Does Networking Really Work?Posted: March 13, 2021
Maybe you’ve been looking for a job for a while, and you are getting frustrated? I can understand that, but I need to stress networking really is the key. I have worked for 14 different organizations in my life. Three were before I graduated from college and the rest make up my professional career. I have applied for at least one-hundred jobs, online or via mail, and I’ve had lots of interviews; but I have never been hired because I responded to a job posting.
I got my first job at age 14 by asking about a help-wanted sign in the window of a fast-food restaurant. One time I found a job through a professional recruiter. Every other job I’ve had, I found through networking. Each time, someone I knew suggested that I talk with someone they knew, and those introductions led to an interview, and to a job offer.
It’s also important to understand that I don’t quit jobs very often. Seven of the organizations I have worked for asked me to leave due to position eliminations, business closings, or changes in ownership. Once, I was recruited away, and once, I left a part-time job for a full-time job. And twice, when I couldn’t find a job, I became a one-man consulting company. So, I needed to learn to network.
You should also know that some of my transitions were quick, and some were not. The first time I got “fired” was my first job out of college. The bank I worked for was about to be sold and I was told on the Monday before Thanksgiving that my department was being eliminated and my job would end after Christmas. The good news was that I got to be a stay-at-home dad with my infant daughter for a month. And, I networked into a better job before my severance ran out. Twice, I was able to identify a new job before the current job ended, so I easily moved from one to the next. One time I looked for three months before deciding to give consulting a try full time. One time it took me 13 months to land a new job.
So, I get it. Job search can be frustrating and exhausting. You may find a job quickly, or your search could drag on, and on. And, while you need to work with search firms and to apply for jobs you see advertised, networking is the key. Through networking you can learn more, reach more people, and find jobs that are never advertised (six of my jobs were never posted).
From my experiences I wrote a book. If you are struggling, this might help. https://im-fired.com/about-the-book/