What “ location, location, location” is to real estate, “network, network, network” is to job-hunting. About 44% of opportunities happen via networking.
We all know we have to do it, but the truth is a lot of people would rather have root canal surgery. A group of professors from Harvard and University of Toronto decided to investigate why.
What their research shows is extraordinary. The authors say networking for career reasons, as opposed to social ones, doesn’t only make a lot of people uncomfortable, it makes them feel “dirty” .
Here’s a summary of just two of their experiments that make the case.
1. People were asked people to reflect on professional networking or social networking and then fill out a list of word fragments. The list included W – – -H and S – -P
Those who were thinking about professional networking filled out WASH and SOAP. Those who were thinking about social networking filled out WISH and STEP.
2. A group was asked to read a story about professional networking before rating their most desirable products from a list. The products that got the highest scores were all cleaning ones, such as Windex and toothpaste.
The group who read a story about social networking, looked a the same list and scored post-it notes and juice as most desirable products on the list.
So does anybody not feel bad about networking?
The study confirmed people who feel powerful, and those in senior roles, do not hold negative feelings about networking to help them with their ambitions.
Here’s who else feels good about networking: All recruiters at Bagg Professional, Bagg Technology Services, Bagg @ Your Service, Bagg Managed Resources and Turn Key Staffing Solutions.
Everyone in business has to network and we do too. We started as a family business more than 40 years ago and today we operate five thriving divisions that cover every sector –you don’t get this successful without a little networking!!
Here’s our expert list of What Not to Do so you can be sure an interaction won’t end with just a “best of luck to you,” and make you think of Windex.
What Not To Do
A lot of people overshare, but don’t: You might feel like you have to justify why you’re networking in the first place. But there’s no reason to get into the entire backstory of why you are looking for work or needing a change.
Too many details feels like too much information to the listener. You may sense, consciously or unconsciously, that your contact wants to get away which will just make you feel bad. Also, if you’re frustrated with your current situation, your justifications may come off as angry or defensive, and that makes listeners shut down.
You can’t go wrong if you stay forward-focused.
Don’t mistake a contact for a new BFF: It’s so easy to get chummy and candid when catching up or chatting informally. Without even realizing it, you find yourself sharing your worries over paying the bills or fears that you’ll never work again.
These confessions can bring you lots of sympathy, but not so much practical help. It’s sad but true that the more you admit to a lack of confidence and negative feelings, the more reluctant people are to recommend you. Plus, at the end of the exchange, you’ll feel more down than up.
Avoid going too far the other way, and asking the contact only about their vacations and kid’s soccer game: For many, it feels uncomfortable to ask for any kind of recommendation or favour, so they don’t. When this happens, people tend to walk away rightly frustrated that they blew an opportunity.
Avoid these scenarios and you’ll feel completely at ease about your exchange.
Look out for our next blog that will tell you What To Do to not only enjoy networking, but to excel at it.