If you have been following my adventures for the last few months you will probably be aware that I’ve been in a bit of a transition period of late. Going from my PhD studies to finding a job. A journey that I thought I would document for your amusement, enjoyment possible inspiration and general enlightenment into the world of the job seeker.
Not up to date with the this particular expedition?
Ready? Awesome, now where was I?
So I was looking for my next move, doing all the right things and actually getting a couple of interviews for jobs that I thought I would actually really enjoy (#jobgoals right there). Apparently, I wasn’t quite what they were after. Their loss. I mean who wouldn’t want to have little old awesome me working my magic for you?
Sometimes, however it isn’t what you know it is who you know.
They say up 80% of jobs openings are filled through networking or word of mouth.
A.K.A who you know.
Now I’m not one to believe everything I read but when I think about it I basically got my very first job (a swimming teacher in case you were wondering) because of who I knew. Yes I still had to interview and my superior ability to teach people how to swim obviously stood out but I wouldn’t have known about the opportunity if it wasn’t for my coach putting me forward.
Fast forward a few years and it seems that my network has helped me out again and I’ve been lucky enough to get a temporary/internship-like opportunity in a consulting firm.
An area that I haven’t ever considered going into but the project seems pretty interesting and it’s a brilliant opportunity to get a good look at a possible career without being locked in.
So maybe this whole networking thing is the way forward after all right?
Ooooo there’s that big scary buzz word that everyone goes on about and the reason why you signed up to LinkedIn.
That dreaded skill we all must learn because without it we will never get very far up that lucrative career ladder.
Now I’m no expert but I’ve come to realise that it’s usually just about having a chat with someone and finding out what you have in common and perhaps if you can helps each other out.
Hmmm, OK so I made that sound like a lot of hard work.
It could be depending on how you look at it.
The hardest part is starting the conversation but once you start all those worries go away. It’s a little like starting a conversation with a stranger in a bar – like dating but for jobs. In the same way the more you do it the less awkward it gets and the better you become at it.
You could instead look at it as ‘collecting people’ (think Professor Slughorn from Harry Potter). You will be awesome at something but not everything (I apologise if you are in fact awesome at everything) so wouldn’t it be pretty sweet to know someone who could help you with something your not so awesome at?
Then perhaps you could help them out and boom you’re helping each other up the ladder.
So next time you find yourself looking for a new job perhaps you’ll be able to use those new contacts of yours to discover those ‘hidden’ opportunities.
Until Next time