Networking is a lot like a spider web. You spin out threads and see if anyone pulls on one. People will send you queries that they run across or an opening that they think you might fit. If you’re lucky, there’s a connection and you get at least an interview if not the job itself.
When I was younger, networking consisted of who you or your family knew. My first job as office help in a factory was because my father knew someone who worked as the office manager. My job later as a collar setter in a coat factory was because my neighbor worked there. I acquired a job in the bank in the processing department through a family friend. That’s also where I found out that I was slightly dyslexic so that job didn’t last very long. Transposing numbers when processing checks isn’t something that makes a bank very happy. My job working in a floral shop, which would gradually define my career as a floral designer, came about because my mother was a customer and was asked if she knew anyone who wanted a job. She did..me.
The interviews for these jobs would be sometimes formal or informal depending on the job. I would always make sure that I mentioned the person who told me about the job or got me the interview. Just so there was a little bit of pull in my favor and maybe it would influence the decision, networking at its best.
Networking is a little different now. You still need to know people but with the interaction online, it doesn’t even have to be someone in your town. Job opportunities open up and you can follow them through the company’s website. A friend may twitter you about a job or someone may contact you through Facebook. You can have your own website for the entire world to see. You can find jobs through newspapers that are online. There are also job boards, like Nexxt, that have listing after listing for you to go through. The opportunities to network are unlimited.
If you are an employer, you can post jobs online and have applicants fill out the application online. You can read through them, make a decision for them to come in for an interview without even having seen them in person. They can send resumes, samples of their work and whatever else you would need from them without you even leaving your office. The working world has become smaller.
Now that I’m a freelance writer for a living, I find the web very helpful. I can browse through several sites that have freelance job listings. I have writing sites that send jobs to my email that I can look through. There are listings on job boards and in writing magazines. I have a website of my own; I have a LinkedIn account and a Facebook account. I belong to The Horror Writer’s Association and The National Association of Professional Women. I’m building up my platform for more exposure through networking. My spider web is strung up and waiting for the plink!