When you want to keep your career moving forward, your network is a powerful tool in your arsenal. By tapping it properly, you can gain insights, learn about opportunities, and much more.
How you should reach out to your network depends on your specific goal. If you want to make the most of your connections and ensure your relationships are benefitting your career, here are some tips that can help.
Career Informational Interviews
If you are looking to take the next step in your career or head off into an entirely new field, your network can be a valuable source of information. See if you have any connections that do or have worked in your ideal position. Then, request time for an informational interview.
During an informational interview, your goal is to learn more about the person’s career path. How did they get to where they are today? Is there anything they know now that would have benefited their past self? Did they make a mistake that they understand how to avoid today?
The goal is to gather as much intel as possible. You’ll gain powerful insights into what the path ahead may involve. Plus, in some cases, you might find out about opportunities that will help you take the next step forward.
Employer Inside Info
At times, professionals have target companies in mind before they launch a job search. If you fall in that category and have a connection at that company (even in another department), they could help you determine if that employer is actually right for you.
Using an approach that’s similar to a career informational interview, schedule a time to discuss what working for that company is like. Ask for details about the organization’s culture, benefits package, or anything else that can make it easier for you to figure out if that employer could genuinely meet your needs.
That way, if it seems like a good fit, you can start pursuing opportunities with greater confidence. But, if it turns out it isn’t, you can refocus your search on companies that can better fulfill your needs.
Many professionals secure new jobs by tapping into their network. You might find out about unadvertised jobs or positions posted on sites that you don’t usually frequent. In some cases, you might even be able to secure a referral, allowing you to bypass the traditional application process.
While your network is a valuable resource in this regard, you should only tap it when it’s appropriate. Reaching out to a contact you haven’t spoken to in years and requesting a favor might not go over well. Instead, you should focus on your strongest connections, as they may be more inclined to help.
Additionally, you should spend time rekindling your other relationships. Reach out to see how they’ve been and see if there is anything you can do to help their career. Often, people are more willing to help those who’ve given them assistance before, so invest now so that you can have the support you need when the time arises.
Arse you looking for your next opportunity?
Ultimately, all of the tips above can help you make the most of your network. If you’d like to learn more about advancing your career, the team at TRC Staffing Services can help. Contact us today and see how our career management expertise can benefit you.