5 Networking Tips for Non-Executive Job Seekers
Most jobs in Singapore require more than just skill sets. Having the right professional contacts in the industry can open doors to new opportunities. Be in any kind of trade, networking always works to gain knowledge about new trends, meet new people and share your skill sets.
Networking might seem uncommon in non-executive jobs but building relationships with people is as important as any other skill in the trade. It is as critical to non-executive workers as it is for any other career path
Read on to find out more tips to build and expand your network.
1. Reconnect with friends and co-workers
The easiest way to begin networking is to start connecting with people you already know.
Fortunately, social media sites such as LinkedIn or Facebook makes it easier for us to reach out to our old friends.
Connect with fellow peers and mentors from trade school (eg. Food safety course, first aid course), as these people are active in the field and are more likely to suggest you some relevant opportunities for your next gig.
Let them know if you are on the lookout for a new job or ask for advice on the companies you are considering to work for.
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2. Be an active listener
One of the biggest mistakes people make with networking is making it solely about themselves.
Making connections with people in your industry should be a give and take relationship.
Don’t take over a conversation and talk solely about your achievements or what help you need.
Actively listen to what a person is saying and find out what you can do for them as well.
For example, if you hear of someone who experienced back pain and you work in healthcare, give advice on how they can find a good specialist or make lifestyle changes to help cope with the problem.
A personal touch always helps!
3. Have an online presence
Build a professional profile
Besides networking face-to-face, it is also important to build your network online.
Showcasing your skills in an online profile can help to define yourself and improve the visibility of your skills.
People are focused on visuals. If you have hobbies such as baking or design, you can create a professional Instagram page where people can follow you and view photos of your creation.
This helps you to find job opportunities, meet more people and also get ideas and tips from what others are doing in the same profession/ interest.
Stay updated in the trade
Another good tip for networking is to follow industry news.
This helps you stay relevant and be updated with the recent industry news and developments.
If you are working in transportation/ delivery, taking note of the road closures and major events happening in town will be useful in planning the route to take for work.
You can also contribute expert advice and ideas by joining community discussions on forums or industry-specific Facebook groups.
For example, if you are working in food delivery, you can join groups with other drivers/deliverymen or groups that talk about food promotions.
Forums like hardwarezone and Quora are examples of community sites where most Singaporeans discuss a variety of topics.
4. Make connections outside of work
Another way you can build your network is through communities outside of work.
Some examples include religious organizations, through neighborhood communities or interest groups.
Just speaking to another parent at your kid’s sports day is also a form of networking.
Get to know people whom you meet at your regular exercise group, as you never know when they can help out with a new job opportunity, or get a new client.
Volunteering means more people will get to know your skills.
When they do encounter situations where your expert advice is needed, they will eventually look for you to help.
For example, if your neighbors and peers know that you have good cooking skills, they will recommend your services to others.
5. Follow up
If you are networking to search for a job or business opportunity, not following up with people you meet can be a costly mistake.
All it takes is a quick courtesy email to re-establish the connection or a phone call after a day or two after speaking with them.
Let them know that you enjoyed speaking with them and you look forward to meeting again to catch up on a potential job opportunity or receiving advice on your career.
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In a nutshell
Networking is not just about getting to know people but is an essential skill to find better job opportunities, grow your skills, or just to stay updated in the industry.