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Network or No Work

 

When I'm interviewing candidates I often get asked, "What should I be studying or doing to get a competitive edge in new career opportunities?" My response is often, “Find ways to invest in you. It’s about creating ‘Brand Me’ and raising your profile, and the best way to do this is by attending networking events, having meaningful and valuable connections, and optimising your professional digital presence.”

Networking – both online and at events – is something expected of everyone today, whether you’re a business owner or an employee. I think we all agree on some level that it’s 'Network or No Work'. Networking used to be so taboo, yet today it’s considered to be part of everything we do.

I've always loved networking. I think it's in my DNA! I enjoy meeting new people, sharing experiences and collaborating on new ideas. If you’re not sure where to start, check out organisations like Business Depot and Inspire Café. Both have co-working share places and are massive collaborators. The QUT Creative Enterprise Australia (CEA) business hub takes a similar approach. Another way to find the right network for your sector is through Meetup groups.

I've been attending a weekly networking event for over six years and I know it’s given me so many opportunities that I would not have had if not for being in a room with like-minded people wanting to help others. That’s a key to successful networking. Bring an attitude of “What can I give?” and the rest will take care of itself.

You’ve no doubt heard the saying that we have two ears and one mouth, so when you’re at an event, use them in that order. (In other words ask questions and then listen!) Think about ways you can add value before proceeding to talk about yourself. Have fun and smile!

In the online world, remember that what goes on Facebook or LinkedIn stays there forever. So make sure you think twice before posting. Even more importantly, if you’re frustrated at someone or something, write a response by all means, but sit on it for 24 hours. Then come back to it and, if you still feel the same, check your content to make sure it’s appropriate and polite. If you’re happy with your content and confident that it’s OK for the world to see it, only then is it OK to post it.

Remember too, that Facebook and LinkedIn are completely different platforms, so use them correctly. For LinkedIn, please, no wedding photos or pictures of the big fish you caught; save it for Facebook.

Candidates who live by these networking principles tend to do well. And I know my reputation as a recruitment professional is safe when I recommend them to my clients.

 

About the Author

With more than seven years’ recruitment experience, Catherine Neville has an enviable national network to draw on when recruiting in her chosen field of sales and marketing. She is a true specialist, with a deep understanding of her practice area.

Catherine’s long-standing relationships in the industry are a testament to her commitment to quality outcomes, both for her candidates and her clients.

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