In ever-changing modern work life, it is imperative that professionals work to become the most effective employees they can be.
To be do this effectively there are a plethora of skills which professionals are required or encouraged to develop, many of which are provided through some form of training whether it be technical school, college, or on the job training. It has been theorized that because learners are partly supported in their learning by interaction with their peers as well as their teachers, an essential life–long learning skill they need to develop, is the ability to find and to connect with relevant others to enhance achievement in way that would otherwise be impossible, (Johnson, 2008). In recent years this idea of making connections with other professionals in their perspective fields to improve future potential work potential has taken on the name of professional networking. The result of this networking is a personal professional network created with the intent of supporting the development and growth of professionals’ careers. Professional networking creates an opportunity for candidates to distinguish themselves, provides greater access to both the hidden and visible job market, and creates professional performance improving opportunities in ways that would be otherwise unavailable to even the most effective and competent employees no matter what their previous training. Professional networking is critical to the success of the modern-day employee, as is told by the aphorism “It’s who you know, not what you know”.
It was found that 70 percent of people in 2016 were hired at a company where they had a connection of some sort (LinkedIn, 2017). Whole there is continual debate on the existence of the “hidden job market” and to what degree it affects job searches, the numbers speak for themselves. No matter how many job positions are or are not put out to the public, knowing someone always helps.
It has been decided that the idea of “80% of all jobs aren’t advertised” is a myth, and on entry level positions the number is actually closer to 38% (Blaine, 2012). While this is certainly a immense decrease from the fabled “80%” it is still an impressive figure. To put a percentage into perspective that nearly two in five entry level jobs that are not advertised to the public. This number increases monumentally when you are look at higher level positions. Attaining access job opportunities is just the tip of the social networking iceberg.
While there are many factors industry leaders attribute their individual success to, a reoccurring influence cited is that of a mentors. Effective networking means that one will meet experienced professionals and experts in sectors relating to their field of work. For those at the beginning, or even the middle of their career, getting insight and advice from those more experienced can be one of the most valuable resources available. Existing professional networking services such as LinkedIn can be incredibly efficient and beneficial systems to help connect with others to ask questions and create a relationship with possible mentors. A comprehensive understanding of one’s sector is critical to professional success. Working communicating with others in your industry, which is a great opportunity to learn about the latest moves in your industry and stay abreast of major developments.
While networking in the sector that you are most closely related to is both the most convenient and probably to happen, networking in other related sectors can make you a better employee and greater asset to your employer. Knowing how other industries affect your company helps create new ideas to benefit companies or entire professional fields through collaboration for efficiency. In fact, 35% of LinkedIn users said that messages starting through LinkedIn have lead to new opportunities such as business deals and cross-company collaborations.Some are quick to write off professional networking as a critical skill that needs to be developed as much as things like teamwork and communication however they are sorely mistaken. Over 80% of job seekers say that their network has helped with their job search (Katharine Hansen, Ph.
D, 2014). Networking contacts can help with more than job leads. They can provide referrals to or insider information about companies you might be interested in working for. They can provide information on career fields you might want to explore or what the job market is like on the other side of the country. Your network can give you advice on where to look for jobs or review your resume.
The possibilities are endless.