When you peer into your crystal ball, do you see a career move in your future? If yes, you’re in good company. Twenty-eight percent of people surveyed by University of Phoenix hope to change jobs within a year and are either actively looking or will consider a move for the right opportunity. Your success in landing the best job hinges on the people in your network, the colleagues and friends who will alert you to new opportunities before they are posted and introduce you to their colleagues who are influencing decisions or doing the hiring.
Who do you want to add to your network? It’s OK to blur the lines between your personal and professional life. If you are female, you’ll see in this excerpt from a recent study, Understanding the Dynamics of Network Inequality that it’s especially important to think strategically and approach events with a plan that targets the specific attendees you want to meet. In an experiment at an I. T. conference, attendees received an e-mail with networking recommendations from the conference organizer four days in advance. In the control group that received generic advice, “women met fewer new contacts, spent less time talking to them, and added fewer connections on LinkedIn” than men did. However, naming specific (though randomly selected) attendees to connect with allowed women to increase “the number of new contacts met by 57%, the time spent talking with new contacts by 90%, the number of connections added on LinkedIn by 29%, and the odds of changing jobs in the 12 months after the event by 1.6.”
Looking for a networking recharge? Checkout Andrea Nierenberg’s 9-step I.N.C.E.N.T.I.V.E system.