Friends with BenefitsNetworking has acquired a reputation way above it’s station. Don’t let the meaning get lost in your perception of the word. EVERYONE has a network, and is capable of strengthening and leveraging it.

When you think of global brands, there are few bigger than Apple.  They are renowned for their corporate culture, and for many people it would be a dream come true to work there.

Their interview process is rigorous, to say the least. The two people I know who work there both had in excess of 10 meetings to get the role.

The other thing the two people I know have in common is that they were both offered roles at Apple that were never advertised. So how did they find out about them? Through their network.

One of my friends is now in a senior role in Queensland. He was told they had been looking for the right person for 18 months. They recruited solely through the networks of employees. He would never have even heard about the role if he hadn’t known someone working there.

It’s estimated that over 70% of roles are never advertised, which means they go to people either internally, or are filled through networks. Click here for 6 more reasons networking is crucial for your career.

Many people I work with come to me specifically for help with networking. Most people know the importance of having strong connections, but still I find so many people fear networking, or have built it up to be something scary or that “doesn’t come naturally” to them.

As humans we are hard-wired to connect with people. Unless you are a hermit, it’s impossible NOT to have a network of some sort. Of course like anything else, it’s what you do with it that’s important, but the starting point for everyone who wants to build a stronger network should be to spend time working on developing the relationships you already have.
Like any other part of your professional development, having a networking strategy is key to leveraging your time and connections fully. Create your plan, and aim to make networking a part of your every-day activity.

Take time to think about who is already in your network, and what you can do to add value to them. Reach out and connect more often – we are all busy, but we need to make time for the things that are important.  Strengthening relationships and connections should be top of that list.

 

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