Everyone dreams of a better future and yearns for a pathway to get them there. Networking, rather than a traditional approach to job seeking by applying for jobs via job boards and recruiters, is one sure-fire way how to unlock the hidden job market and propel your career into the stratosphere.
Did you know that that around 80-85% of jobs filled are not advertised at all? The converse of that is that only 15-20% of all jobs are advertised. So, the better you are at unlocking the hidden job market the better your chances will be to propel your career onwards and upwards where you may not have had the opportunity through more traditional and more difficult to contest job seeking strategies.
Here are 4 tips to apply when networking and unlocking the hidden job market.
Find time for networking.
What if just a few minutes each week was the difference between your job search success or failure? How might you do that?
I suggest that carving out micro-blocks for networking activities can be a big help. Networking is definitely one of those extras that tend to come to mind on a Friday afternoon as an afterthought. A moment when you think “oh I ran out of time this week, but I’ll definitely make time next week.” But allocating only micro-blocks of time means you won’t even notice that networking impacts your schedule. Micrco-blocks work well for scheduling even the smallest of networking tasks like making a phone call, adding someone on LinkedIn or sending an email with the article your contact may find useful.
Use your wait time wisely.
Everyone has wait times. These are networking opportunities that are ripe for the picking. Think of commutes, waiting for a breakfast order, waiting for a meeting or event to start – basically any time that you might ordinarily spend browsing Facebook or news channels just to fill it in. Using your wait time wisely also ties in perfectly with micro-blocking. You might be able to find 5 minutes of regular wait time in which you can send an email, add someone on LinkedIn or make a follow up call. It could be a solid hour that allows you to research and connect with people with whom you want to reconnect, and for the more adventurous among you, it might even be an opportunity to strike up a conversation with the person next to you. Who knows what that might lead to?
Change your lunch habits.
How easy is it to get caught up in the habit of eating your lunch at your desk or in the office tearoom every day? Sure it saves some time and you can get back to work faster but there aren’t a lot of other benefits. But what if instead, and your budget allows it, you eat your lunch out at least once a week? You can either intentionally schedule lunches with those you plan to work with or make it a last-minute decision to see who’s available in the moment. You might even find yourself eating with someone you rarely speak to at work which is ideal if you’re looking to grow your network. Lunch is the perfect opportunity for you to get to know someone better in an informal setting and it utilises your time wisely.
Do 5-minute favours.
Again, career networking does not need to be a big commitment. Five-minute favours are small ways to add big value to someone’s life.
So, what are some of the things you can do in 5 minutes? Here are plenty of options. You could:
- write someone a testimonial or recommendation on LinkedIn
- make an introduction between two people you know
- share a contact’s article on LinkedIn
- take the time to give someone feedback when they mention something they need help with
I can guarantee that if you use these four helpful tips, you’ll not only network better but reap the benefits of your networking activities and propel your career into the stratosphere by unlocking the hidden job market.
Career365 can help you with your career networking
At Career365, we provide career support for aspiring professionals like you through proactive services.
Our career consultants focus on you as an individual seeking career happiness.
We provide a host of resources, career books, online modules and coaching programs to support job seekers across a range of vocations and industries, supporting those who want to live a fully enriched career.
In particular our book, Career Networking, how to unlock the hidden job market, is a proven step-by-step process for honing your networking efforts, including when and how to connect with people for you career success. Wherever you are in your career, you can harness the power of networking to move to the next level.