While Still Serving Veterans clients recognize that only 4% of jobs are found online (Richard Bolles, What Color is Your Parachute, 2015) and 80% of jobs are found through networking (ABC News). However, many struggle with just what it means to network. Here is some advice by Still Serving Veterans's Director, Bill Koch.
Networking. I hear it all the time, people know that networking is the key to success in any community, and there are tons of resources out there to help, but strangely people tell me they don’t know how to network. There are some good books out there, articles too, but people tend to not want to read so here is my opinion on the subject.
What is networking?
Networking is nothing more than meeting people and letting them get to know you. It is not rocket science. Whether you are networking because you are a salesperson, or trying to find a new career, or even trying to find a new mate. Networking is the number one way to be successful. So, how do we startour networking journey.
What do you need to network?
Nothing… but a story, a story about you. Now it helps to have a couple of tools like a business card. A business card, even if it is not a professional card provides information about you, most importantly it gives the recipient information about how to contact you. A pen and paper (small notebook) is helpful if someone wants to share information with you. You can also use your phone if you have a smart phone (and know how to use it). Those are just a couple of tools, and you’ll add others later on but this is a good beginning. Now, let’s look at the how.
How do I Network?
Attend events, socials events are everywhere in every community, join clubs. Okay you don’t have the money to do that, well networking is not restricted to events, everywhere you go there are opportunities to network. Remember, the number one rule of networking is have a story. Don’t be afraid to join conversations: Hi I am…., and you are? Not as bad start. Join groups on social media; Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are good places to get engaged, find networking events in your area, just Google networking. Most importantly, have fun, get to know new people, and let them get to know you.
The Still Serving Veterans Veteran Employment Services team is standing by to help Veterans, transitioning military, and members of the Guard and Reserve with finding a great job and a meaningful career. Please visit us at: www.stillservingveterans.org or call (866) 778-4645 and ask to speak with a Still Serving Veterans employment counselor.