It’s important to bust the myth that only senior executive roles are secured by network contacts. That is fundamentally untrue.
In a study published in the journal, Career Development International in 2012, US academics Robert L Laud and Matthew Johnson discuss tactics that result in career advancement. In their research, networking ranked very highly at sixth out of 15. In other words, these tactics can be applied to all levels, sectors and industries.
According to Sher-li Torrey, the founder of Mums@Work and career coach at Workforce Singapore, networking is essential. This is because many available jobs – especially in multinational corporations – are shared internally before being placed on a job board.
“[Therefore], the more you network in the industries you hope to join, the more possible job opportunities you may hear about.” Similarly, she also reveals that some bosses like to hire candidates that are referred by someone they already know.
“A referral is having someone make an effort to vouch for you. And the only way this can happen is through networking,” Sher-li shares.
Networking involved sharing information and making your contacts valuable resources. In addition, it is crucial to develop a valuable network over time – and not just when you want a new job.
Networks in a Nutshell
While there are many different forms of networks, they generally fall into three broad themes:
Include not only direct reports and superiors but also people who have the power to block or support a project. As well as key outsiders, such as suppliers, distributors and customers.
Provide essential referrals, information and often developmental support, including vital coaching and mentoring.
Provide opportunities to look at the bigger picture through mentoring or simply a different perspective on your organisation.
Ever turned up to a work-related gathering and realised you didn’t actually want to be there? Does the word “networking” and being faced with a large group of strangers, bring out your insecurities? You’re not alone.
According to Susan Cain, the author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, “The secret to life is to put yourself in the right lighting. For some, it’s a Broadway spotlight. For others, a lamp-lit desk.” If you prefer the latter, here are some ways to help you flourish.