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Monday, June 09, 2014

Networking


If you're searching for a job and you're not using LinkedIn regularly then you're missing out on a large network of professionals that could help you make your next career move.

If you were to look back at every job you've ever received can you say that you've gotten every single one on your own merit and qualifications alone?  In my case EVERY single job I've EVER received was due to the fact that I knew someone who could vouch for me and my abilities, and help me get my foot in the door (i.e., an interview).

Please know that this in no way diminishes my engineering background, qualifications, intense work ethic and a desire to do an extraordinary job and exceed expectations. Type-A much!  Basically, I've always excelled at every job I've worked in spite of the way I may have obtained it.

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Founded by Reid Hoffman in 2002, LinkedIn has grown to 225 million members in over 200 countries, making it the world’s largest professional network on the Internet (by comparison, Twitter has more than 500 million registered users, and Facebook has surpassed one billion). Currently available in 20 languages, LinkedIn remains a relevant platform the world over.

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Just for fun, to show you how powerful the whole "it's not what you know but who you know", networking deal is, here is a list of EVERY job I've EVER worked from age 16 to present:

  • Rightway (3 yrs) - Two of my best friends, Mionna and Doroth,y worked there.
  • Ambleside (1 yr) - My best friend's mom, Tracy, worked there.
  • New Student Orientation Counselor at NCSU (2 yrs) - My aunt, Tasha, worked there.
  • Bruegger's Bagels (4 yrs) - I worked w/ the general manager daily as they donated to New Student Orientation.  When the job at NCSU ended he had a job waiting for me at BB.
  • Hospira (4 yrs) - My aunt, Tasha, worked there.
  • Current - A friend that I worked with at Hospira started working for my current employer.  When I was ready to return to the workforce I gave him a call and he put me in touch with the hiring manager.  
After having been out of work for 18 months as a SAHM, I was able to find and start a job after only two weeks of searching all due to networking.  If that doesn't tell you what networking can do, I don't know what can!  And keep in mind that I'm an introvert, folks. Networking scares me! But, I recognize it's power and I recognize that I need to treat my LinkedIn account better than my Facebook account, if you get my drift.

Again, the saying really is true that it's not always what you know, but who you know.  You just have to make sure that when that someone opens the door for you that you have what it takes to walk through it and knock the employers socks off with your talent(s)!

So, update your resume, get your "elevator pitch" together (according to my coworker -- I need to create one) and be sure to use LinkedIn to it's full potential to network, network, network!

You can find me on LinkedIn here:  Nicole Pharr <-- shameless plug

Happy job-hunting,

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6 comments

  1. This is great advice!

    I have recently gone back to school to finish my studies in Early Childhood. However, I have found it hard knowing who to go to for help with getting my foot in the door. I'm in West Central Georgia and schools/day care centers whether Private or Public seem to be very selective nowadays with who they interview for jobs and I feel as though I missed many opportunities in the past to get to know people and stay in touch with those who could help boost my career. I absolutely HAVE to get out of retail and I know I can't do so without help from others. I will get back on with LinkedIn and see what I can find!

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    Replies
    1. Same here, Candra! In my current role as a consultant networking is key. Specifically, networking that you've done prior to accepting positions, although making new connections will do just fine also. Essentially, I'm learning that I need to step outside of my comfort zone and make as many connections as possible because you never know who can help you and make your next career move easier in the future.

      Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment! I wish you much success in your job search!

      Delete
  2. There are so many people on LinkedIn, but I'm not convinced!! I've never heard anybody say "I've gotten a job because of LI". I feel like it's a professional FB. As much as I love social media, I feel like there are so many avenues out there already that have my face and info attached to it, I'm not taking on anymore! Perhaps if I were looking for another job, it would be more appealing. (I'm lying, even when I was searching, I wouldn't join).

    Maybe you can tell me what you think about it after you've been up there for a while. Maybe then I would change my tune!

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    Replies
    1. I've been on LinkedIn for over two years, actually, and it's very helpful.

      It's how I reach out to other professionals I've met when I don't have their cell or email. When I was looking for a job to come back to work I used it to contact a manager at a consulting firm that worked as a consultant for Hospira while I was there. He got back to me to bring me in for an interview but I had already accepted the position with BWDG.

      Even beyond that, after 6 months on the job, he sent me another message about a position he thought I'd be a perfect fit for but I turned him down again b/c i like to give a job at least 1 year!

      I get emails about different positions from folks all the time and I send information to others if they ask.

      It is a "social" network...but it's about actual networking (and in a professional way)...not just being nosy and seeing what others are doing, but actually helping one another make career moves.

      That's all!

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  3. I love Linkedin! I joined about two years ago. Well before I started blogging, and it has been extremely helpful. My degree is in Comm Studies/ Public Relations, so being highly visible on a site like Linkedin is useful for my field. Since my time on Linkedin, I've had two job offers and about ten interviews. Mind you, I haven't put a lot of energy into it as I could be, but it is an excellent resource.

    I also should point out that the majority of my professors and most of the networking societies I was/am involved are adamant about getting active on Linkedin. When I graduated, most of the students in my graduating class were not on Linkedin, however, I was, with well over 500 connections and hundreds of endorsements. I strongly believe that's how I was able to land my current job. And now, a year later, I've started receiving more connection requests from my former classmates, which leads me to believe that they are still hunting for jobs and are finally starting to see that this is the way to go.

    I'm all about using every tool to my advantage. I've noticed that successful people are the ones that are always willing to go an extra mile and put themselves out there. You never know who is watching!

    Excellent advice Nicole! I just sent you a connection request on Linkedin!

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  4. Hi Nicole! I must admit, I am not very good with Linked-In. I try to keep up with it. I like your advice though. I should really make more of an effort, especially while I am not really job-hunting. Making those connections and networking later on will be helpful.

    BTW, I am friends with Mionna! Just wanted to say hi to you!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for taking the time to comment! I read and cherish each and every one and do my very best to respond to all in a timely manner.

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