Article By Tokunbo Fasoro
“The job you want may not be advertised at all” I remember at some point in my life, I took sometime time off work to have my baby and was ready to get back to work. One day I was with a neighbor, while chatting I mentioned that I was ready to get back to work. A few days later she called me and asked me if I was interested in a role. She said to me that the position just opened in an organization she was presently handling a project for, that the MD just mentioned it to her. She immediately told the MD about me and I was scheduled for an interview and that was how I got the job. “The job was never advertised, my network got me the job”
Lots of times, many jobs are not advertised. People get jobs through referrals all the time. You just might know someone that knows someone that can get you that dream job. Social media have connected lots of people together, you definitely will have people in your network you have not seen years, some may just be acquaintances, old classmates, colleagues etc, there will be definitely someone on that list that can help you or know someone who can. The Blackberry and Whatsapp broadcast have become very popular in Nigeria and many organizations and employers advertise via social media and also by the word of mouth these days.
- Draw up your network: Make a list of the people in your network, from family members to neighbors, friends, colleagues, church members, old classmates and even acquaintances on social media. See……… you know lots of people, and these people can connect you to more people who have an available job connection or know of one.
- Reach Out: After drawing up your network, start-making contact with the people in your network let them know you are seeking a job. How will they know if you don’t tell them? Be specific on the kind of job and ask them if they know anyone in a relevant field. You just will be amazed at who they know. You can start with people who like you and endorse your abilities, character and track record.
- Build Relationships: Networking is about building relationships, making connections, sharing information, and reaching out to people. IT IS NOT ABOUT WHAT YOU WILL GET OUT OF IT. If you go in with that parasitic mindset, believe me, people will sniff out your ulterior motive a mile away!! If this process is done properly, the benefits come after. Just make sure you are real, considerate and you have done a proper research on what you want so you can respond to inquisitions with ease and confidence.
- Take time to maintain your network: Do not get what you want and take off. Maintain the relationship; you just might not know where you will need them again.
- Give Back: Networking is a two way street, don’t always be a taker, always look for an opportunity to give back. A thank you note, asking about their families and supporting their accomplishments, life events and activities go a long way in cementing these relationships. You can also visit occasionally to see how they are doing.
Everyone has a significantly influential network, you just need to identify yours and service it right for it to serve you right.
The most important professional outing we do is networking.