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Looking For A Job? Here Are Two Sure Ways That Can Help Secure A Job.
How diverse is your network and have you tried using your network to get an opportunity? IMAGE COURTESY/
Money & Career

Looking For A Job? Here Are Two Sure Ways That Can Help Secure A Job. 

The 2020 pandemic has seen lots of job cuts and businesses shutting down. People who already had their jobs in check have now been forced to look for newer opportunities or new ways to stay relevant to the fast changing job market.

Then there are employers who, to maintain their companies, have been forced to merge departments or look for industrious people who can do more than one job for the company. But even so, many people are still filing for unemployment and jobs are scarce globally.

But, there are two sure ways that can help you land a good job despite the fact that not so many companies are hiring. Truth is, regardless of slow recruitment is nationwide, there are companies hiring and sometimes, all one needs is that recommendation or word that can put them at the centre of that opportunity.

Currently, networking with people in your industry and job hook-ups from the same people or people in your circle are the sure fastest ways one can use to get a job. But few people put themselves out there or dare to ask their networks for job recommendations or work opportunities.

However, here are some of the dos and don’ts when networking or asking for job hook ups and how best to make them work for you effectively as advised by career coach Hellen Maina.

IMAGE/ Career Coach Hellen Maina.
IMAGE/ Career Coach Hellen Maina.

It is important to note that all your contacts contribute to your social capital and can all be helpful in your search for employment. While your family and friends, who are your close connections, believe in you and will go to all lengths to find the opportunities and speak on your behalf, sociologists suggest that tapping into your outer social networks can bring more value and mean more than you think.

In 1973, Mark Granovetter, a Harvard professor wrote a paper, ‘The strength of weak ties’ aimed to show, one’s outer circles, who he called weak ties, are more likely the people one needs in their professional space.

‘’They will bring to us more opportunities and new challenges than our inner or close ties, who are the people we spend a lot of time with. Our friends and family form the circle of our strong ties and more often than not, will have the same beliefs that we subscribe to.

They also know our values, achievements and capabilities and because they know you well and believe in you, they will connect you and vouch for you to the right people.

On the other hand, because family and friends are in one’s inner circle, more often than not, they will offer you opportunities that you already know of, thus limiting your ability to think broad and out of the box.

This also limits your ability to challenge the status quo because you fear creating conflict between the people you care for deeply.’’ Explains Career coach Hellen Maina.

However, sometimes connecting with the right person, can help you land an opportunity, the challenge most people have is getting into that person’s space or contact list.

When looking to network with a specific person, you need to be genuinely interested in what they do rather than being quick to talk about yourself.

Know how their company is fairing or performing, achievements or new developments in the company and use this to initiate a conversation. Once you understand what their pain points are and where they need support, it is at this point that you can share how your skills can come in to solve that problem.

Avoid being vague, be specific about that skill you posses that will add value in that organization. Also avoid being over aggressive when you have been offered an opportunity to have a conversation.

In case you are reaching out via email or rather an online platform, follow the same approach, show genuine interest on what they do, highlight why you are reaching out and make sure you end with your request, so that they know what they are meant to do.

Ensure you also use professional language and make sure you end the email with your contacts or how they can reach you.

There are instances when someone will offer to help you or recommend you to a certain company or organization for an opportunity and sometimes, due to the nature of their busy schedule, they may forget, and it takes you to remind them or do a follow up with them for them to help you.

Some wait for this follow up just to see how serious one was with looking for a new opportunity, but what are the limits when following up or calling someone for an opportunity they had earlier promised you?

According to career coach Hellen Maina, ‘’the main reason why you should reach out to people when you are looking for jobs is for them to connect you to their networks. It is important at the beginning to provide clarity to the person on what kind of opportunities you are looking for; the role and even the industry to avoid situations where they send you opportunities that do not match what you are looking for.

That way, you will be able to apply for roles that closely match your skills and experiences, thereby giving you a higher chance of getting shortlisted. Through this approach you will be in a better place to initiate the calls to give feedback as opposed to this person having to call you regularly.’’

Being clear from the beginning also gives the other person an idea of what you are looking for as opposed to them seeing you as being ungrateful and picky when they flood your inbox and emails with job opportunities that you will never apply for.

Also ask yourself, when someone searches for your name on Google, what will they find? In the current digital space, you need to build a credible and professional brand.

There are a variety of online professional networking platforms that allow you to show your qualifications, skills and work experiences, depending on the industry that you are in.

‘’For example, for software engineers, Github allows you to share your code, Behance is where graphic designers and other artists can share their portfolio and LinkedIn allows all professionals to create an online CV.

Recruiters now use LinkedIn to search for candidates. It’s important to keep your profiles updates at all time with credible and relevant portfolio. Where the network allows, having the CV there is just not enough, engagement and activity matter as well.

LinkedIn for example allows you to post, share and like articles which in turn give you more visibility to a wider audience, even those you are not connected to.’’ Adds Career Coach Hellen Maina.

Regardless, if you are looking for a job, get word out in all your networks and network with people who are in the field that you are looking to get in, you never know, your next employer may be a phone call ask away.

Hellen Maina is a People, Operations and Career Consultant who is passionate about creating thriving workplaces for employees and meaningful and true careers for all. Currently, she is co-creating a platform that is leveraging technology to innovate the way we approach job searching.

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