are filled through mere networking. Yes. Networking.

Networking for a job

Networking professionally is new to me. When some time ago a friend of mine told me he doesn’t need a résumé to find himself a job, I thought he was kidding. He barely finished his studies and we all need résumés. How else can you show your track record and convince an employer of your abilities?

Well, this dear friend proved me wrong. He landed himself a job. A very good job as a matter of fact. Not by what he knows but by who he knows. Moreover, he did this in a time when there’re a lot of job seekers struggling with the job market recession.

Though I love my friend and I’m happy for him; it didn’t seem fair to me. For I know that there’s an experienced job seeker out there with an impressive track record who never stood a chance. Simply because he didn’t have the right contacts.

New outlook

So what made me change my mind? I haven’t. I still feel the same way. What’s now different is my outlook on networking.

#1 – Comes naturally. Since ‘our networking event’ (see Use or lose it) in July, it dawned on me that I’ve been doing it all my working life. Not for a paid job, mind you, but for voluntary work. I’ve always called up people, asked around and followed up on contacts and leads. That’s one.

#2 – Authentic. What I also learned is that networking doesn’t have to be a hard and unauthentic activity. Sure, there are sharks around who’ll only respond to you for what they can take. And immediately write you off if they feel you’re of no commercial or strategic value. I’ve met a few.

But the on the whole, most people I meet while networking are very generous and kind. And I really enjoy the contacts. I learn with each conversation.

#3 – Changing forces. Thirdly, social (online) networking is not only changing the way we educate (see Life is worth Learning), it’s also changing the forces on the job market. Proof of this is the prominent role LinkedIn is now playing.

Last year’s summer, I had about 2 to 3 job interviews a week through Monsterboard. I really felt the big change this spring. My mobile just wasn’t ringing. Very depressing.

#4 – Peace. Most importantly, networking brings me peace. I want to grow into a silver-haired gem in the employment of my dream match organisation. And I truly believe that networking will get me there.

Networking: a perfect start

The people I’m now connecting with are mostly LinkedIn contacts. I do realise that networking alone won’t cut it. As a steppingstone though, I think it’s perfect.

Here are some links on the subject you might find useful.
English:
The 30 Second Pitch: Success Stories
Professional Networking… (LinkedIn discussion – Users Only)
The Jobseeker Network

Dutch:
Het vinden van een baan via online netwerken
Netwerken om een baan te vinden
Wat je móet weten over netwerken online
 


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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Sarah Renaerts permalink
    September 9, 2009 14:17

    Evita,

    I totally agree. Networking is effective in finding opportunities. Through your network you can find vacancies that are not ‘public’ (yet) and you can work your way into an organisation through connections. Something that would be difficult without connection. But -in the end- you still need the right competences of course.

    Kind regards,
    Sarah

    Like

  2. Abani Kumar Satapathy permalink
    September 8, 2009 05:37

    Evita,

    I completely agree with your views. I believe that, the talent helps initially where as the networking helps finally to enter in to a right job.

    Thanks & regards
    Abani

    Like

  3. Martin Lopez permalink
    August 12, 2009 20:57

    Evita,
    I have to agree that networking is the best way to get a job. As a matter of fact, my best jobs came through networking, and as a result of volunteer work as well.

    Best regards,
    Martin

    Like

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