Karen Lomas
September 20, 2018

Job Search and Networking.

Job search skills include active networking.
Networking is so important for ongoing career success that I’m prompted to share a story about a current job search I’m helping with. The example I offer here demonstrates the importance of keeping doors open.
My client works in the corporate sector. He has a long and distinguished career, and at the young age of 57 years is obliged to retire from his Partnership role at a top consulting firm. This is a situation confronting many top level executives in what is commonly know as The Big 4 accountancy practices.
Since being asked politely to pack up his desk, my client has been having lots of lunches. His waistline is expanding, as is his card-wallet. The lunches are for the purposes of connecting and re-connecting with past clients, ex-colleagues, and other potentially influential business people. In the past few days alone my client has received a number of calls. His phone is buzzing and so is his self-esteem, now that those lunches, or what in career development speak we call, ‘informational interviews’ are reaping rewards. One of those calls was from an ex-colleague with whom my client has had barely any contact in 10 or more years. But, by virtue of having kept communication lines loosely open, the ex-colleague heard “on the grapevine” of my client’s situation.
The lesson here is to be active in your networking. Do not under-estimate the value of maintaining contacts. It is not enough to create a LinkedIn account. That profile needs to be maintained, updated regularly and the networks nurtured. Then there are other ways of keeping contacts alive, besides through LinkedIn.
So, how does networking work in practical terms?
You should:
  • Maintain your online presence, keeping your professional profile up to date.
  • Ask to connect or “friend request” colleagues, ex-colleagues and associates.
  • Congratulate others on their promotions and new jobs.
  • Endorse others for their skills.
  • Have lunch or coffee with other professionals.
  • Attend networking events and follow-through after a conversation and the exchange of business cards.
  • Join professional associations, university alumni groups and attend conferences and reunions.

Had my client been lazy, or less than active in his networking, these calls might not be coming!

If you need to know more about job search skills and networking, contact me at [email protected]


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