Networking done right can land your international job and is an integral part of a job search strategy. If networking isn’t your thing, it becomes a necessary learning curve. Contacts and connections may give you tips on how to find jobs that aren’t yet advertised, and give you precious advise. Knowing how to navigate in the international job market is an art. This post will give you lots of practical tips, and resources for your international job search. You might even be more of a networker than you think?
Networking: Everyone Has One
You have the world at your fingertips, but probably don’t realize. Everyone has a network, but don’t see it that way. Do you put the cart before the horse? When it comes to job searches – many do. When you’re looking for an international job you do the usual things. You look for an ad and send an application. Then you wait. And wait.
You miss out on the ways that can make you stand out more. If you want a job today you need to learn how to plan for it – and work at it. Networking is an integral part of a strategic job search, that you will need to know more about to shine in front of a potential employee.
The GOODista writes about lifestyle changes that make you feel, be and do good. Wellness has many dimensions, and having a satisfying job is an important one. This is why we tackle the communication skills you need to tap into, to get to that great job that allows you to do good, and therefore feel and be good. In this post, we give you the tips and the best ways to know about opportunities before they happen, and how to prepare yourself for action when you need it.
What Is Networking?
Networking is a strategy to reveal more opportunities and invaluable information. It is a way of building relationships. You tap into people you know – connections – to get in touch with contacts who can place you in front of a hiring person. A network stays alive with exchanges of information, advise and respectful exchanges of knowledge.
Networking is an art. It doesn’t come naturally to some people, whereas others thrive at it. The secret is to realize that everyone has a network, and knowing where to start makes the prospect much less daunting.
To use contacts are frowned upon in some cultures, whereas in other parts of the world to not network is considered defeatist.
The differences come from the perception of ‘using’ unethical means to get somewhere. When networking is done right it builds a professional relationship with mutual trust, respect, and strategic thinking.
Networking: Part of a Strategic Job Search
To find a job is a job in itself, and needs a plan. A strategic job search means laying out a roadmap for action. Read on to get the clues how to build yourself a way to find that job.
Networking is an integral part of a job search. You set a career goal, and a plan to get there. To reach the goal you need a roadmap – a strategy.
By setting a networking roadmap you will expand your vision, and narrow the field. You hear about openings, get information that helps make your application stand out, and may get to meet the right person at the right time.
You also build a valuable web of advisors, mentors and straight-up people who will be with you now and for a long time, if you do it right.
Learning how to build a job search strategy where networking is an integral part, will serve you now – and in the future.
A network will not stop if you get (or don’t) a job — it continues. The relationship will stay alive, and you will grow, mature, give and take.
Networking Done Right
Ethical communication with mutual benefits can be defined as networking done right.
You will need to create tools to have at your disposal: CV, job goal, contact/connection grid, and an elevator speech. Networking may help you to get to key people, but relying on connections/contacts alone will not land you the job.
You are the one who will have to sell yourself. If a contact trusts you enough to present you as a valid candidate it comes from having seen proof that you can do this.
Networking done right does not aggressively self-promote, nor does it use others. It is a supportive system of sharing information and services among individuals and groups having a common interest.
Getting it right is important for your current job search, but a real networker knows how this relationship continues beyond an initial helpful encounter.
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The Networking Roadmap
Networking is but one step of many to get hired. You need a presentation package and know where to apply.
Start by putting together the paperwork that compellingly shows what you can do. Then lay the networking grid that will take your job search to the next level.
Networking Presentation Package
- Step 1: Review your ‘course of life’ or Curriculum Vitae and list education, skills, and experience. Summarise it into a Resume. You will need both. Read: Difference Between CV and Resume with Tips, jobsearchabout.com
- Step 2: Formulate your career goal, and narrow it down to a sector, region, organizations/companies and jobs that match. Read: Career Goal Examples, udemy blog
- Step 3: Create your elevator speech. Imagine that you’re in an elevator with a person who has the power to hire you. What will you say to present yourself, your skills and experience if you only have an elevator ride to make a lasting impression? Read: Quick Guide to Writing Your Elevator Pitch, idealist.org
After a thorough search of the internet, you will know how many jobs are advertised in your area of interest. What if there aren’t any? How can you move forward?
The art of networking will now need to kick in. This means sitting down and doing a contacts/connections grid. You list your potential network in groupings.
- Group 1: Who has the power to hire you?
- Group 2: Which person/s can get you in contact with the first group?
- Group 3: Who are your connections? This last group is ‘everyone’ else that puts you in touch with a contact that in turn can place you in front of a hiring person.
‘Everyone’ else can be family, friends, work colleagues, LinkedIn or similar social media groups, or names you find on an organization website.
A contact is someone you know, but with whom you have not fully established a strong relationship. A connection is someone who knows, likes, and trusts you, because you have taken the time to establish and relationship with them (cwcc.wordpress.com)
If your family relations have contacts, make the process yours and not theirs. You need to be the caller. Make your elevator speech, present your vision and why you think you would be a fit. Be careful of nepotism or perceptions thereof. This will affect you negatively, and close rather than open doors.
Networking Starter Tips
Networking means building relationships, driven by an active give-and-take process that involves making connections, sharing information, listening to advice, and asking questions. You relate to people, but you need to be ethical, and clear in your head that you’re not asking for a favor, nor a backhand way in.
- If you have prepared your presentation package, and networking grid, you have tools at your disposal to get to your career goal.
- Look at your roadmap, and reach out to your list of names. You need to have your CV or Resume, job goals and ‘elevator speech’ ready.
- Make connections by attending networking events, calling people, writing emails and on random occasions. You need to be clear, concise, authentic and considerate when presenting your case, and most of all ask for advice – not a hand-out. Read: Job Networking Tips, helpguide.org
- The successful networker will work the network carefully, slowly and follow-up with thank-you notes and respect. It is an art that takes some time to perfect, and understanding its principals will allow you to build real relationships, which you, in turn, will reciprocate when so required.
Networking for International Jobs
Getting a job is hard, and international jobs even more challenging as the applicant market is that much larger. By knowing how to network in the right way you improve your chances. A properly designed job search gives you invaluable experience in how to find that ultimate international career job in the future too.
If you’re looking to make a difference in this world, you will naturally look at NGOs and the UN as potential employers. To get in can seem difficult despite what you read and see on the web.
When looking for a job in development and humanitarian aid, it is wise to look within and understand if you have what it takes beyond degrees and work experience. Read: Do Good: How To Get Humanitarian Aid Work – thegoodista.com
When thinking about how to present your case in competition with applicants from all over the world it can seem daunting. A clever networking strategy would then be to start from the beginning, i.e. is your CV good enough; Are your goals defined enough, and are you coming across as a top candidate?
Understanding what skills you have, and the potential jobs this can land you isn’t easy. A career coach is a well-worth investment. A confidential session with a coach will focus on your skills, your job search strategy, and objectively look at your resume, and suggest how to make it more compelling.
Networking Learning Curve
The key is ethics, ethics, ethics. Networking is all about ethical relationship building, never about using or abusing the contact network. If you do it will affect you negatively, and close rather than open doors now and in the future.
If you come from a culture where contacts are seen as suspect, know that the world is full of successful networkers who have perfected the art of communication, social agility and ability to seek out what lies behind closed doors. It is an art to some. For you and me it is about learning and perfecting a process.
Learning how to build a job search strategy is the cornerstone of a successful outcome, and networking an integral part. You need to work to get a job. It’s worth it. For tips, advice and hints consider how career coaching can make a difference.
When networking is done right you will not only land that sought-after job but also is part of a network that lasts beyond the job offer – a ‘give and take’ relationship that grows, matures and expands.
Are you ready to Do Good?
The GOODista is about finding ways to change your life. Wellness has several dimensions, and having a satisfying job is an important one.
If you like articles that inspire you to Feel, Be and Do Good – subscribe to our newsletter.
Recommended and Related:
- Impactpool for International Development Jobs and Coaching
- Who to Contact for International Jobs – transitions abroad.com
- Difference between Networking and Making Friends – Forbes.com
- Amazon.com Books – Click for Details
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