Maintaining and expanding networks
Table of contents
Networking in job seeking
Many workplaces seek employees through networks. The larger the network you have, the more likely you can hear about interesting positions and the more likely it is that the recruiter knows someone who knows you as well. So, there are several reasons why we should build and maintain our own networks.
Networks are built over time from the people who we see in school, while studying, in our hobbies and at work. When we move to another country, we usually need to pay special attention to building our networks. This is often the case when we move back to a country where we have not lived in a long time. When moving to another country, in addition to job seeking, networks are important across various other areas of life: gaining new friends and acquaintances and settling down to live in the country.
Networking takes place organically as we meet other people. However, you could (and should) grow your networks in a variety of conscious ways as well. Networks are not built in a day. Instead, you should intently work on them.
Job seeking can sometimes feel lonely, especially if it takes a long time. Networks can provide empowering peer support.
Only a minority of people feel that building networks is one of their strengths. If consciously building networks feels difficult to you, do not let it discourage you. Both building and making use of networks is something you learn as you do it.
- Two-way interaction is a good starting point for networking
You should ask for tips and support, but also remember to give it back to other people – this way, the networks can benefit everyone.
- Maintain your network
If you have not been in contact with someone for a long time, the threshold to get in touch with them may feel steep. Therefore, you should remember to look after your networks! Keep in touch with your contacts and ask them how they are doing from time to time, for example, by email or by suggesting a meeting if possible. You should also tend to your social media networks. One thing that may help with that is participating in discussions and responding to questions that other people have asked.
- Activity and initiative are key
Do not hesitate to contact other people and take the initiative.
Networking in work life
Expanding and maintaining networks is also vital for people who already have a job. We should also not forget to maintain our existing networks. On the other hand, it is good to remember that our networks slightly change over time.
In the work community, we naturally encounter and meet new people, and the networking happens organically. We should nonetheless try to be active. Especially when we start at a new job, we should invest in taking the time to know the others there and take the initiative.