In this special Question & Answer session, I take us on a journey where I break down the why, how, who, and what of networking. Many people miss out on opportunities because they do not know how to network.
If you want to learn more about how the Happy PharmD career advisors can help you improve your career through networking, click here to book a free assessment with a coach.
According to the book, “Career Development and Counseling,” one of the most important variables in job search and coping with job loss is job-seeking support. Based on research, those who network are likely to find out about job opportunities that are not posted, are likely to get job offers, are more likely to gain support when unexpected job loss happens, and are more likely to be referred for jobs.
Networking is a healthy habit and is a means of taking care of ourselves. Like every healthy habit, it has to be done consistently to see its results. On a personal level, networking has helped me connect with awesome individuals I go to for advice and has led to many of the hires I have made at the Happy PharmD.
I posed the question of why networking is so hard on LinkedIn, and from over 500 responses, “what to say/ask” was the most challenging part of networking.
How do you network?
It is about giving value first and shifting the focus away from you to the individual you want to establish a rapport. This approach works because giving value first makes it much easier for the other person to respond positively. The easiest way is by complimenting and not asking for anything in return. In his book, “Givers and Takers,” Adam Grant explains that people who want to take first have a scarcity mindset and are less likely to succeed. However, those who give first are more likely to succeed because they focus on helping others first.
Who do you network with?
According to a survey by Linkedin, of those who get new jobs on the platform, only 11% have first-degree connections. Further career research has revealed that your second-degree connections are the most valuable people to network with. One reason for this is that there is more at stake emotionally when a friend recommends you for a job. The right set of people to network with are your second and third-degree connections with whom you have weak ties and so little at stake for the relationship.
What do you say when trying to network?
The easiest and best way is to go simple. Interact with active people who are – posting, commenting, and carrying out other activities, especially on a platform like LinkedIn. Interact with their posts or comments directly or send them a direct message (InMail on LinkedIn). Be careful not to ask for anything at the first instance.
If they are not active on LinkedIn, send a direct message telling them what you admire about them and the company they work for, acknowledge how busy they are, and probably chip in that you would love to get on a call with them or reach them via mail.
If you want to get better at networking, you can book a free call with one of our career advisors at the Happy PharmD today. We will be glad to assist you on your career journey, just as we have helped hundreds of other pharmacists get ahead in their careers.
Alex is the Founder of The Happy PharmD. He loves anime, his family, and video games, but not in that order.