Networking is a very practical way to help get yourself back into the workplace, even if you have been away for a while. I believe that women and men have real natural strengths when it comes to networking and it’s all about playing to those strengths when you are job hunting. You have more avenues of opportunity than you realise!
One method is to join formally arranged networking events, either locally or nationally. Find a suitable eventalong your contact details in the form of some business cards. Make sure you have a specific plan in mind when you go to the event. For example, you want to talk to as many people as possible about the type of work you do – or want to do. Your aim is to find out all you can about your local competitors and so on. These events can yield great results and it’s amazing how many people you can connect with.
But I’m also thinking about the more informal day-to-day things that you can do. Talk to your friends and your local acquaintances. Speak to people that you meet on a day-to-day basis, perhaps at the school gates. Have a chat about what you’re thinking of doing and the role that you’re looking for.
You’ll be surprised how much can come from this. Think about how many times in the past you have had a similar conversation about something that you needed or you wanted and you’ve ended up getting it because word gets around. Whether you believe or you don’t that these things happen for a reason, it’s excellent networking practice.
Apply this approach to your job hunt
Informal conversations can be very effective. You might uncover opportunities that aren’t even being advertised. You do need to be on that grapevine to hear about them. People talk to their partners over dinner and your name comes up in conversation. Word gets around about the type of role you’re looking for.
You may need to give occasional reminders to people. Not continuously but so they keep you in mind. And make sure that they know how to get in touch with you when something does come up.
Good luck and let me know how it all goes.