Most people think of “What’s in it for me” when they think about networking, especially when it has something to do with finding a job. This is a natural thought, because the end result needs to be a job and a means to survive. However, a mindset shift of “How can I help others” will really have more long-term positive effects than the short-term focus of yourself.
Here’s how to develop a positive mindset about networking, and greater success with the job search process.
1. Think about what you can offer to someone else.
It’s easy to engage in networking activity with the thought of only getting something out of it. But if you go to a networking event or start networking with others online, it will become very transparent if this is your only goal. Instead, go to a networking mode with the thought that you would like to find ways to serve other. Think about the value that you have, and how you can help others rather than take from them.
2. Consider all the connections you have and how they can help others.
Also consider the connections that you have within your social, professional, and educational networks. Chances are, there are people who may complement each other and are worth introducing to each other. Use your networks in a more positive way and you can expect that others will think of you when they have someone to refer. This can work in your favor during a job search.
3. Develop a professional brand that’s above your immediate needs.
It’s easy to go about developing a personal brand that is only about your career or your passions. But this does not necessarily serve you as a job seeker. Instead, think about ways that you can develop a brand that appeals to others and their needs. This is a similar approach that sales professionals use when trying to attract prospects – you must speak their language in order to be effective as a networker.
4. Get outside of your comfort zone about networking – try new methods.
Networking is not just about sitting at a computer behind social profiles. It’s about stepping outside of your comfort zone and attending local networking events, business mixers, and industry conferences. It’s about volunteering in your community and giving something back. Learn to develop a strong pitch for yourself and again think about how you can serve others. The people that you meet will be happy to learn about you, if you put yourself out there.
At Casey Accounting & Finance Resources, we focus on your area of expertise to find the right job opening for your skill set. Contact our award-winning team today to partner with top financial recruiters in Chicago.