Prospective clients ask me about timing for their JobWhiz project often prefacing their request with, “I really need to develop a network, which I do not have at all, in order to provide a fail-safe fallback position going forward. I’m ready to proceed to an engagement with JobWhiz. The issue is timing. “
This statement is followed by a list of excuses like a huge vet bill or planning a once-in-a-lifetime-trip or my favorite, “I applied to 100 online job postings and am waiting because I haven’t heard back from any so far.” My advice is to show them that finding a new job is not really their priority because they have chosen to focus on other things besides their lack of relationships, which is the reason for uncertainty about their future career progress and lack of financial well-being.
Networking is not just for when you need to find a new job
In my experience, it’s necessary to consistently develop and deepen existing relationships by Networking Purposefully (TM) and always have a strong network during a respite while engaged full- time in fulfilling role, towards the end of an engagement when a new job search looms ahead, but all your time is committed and in between assignments when there’s the capacity for more work. Thus, at any time (meaning all the time,) every one fits into one of the categories of when it’s necessary to have a network in place.
Every season is the right time for networking relationships.
If the question is, “When should I start to create a network? ” the correct answer is, “I cannot see any reason not to have a network and therefore, if you don’t have the right contact, now is the right time to create those connections.” Whenever you don’t have a network, i.e., aren’t “networking,” you are missing out on opportunities and actually, making it easier for competitors to grab the position that could be yours.
If you don’t start ASAP to create your network, you are vulnerable to suffering the consequences. Without the right contacts, you have removed yourself from among the candidates under consideration for the roles you want. The right contacts are the hiring authorities and individuals whom the decision-maker knows, likes and trusts to source talent.
It’s not just what you know, or whom you know but who knows likes and remembers you.
Unless the hiring authority remembers you or someone recommends you to the hiring manager, you don’t have access to opportunities because executives are hired for 80% of senior positions through networking, not through applications, resume submissions, recruiters or other pathways. 80% of positions that are filled are not advertised. Hidden jobs make up 80% of new hires. If you want to find a new job, you must have the right network. Since every job, today should be viewed as temporary because there is really nothing like lifetime employment anymore. Everyone must always be ready to cope with a new job search which means everyone must have the right contacts if they don’t want to eventually face a long, unexpected period of unemployment.
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