The economy is bad, companies are laying off workers, the public sector is not employing and government is unable to create the enabling environment for the sustainability of the private sector. Meanwhile, our academic institutions are churning out over 250,000 fresh graduates annually. Graduate unemployment is skyrocketing.
It is not surprising that nepotism and patronage are gradually becoming acceptable practices. We have all heard that old saying, “It’s not what you know, but who you know,” and often that saying does turn out to be accurate. In times like this, it is always important to employ your networks.
Often, I get people asking me “what if I don’t know anyone?’’. Since I am a straightforward kind of person, my reply has always been ‘‘well, then you will have a hard time finding your dream job’’.
In truth and in fact, when it comes to job search, it is always useful to leverage on your personal network. But this is not the end of the road for our colleagues, who have no discernible network whatsoever. Join me and let consider what the experts recommend.
Create a list of your connections
You probably know more people than you think. Make a list of people you know – think of previous and new colleagues, friends, church members and family members. Inform and discuss your job search with your connections.
Leverage your connections
Firstly, think of your primary connections. These are people you know, you might have schooled or worked with them and they can vouch for you or be happy to refer or introduce you to others. Engage your list, probe into their professional networks on social media especially LinkedIn and ask of people they know can help you achieve your career goal.
Utilize the Power of Social Media
Social media sites especially LinkedIn are designed to help you build a network of people that could be helpful when you are looking for a job. Join relevant groups on social media sites and contribute. Post in the groups or contribute to other discussions so that people start to recognize you as an expert in your field and contact you for advice. Instead of just applying for a job, make an effort to network with people who are employed at this specific organization.
It is the consistency with which you make an effort to regularly participate in what is going on within your network, which makes it possible for your online connections to become offline relationships. It certainly takes time to participate in conversations on social media on a regular basis, but if you continue to do that, you’ll begin to reap the rewards.
Request for Career Mentorship
Finally, find an expert in your academic and in the industry you plan to build your career and ask for career guidance. Cultivate a strong relationship personal relationship with your mentor and yield to his or her instructions.
It is daunting to start a job search without a network but it is possible. Just start building your network today, so when you’re ready to find a new job, you have many people who could potentially help you.