Prioritize Networking for Career Bests

Networking takes time and effort. And for many, the idea of networking is equivalent to hearing the sound of fingernails being dragged across a chalkboard. The reality is that networking is essential and you should make it a priority. Here's why.

(Source: StockMonkeys)

(Source: StockMonkeys)

Glen Llopis wrote a great article on how networking can be a great professional boot camp. In the article he discusses the competitive edge that networking gives and the disadvantage you'll be at if you don't network: “The more you procrastinate, the more you will find yourself disconnected from the opportunities that may potentially advance your career or allow you to meet the right people.”

Another reason to prioritize networking: It can help you get a job. According to Dr. John Sullivan, author, professor, and thought-leader, the odds of getting a job you see posted online are pretty slim — about 1:100. Your odds of getting a job via your network are much more promising. ABC News reported that 80% of jobs are landed through networking. A recent survey found that 46% of active candidates and 49% of passive candidates found employment via networking. Another study found that half of all jobs in the United States are filled through personal contacts.

Interestingly, research has also shown that the bigger the network size, the bigger the salary. Specifically, the study found that a 50% increase in network size accompanies a 3.8% increase in salary with respect to the average.

Moreover, Kathryn Minshew, founder and CEO of The Muse and The Daily Muse, points out that “Networks are powerful, and when done right leave you surrounded by a core of individuals who are all rooting for your success and happy to help you.”

Something to remember as you go out there and network — contacts aren’t something to just collect like stamps or pennies. Rather, your network is a body that needs to be nurtured and fostered.

6 comments on “Prioritize Networking for Career Bests

  1. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    January 24, 2014

    I think the trouble with most networking efforts are that many people are looking for immediate results. What can you do for me? I think that being proactively helpful to people in your network is critically important. Later on, your chickens will come home to roost, as they say.

  2. Eldredge
    January 24, 2014

    @Hailey – Exactly right. We often don't think about networking until we are involved in a job search, but it is important to build your network before before that time comes, and with a view to benefit others in our network. Relationships are always a two way street, and that is critically important in networking relationships.

  3. Eldredge
    January 24, 2014

    @Rich – absolutely – like any relationship, a healthy dose of sincerity is a necessarity foundation.

  4. _hm
    January 25, 2014

    Netwroking is always good. It is nice to talk to mentor and mentees and exchange ideas and take mutual help.

    However, most job getting filled-up with networking is big compromise on quality and concept of equal opportunity.

    Once organization is above 40-50 people threshold, they ought to give add for recruitment to get most suitable candidate. If they give this add, they must give all candidate equal opportunity to get screened and interviewed based on thier qualification and experience. Networking is good that they introduce to these opportunities. But, selection of candidate beyond this point must be based on qualitties.

    If one recruits because of networking, its is biased and it is against ethics of equal opportunity.

    You may realize this more when you miss opportunities because of these reasons.

     Lond term result is that organization becomes mediocre and shorter life.


  5. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    January 25, 2014

    @Rich, i think there are always people in the game who are gaming as you say. At the same time, it's a numbers game. Sure, you'll run into people who are in it for themselves and who drop you like a bad habit if they think there's nothing in it for them. At the same time, you just need one person with the right contacts to move things forward. It's always worth a shot.

  6. Eldredge
    January 26, 2014

    @ hm – I usually think of networking as the strategy for the job seeker, not the employer…but, employers use networking as well. Many, if nor most, companies offer an incentive to their employees to recommend candidates for open positions. But that is only the start of the process – all of the vetting of qualifications, interviews, and analysis should still occur.  When tehy don't, as you point out, they may not get the best candidate.

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