Why Networking is relevant and critical right now in July 2020 – Today’s Context:
- 600,000 people have lost their jobs between the beginning of March and the end of May 2020, as a result of the COVID impact on the UK economy: there is a glut of job applicants in a highly competitive market. The vast majority will be hitting the Apply Now button on job adverts. With this many job seekers on the market, people must change their approach. You need to stand out from the crowd and embrace networking; it could be the only way of finding a new role.
- If you rely on job boards and simply ignore networking, you are effectively halving your chances of securing employment.
- Use networking to gain the inside-track and advantage in any application; use your network to establish the authenticity and validity of a job.
- For employers, acquiring talent is the key to superior business performance and is arguably the only true source of competitive advantage; ultimately people buy people to generate success in business.
- Of course it follows that any job application you make must also stand out; any CV or document that a networking contact calls for must be bang ‘on-point’.
What is Networking:
Some argue that networking is an art-form and is not easily grasped by Service people because someone who practises it is commonly perceived as being smarmy - or in military speak a ‘thruster’. To that we say it is definitely not an art-form – it is communication (ie. creating the conditions for a dialogue) between like-minded people; a facet of military service that exists in everything we do. Some soundbites to grasp about Networking:
- A key part of securing your next role and without it, or understanding how it works, you are significantly disadvantaging yourself in your search.
- A long game; it is not a one-time transactional activity.
- It is not all take; it is about giving and receiving – and being grateful and appreciative of the time, advice and support others give you.
- It is not about amassing hundreds of virtual contacts; it is about being selective and having a reason and the capacity to engage and communicate directly with those contacts.
- A continuous activity you never stop, even when you are in a job; you never know when you might need it to advance yourself or when you might be able to help somebody else. Constantly keep your network refreshed and up to date.
- Neglect Networking and you might find that it is too late after being made redundant or you have missed a B2B opportunity or personal advancement in the job market.
Networking with The List.
The List exists to enable Members to fashion and create their own employment and business leads by being able to communicate initially through The List database – this database is the bedrock of our USP (unique selling point). That is the start point – thereafter our monthly face to face networking meetings – The Liquid List – provide the forum in which to explore and exploit the full benefits of face to face networking. This Forces, and ex-Forces and Veterans, network is far more powerful and effective than any other because:
- you are talking to like-minded people who understand your Forces/Services experience,
- you have common values as them
- you speak the same language as them; the initial icebreaker – or ‘tribal’ handshake - is easy.
- they want to meet you and share ideas
- they want to help you.
- they will go out of their way to give you extra competitive advantage as you enter, and subsequently exploit, the commercial world.
There is no other group of people who have that natural and instantaneous understanding with others from the same community on such a scale. Depending on your circumstances, we network to:
Essentially these can be divided into virtual and face to face. With the increasing reliance on the virtual spectrum, people still buy people so face to face networking and meetings remain of critical importance.
How you combine your specific need with the means is the trick in today’s digitally instant and fast paced society. You will soon establish that a mix of online and social media, personal friends, colleagues and acquaintances, specialist organisations and finally face to face meetings all combine to optimise your network.
Networking is time consuming; time is a precious commodity especially if your ‘target’ is a busy individual; always bear that in mind.
So, if you want pure information, advice and guidance (IAG) go wide initially and start with creating ‘virtual’ connections through The List and use the public domain, like LinkedIn. LinkedIn is informative; people use it freely and there is helpful advice and debate. If you have a question or want advice about where to get something or how to go about it – post it into The List Group on LinkedIn. You will get a variety of responses – some short and sharp from busy people who want to help by quickly pointing you in a direction either way each response is a lead.
Moving on to the other needs; these are best done selectively to specific targets that you have researched in depth. It is in satisfying these other needs that The List makes a vast network immediately available to you.
The ability to approach somebody directly through The List in a specific employment sector, in your town or county or in a similar business is unrivalled and is the USP of The List. Yes, you can start a ball rolling through The List database but the personal approach and subsequent interaction, often in follow-up meetings, are powerful tools that deliver direct and immediate advantage to you over those who are ‘cold calling’ without a natural connection, or affinity, with the target.
And for the job seeker, networking complements and supports the other routes to a job – if you do not network you are trying to do something without the best tool in the box.
Creating a network will be to your direct advantage and gives you immediate access to thousands of ex-Forces people (Veterans) in the workplace and allows you to create and fashion your own employment leads and will ultimately form the basis for your success in the business world.
Finally, a word on face to face – and here we refer to networking meetings like our monthly networking meetings - The Liquid List. Not only is it time consuming but the results can vary; much depends who is there and the setting. Yes, you can pick up a job or business lead but for those of us coming out of a Service environment who are not accustomed to networking, these meetings are the ideal ‘training ground’ in which to practise face to face networking which will stand you in good stead in the business and commercial world. The opportunity to walk up to a potential employer or recruiter and say “hello I’m Fred Snooks – I was interested in what you had to say about…..” to somebody who is there to give something back by helping you, or even looking to employ you, is an opportunity that seldom comes your way and needs to be seized.
Now try Networking with The List; to be able to see the results you will need to upgrade your membership via your List account.