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Has networking ever worked for you?

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  • Sep 13th, 2018 9:13 pm
[OP]
Member
Oct 24, 2009
239 posts
50 upvotes

Has networking ever worked for you?

I am thinking of reaching out to individuals for brief chats on career and for opportunities they might be aware of, as I have been in my current role for two years and looking for my next move.
However, I do recall that networking has never worked for me in the past, either because I wasn't assertive enough or didn't follow up enough. What are some of the suggestions you have to make it productive?
43 replies
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2011
22529 posts
9129 upvotes
Ottawa
Yes, I hired both of my direct reports as a result.
Deal Fanatic
May 29, 2006
9123 posts
1770 upvotes
my view on networking is not so much from a job hunting view, but a industry view. I go to quite a few conferences, and I find the networking portion is by the far the most important, I learn from peers in the industry, make a lot of vendor connections, it has led to a lot of purchasing for my company.
Deal Addict
Mar 21, 2010
3993 posts
857 upvotes
Toronto
Think about why they would want to network with you, and one step further, help you in the future. How are you finding these individuals? Don't be one of those people who try to connect with random people on LinkedIn they've never met or have any connection with, who have a really desperate sounding status title and you can tell just want to get a job, any job, from you. Network with people who actually have a reason to know you - former coworkers, mutual friends, clients, vendors, specialized in the same industry, etc. How can you help them? What can you share? They're not going to help you just because you're assertive or push them for a follow up - make them want to follow up with you too, and the best way to do that is to create value going both ways.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Nov 15, 2004
15601 posts
2043 upvotes
Toronto
Professional networking? No, because I find it difficult to ask things of professional contacts.

Personal networking with the people I used to get drunk and do stupid stuff with back in the day? Absolutely. I've landed 3 jobs because of old friends who are now in established positions.
Could HAVE, not could OF. What does 'could of' even mean?
[OP]
Member
Oct 24, 2009
239 posts
50 upvotes
Manatus wrote:
Jul 5th, 2018 3:05 pm
Think about why they would want to network with you, and one step further, help you in the future. How are you finding these individuals? Don't be one of those people who try to connect with random people on LinkedIn they've never met or have any connection with, who have a really desperate sounding status title and you can tell just want to get a job, any job, from you. Network with people who actually have a reason to know you - former coworkers, mutual friends, clients, vendors, specialized in the same industry, etc. How can you help them? What can you share? They're not going to help you just because you're assertive or push them for a follow up - make them want to follow up with you too, and the best way to do that is to create value going both ways.
Lol...one of the approaches I was planning on was to randomly reach out to relevant individuals on LinkedIn. You are right, it would make me desperate which I am certainly not.
How can I assure them of my value unless I am given a chance to prove it? Not all of us produce results in tangible numbers (due to the nature of the job we have) that we can use as evidence of our value. I know I can deliver and I know I am dependable, but how can I convince them that this is what I bring to the table, other than just by claiming it?
Member
User avatar
Mar 7, 2010
467 posts
48 upvotes
Scarborough
Personally it worked for me. At industry events, you meet the same people over and over. Built relationships, asked them to be referral. Later on, there was an opportunity to work with one of them.
In the Soviet Union - It takes more courage for one to retreat than to advance
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Mar 23, 2008
7119 posts
4067 upvotes
Edmonton
"Networking" is a pretty fuzzy term. But as a contractor, I regularly hit up my LinkedIn connections as contracts expire and I'm looking for a new gig. Which is probably why for the past 8 years or so, I've gone back and forth between 2 companies.

C
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Dec 3, 2009
5263 posts
715 upvotes
Toronto
Networking as said in the OP "reaching out to individuals for brief chats..." would seldom work. As mentioned earlier it is a fuzzy term. Most of the time, if it isn't a networking event it's not like going out fishing. It's something you do throughout your days/weeks/months/years working and talking to people in your induatry.


There are people that try random networking and leads to all sorts of mixed signals. Like that one girl that used to work with an OP that posted in the OT forum a couple months back. She "wanted to have lunch with OP" and just confused the hell out of the poor guy.
Remember to be an RFD-er and NOT a degenerate.
Jr. Member
Feb 7, 2018
150 posts
52 upvotes
Toronto ON
If you plan to reach to random people on LI, at least write a short message always starting with "Hi [Person Name]!". You write what do you want and why do you want it from this person. I always ignore requests from random people with out messages. With a message, depends - if it sounds reasonable, why not. But job hunting trough networking... not sure it will work. For sure you will expand your network. And if you lack a profile picture or if your picture does not look professional enough, you risk ignoring too.
Member
Dec 11, 2013
298 posts
173 upvotes
Toronto
DelusionalDiva wrote:
Jul 5th, 2018 1:42 pm
I am thinking of reaching out to individuals for brief chats on career and for opportunities they might be aware of, as I have been in my current role for two years and looking for my next move.
However, I do recall that networking has never worked for me in the past, either because I wasn't assertive enough or didn't follow up enough. What are some of the suggestions you have to make it productive?
You have to build somewhat of a real relationship with the person, and they have to respect you and your ability. You can't be calling around to people that vaguely know you and expect to get anywhere.
Deal Addict
Sep 4, 2007
1192 posts
591 upvotes
Edmonton
I try to network quite a bit. It can be hit or miss. When it hits, it's enormously valuable.

In the last few years there are three really specific instances where networking helped... sort of. Two times I applied for a job and, by chance, I met the person who held the job but was on their way out. Through networking, I was able to get the inside scoop on the work, the players, even documents, etc, which really helped my interviews. Didn't end up getting either job, but still. Another time, I applied for a job and I was at a networking event specifically hoping to run into someone at that organization. That paid off and I ran into a person was on the interview panel. We had a great chat. I learned a lot about the organization and the job. Interview went well, but I turned down the offer.
Deal Fanatic
Dec 11, 2008
8640 posts
794 upvotes
I don't do it since my career just isn't required and I don't enjoy it but my husband is pretty damn good at it and I honestly think his success is partially built on that. He even "networks" at his current company all the time.

His tip? Ask questions, know that not only you get help but you need to help too. It's usually a two-way street of some sort. Also improving your profile can help as people have a small sense of who you are before agreeing to meet you.

As for just cold-calling people, I personally think it may work better if it's usually done through a contact or recommendation.
[OP]
Member
Oct 24, 2009
239 posts
50 upvotes
Thanks everyone for your input.
Let me start off by reaching out to some individuals I have met before (either introduced by others or have interacted with them during my role) and see how it goes.

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