Self promotion doesn’t come easily for most people, and in fact you can easily be labeled as being too pushy or arrogant in some instances. You don’t need to be pushy or arrogant to move your career forward, far from it.
Many people are reluctant to stand out from the crowd or try to be noticed. As a result these people are potentially overlooked for promotions and opportunities, because no one knows how good they are or what actual specific skills they have. Because they are not visible or well known by the decision makers, there are times that someone of lesser ability secures the position or project.
If you want to increase your visibility within your organization or profession, you don’t need to be pushy, or monopolise conversations.
It is important to see yourself as a product, which needs to be marketed. You need to sell yourself and let others know about your special qualities and talents.
Research shows that only 20% of employment opportunities are advertised in Australia. Networking largely makes up the remaining 80% of job placements. Whether it’s sourced through an executive recruitment firm search, word of mouth referral or the third cousin of your sister’s best friend — the job is filled by someone known by someone else!
Effective internal and external networking is critical in a competitive talent market.
Networking is not only a strong source of opportunities and contacts to further your career, but it is equally an invaluable tool to build and develop alliances in business.
Networking isn’t a process of making the “dreaded” cold calls to people you don’t know. It’s making contact and talking to people you do know or asking them to introduce you to others you would like to know. Smart networkers acknowledge that they don’t need to know everyone. They do need to have a network of key players, who on a mutual request basis, can tap them into the key people they need. These key players are often referred to as spheres of influence. They are people who know a little bit about a lot of things, and a lot about one or two things (usually their area of expertise or interest). They are proficient at sharing the piece of information that their contact needs. Most importantly, they share that information freely, knowing that one day, they may be the one doing the asking.
Networking is a life skill, not just something you do when you want something.
Follow the universal law of giving without expectations, master networkers give without remembering and receive without forgetting!