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Networking and Career Development


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Networking and Career Development by Linda Allaway - Career Management Consultant, Hudson Human Resource Consulting

Published in: Business
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Networking and Career Development

  1. 1. Networking and Career Development Linda Allaway Career Management Consultant October 2005
  2. 2. Objectives By the end of this session you will want to remember these 4 things: 1. Networking is about building and maintaining effective relationships to open doors 2. Giver’s, not taker’s, gain the most benefits from networking 3. Strong skills, knowledge, attitudes and hard work will ensure career doors stay open 4. On average, you can expect 3-5 career changes in your working life, so maintaining employability = career success
  3. 3. Networking and Career Development • We are networking whenever we associate with another person, although we don’t generally realise it • Because we often don’t consciously network, we often don’t do it well Therefore, in order to be effective in our networking strategy, we need to be clear in our purpose and actions. So what is the purpose of networking?
  4. 4. Networking and Career Development What is Networking? • Effective networking is all about building effective relationships with people, from which will hopefully flow business opportunities and referrals • It is about developing yourself as a centre of excellence or expertise and building relationships with like-minded people, bartering your experience for that of others • It’s a two way street – a reciprocal relationship • It is a technique to identify & open doors on potential opportunities
  5. 5. Networking and Career Development Integrity in Networking Are you a “taker” or a “giver” in your networking relationships?
  6. 6. Networking and Career Development “Takers” tend to: • Talk mostly about themselves and what they do • Ferret out information from people without giving useful information back (ie., quizmaster or interrogator) • Erode the relationships till they crumble “Givers” • Seek out opportunities to supply other people with information and referrals that may be of use to them • Are remembered positively by others • Strengthen relationships
  7. 7. Networking and Career Development • To gain the most from your networks be a “giver”, therefore create an impression about you that will: • Foster trust in you, liking and a willingness to refer you to others • Therefore, check that your “packaging” is right • Consider the impression you are making, both in terms of your physical presentation and your behaviour
  8. 8. Networking and Career Development Impressive networkers: • Remember names • Provide openers so it is easy for others to find things to talk about with you • Are good listeners and show genuine interest in what the person has to say and in what they can do for them • Look for territory of mutual interest • Use humour appropriately as an ice-breaker • Make a point of following up • Actively seek to pass on things of interest (eg., information, useful contacts, referrals, guidance, encouragement and other forms of simple support)
  9. 9. Networking and Career Development Who makes up your network? Potentially everyone we make a connection with: • Family • Friends • Business associates • Industry association members • Customers • Fellow club/sporting group members • Community/neighbourhood members • and so on
  10. 10. Networking and Career Development What’s happening in the employment market? • Today’s employees will change careers 3-5 times and may have many jobs in their lifetime! • Experience has shown that around 50% of our candidates (those who have been retrenched) get their next role through networking.
  11. 11. Networking and Career Development For your career development, this means you will: • Build upon your existing relationships and develop new ones with people in your target organisations and industries to gather knowledge and make yourself known to potential employers • Select target organisations on a specific criteria: eg., industry, size ($, staff), types of jobs, location, market performance, growth potential, leadership, corporate culture and it should match your specific career interests, values, career motivators, and competencies
  12. 12. Networking and Career Development So is networking alone enough? • Networking is one strategy to help you move between careers and jobs – the door opener. • It takes skills, knowledge, personal attributes and effort to be successful in the role! • This brings us to the concept of ‘employability’
  13. 13. Networking and Career Development The concept ‘employability’ implies lifelong learning to: • refine existing skills • develop new skills • acquire new knowledge •maintain an open and flexible attitude • take personal responsibility for career management
  14. 14. Networking and Career Development Learning can take on many different forms • Formal education – TAFE, Uni and private colleges • Offered in flexible formats to meet busy lifestyles (eg classroom, work-based, correspondence and online options) •Work experiences - different roles, companies and locations • Life experiences • Coaching and mentoring support
  15. 15. Networking and Career Development So prepare, plan and act now for your next career move. The key questions to consider are: Where am I now? Where do I want to be? What do I have to do to get there? Who can help me?
  16. 16. Areas of Specialisation • Think about your career interests and life goals • Make realistic assessment of skills, knowledge and experience • Set some S.M.A.R.T goals (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-bound) • Enlist support • Demonstrate commitment through your actions • Check your progress and refocus Reflect Assess Plan Resource Act Review
  17. 17. Networking and Career Development Therefore • You need to be prepared to move to next job or next career choice at short notice. The timing may or may not be of your choosing. • Maintaining your employability will give you greater flexibility and confidence when you are forced to or choose to make career change. • Remember skills and knowledge take time to develop so be realistic with your plans
  18. 18. Networking and Career Development Let’s recap – I promised you at least 4 things from today: • Networking is about building and maintaining effective relationships to open doors • Giver’s, not taker’s, gain the most benefits from networking • Strong skills, knowledge, attitudes and hard work will ensure career doors stay open • On average, you can expect 3-5 career changes in your working life, so maintaining employability = career success And as a bonus, today is an opportunity to meet some great people and to have fun with networking.