Networking as a job seeker can sometime be an uncomfortable yet necessary experience.
The process of seeking for leads, ideas and referrals can make one feel like a beggar.
This “beggarish” feeling stems from the misconception of what many job seekers have of how great networking should work and how to network for a job.
To make networking look not only equitable but also professional, any purposed job seeker must have a change of mind and tact.
You must approach your networking opportunities with the thought of how you would add value to your contact before you get some value back.
This paradigm shift is a big game changer.
One of the greatest and most tangible outcomes of effective networking is building a valuable collection of contacts across many professions, industries, and organizations.Some of those contacts may be a great resource to some of your new contacts!
As such approaching your networked contacts with a mindset of offering to help them reach out to people that would be helpful to them is a great value and a great way to reciprocate in the process.
During the networking process, asking your contacts questions like what challenges they are facing in their position, in their company, or in their career may trigger a recollection of someone else (still in your network) that may have some insight, ideas, experience, or advice for their situation.
Finding out the kind of positions they are hiring for, even if it does not fit your expectation, it may be an opportunity for you to recommend someone else who may be a better fit and help in their hiring process.
Questioning your contacts about their hobbies, sports and other favorite pastimes may bring to mind people with similar interests that may be happy to meet others that participate in the same activities.
Asking a variety of questions about your contact will invariably lead to some ideas of how you can be a valued contact to them.
Even more importantly asking them about themselves gets them talking and makes you more interesting to them.
Human beings like talking about themselves since it makes them feel appreciated. But more so, humans appreciate those who give them the opportunity to talk about themselves.
While it may be an uncomfortable aspect of job searching, networking is and can be a powerful way to build relationships, a valuable list of contacts, and a way to be of value to everyone you meet.
So to make your networking opportunities more effective, shift your mind and conversations and engage the ‘give before you get’ philosophy.
This great approach will guarantee you a more productive and more enjoyable networking since you will end up becoming a valued asset within your networks.