Networking to get a job
80% of jobs are never advertised, so how do you find out about them?
Networking is a way to develop a list of professional contacts. You might meet these people at social or business functions and contact them later when looking for a job. They may be able to help out with job leads, offer you advice, or introduce you to other people in your industry.
Tell everyone you know that you are looking for a job and in what industry. Don't be shy to ask people to let you know if they hear about a job. Many job leads come about through networking. You might even want to have business cards printed with your name, contact information and field of expertise.
At first, networking is difficult for everyone, but it can be extra hard if you are not familiar with the culture or confident in your use of English. Remember that Australians are quite sociable people and will respect you for trying to speak the language. It's better to have a go than not try at all.
Just remember to be yourself and have a good time at social functions. People won't like it if they feel that you are only speaking with them to get a job.
Some tips for networking:
1. Take the first step
Although it is not easy to walk up to someone you do not know…just give it a try! If someone is standing alone, he or she will likely be happy to have some company. Remember that many people are in the same position as you and are often at events in order to network. You can walk up to a person or groups and simply say, 'do you mind if I join you?'. Of course they will say yes!
2. Have a topic/subject you can always talk about
The fact that you are a migrant from another country is interesting enough. However, you should also have a talking point you can always use to get a conversation started, or keep one going. Do you have a unique hobby? Do you have a funny story you can tell? We all have something great to share with strangers!
3. Ask people about themselves
We love talking about ourselves, so take advantage of that! One you get someone chatting about themselves, the door is open to keep the conversation going. You can ask about the person's job or family, or interests outside of work. A compliment is also a handy tool!
4. Eat in a group
If you are at an event or class, join a table of group of people. Simply ask 'is this seat taken?' and you will have some new friend to chat with. It is a natural way to meet a few people at once, and the conversation should be relaxed as there are more people adding to it.
5. Follow up!!
There is no point in making the effort to network if you do nothing after! Ask for a card or phone number and make sure the call or email to 'touch base' in the following days. This could be the very person who will be getting you a job!