Ever have that feeling of being shocked, yet not at all surprised by a fact? I had that feeling the first time I was told that an estimated 80% of jobs are never listed. I’ll give that a moment to sink in – 80%. percent. of jobs. You still with me? Good. Those jobs are usually filled by a candidate who knew someone within the company. That probably doesn’t surprise you, but if you’re relatively new in your career, the numbers can be staggering and leave you a little bit queasy.
So now you realize networking is even more important than you might have previously thought. Recently I was a volunteer at the New York Women in Communications’ annual Student Career Conference, where industry vets share their experience and expertise with students and young professionals. While sitting in on some of the discussions and watching tons of networking take place, I started to think about what I’ve learned, what I wish I’d known earlier, and what I think everyone should know. Here’s some of the most important networking lessons you need to learn:
A little less than two weeks ago, I was called into my boss’s office on a Friday afternoon and he began the conversation with those dreaded words: “There’s no easy way to say this…”
It’s the worst feeling in the world, especially when it had nothing to do with your performance, the company just needed to downsize. Unfortunately, it’s an all too common reality these days. After my initial freak out, I put all the advice I’d collected in career classes, seminars, and school workshops into action. (In the interest of full disclosure, I’m still looking. But I’ve been told to get ready because it’ll take a few months at least. *cringe*)
Get the word out.
The old wisdom was that you shouldn’t let it be known that you’re unemployed because it makes you look desperate or weak. But with unemployment still hovering around 8% nationally, and 20% for twentysomethings and recent college grads, that stigma has really gone by the wayside. Other people must just be embarrassed. It’s not the easiest thing to admit.