Did you know that 60% of jobs are not found online? Not on LinkedIn. Not on Indeed. Just good ole fashioned people helping people. 60% of jobs are found through networking.
Still, when job searching most of us take the online approach. The average professional applies to 100-200 jobs to receive 1 job offer. Yikes.
You know it’s true too. How many applications have you submitted in your lifetime and never heard back?
Here’s the deal: If you treat networking as a career discipline you will always have a job.
Results and Relationships
There are twin fundamentals you have to understand if you want to always have a job: Results and Relationships.
If you’re like me, you’re very outcome-driven. Focusing on achieving career results is much easier to measure. It’s tangible.
Relationships aren’t as easy to measure. The results from networking are even less clear. Still doesn’t make it any less important. In fact, in the new reality, it’s more important.
Wait…what’s the new reality?
The New Reality
Change management expert Karl Schoemer advises that job security no longer exists in today’s business world. It’s been replaced with something much better: employment security.
In the new reality of employment security, skills have never been more transferable. In fact, what you’ve achieved at your current company is typically valued more somewhere else. Don’t believe me? Why is it that people ask for a raise to take the same job at a different company?
When you develop relationships through networking, it won’t always be the same job at the same company, but you will always have a job. That’s the new reality.
Survive and Advance
A friend recently referred to career advancement as March Madness. “At some point in our careers, you and I are going to get bounced,” he said to me. Even the most talented, gifted, charismatic leaders get fired. Steve Jobs anyone?
According to Korn Ferry, the average tenure for an executive in the C-Suite is only 4.9 years before getting canned. And these are the folks that have navigated career success better than 99.5% of professionals.
It’s harsh I know, but losing your job doesn’t have to hurt. In fact, it might be the best thing that ever happened to you.
Dig your well before you’re thirsty…
It’s July 2013 and I’m sitting in a Marriott Hotel Ballroom. It was our national conference and 300 of the top leaders from our division were present.
Someone stood up and asked our COO something about how to have career success.
“It’s not who you know,” he said. “It’s who knows you.” “When a position comes open, I want to know what others say about you. Are you a culture guy? Do you develop others? I’m interested in what others say.”
…because you’ll never know when you’ll be thirsty
I recently lived this.
A few months ago I was catching up (i.e networking) with a former colleague and he said, “I want to introduce you to a friend that just took a job near you.” A week later I was talking to his friend. During that conversation, the friend said “I’m going to be building a team. We should stay in touch.”
A month later he called asking if I’d be interested in a role. I did no LinkedIn searches, filled out no applications, and talked to no recruiters.
During further conversations, we realized we both shared 3 more mutual connections. Guess what? On my behalf, all 3 called him up and recommended me for the job.
When To Start Digging
If you’re saying to yourself, well “I’m not looking for a job right now.” Perfect! Now is the best time to start networking! You’re in a great position to help others without needing anything in return. Reach out to a contact on LinkedIn that’s looking for a job and offer to grab a Zoom coffee. You might just find helping others is the most rewarding part.
And guess what? Down the road when you need a favor, they’ll be employed and want to help.
If you want to always have a job, put as much energy into building relationships as you do into achieving results. Don’t just dig one well, dig two.
Do you do feel like you do enough networking? Please hit reply or comment on the post, I’d love to hear your thoughts.
By the way, stay tuned! In next week’s installment of THE WINNING EDGE, I’ll be sharing a few networking tips on How To Become A Better Networker.