The Question That Can Land You A Job
Q: I’m pretty sure I can get more out of networking than I do but it feels so awkward, even though I’ve been doing it for decades. Right now, I’m looking to make connections to get a new job. How do I go about it tactfully?For more click here
Bassam Tarazi: “We should grab a coffee.” That’s the typical go-to line for someone at a networking event, and here’s the measure that’s later used to deem the event a success: “I connected with someone, we’re grabbing a coffee, let’s see what happens. Maybe I’ll get a job.”
This is no way to network.
We’ve all been there, though. We walk into a crowded room and wonder which of these people can help me the most? We want the connection to happen as fast as possible so we can work out quickly whether this conversation is going to benefit us or not.
See also: Referrals: Get People Talking About You
That’s not networking, that’s prostitution.
But, if we approach networking as relationship building, things start to change. The best way to do that is by taking the initiative to help someone else first — even if your goal is a job. The question to ask is, “What are you working on, and how can I help?”
Voila! You have placed someone else’s best interest in front of yours. Try it. Your contact will be flattered at your willingness to help, not in return for something, but just because. Wanting to be a team player, this person will ask what you need help with in return. Know the answer when this question comes your way. Of course, there is a tactful way to reply when you’re job-hunting: “Right now I’m looking for some opportunities in the XYZ sector,” or “Right now I’m trying to meet with people who have experience in ABC,” or “I’m trying to get an intro to someone at DEF Company or GHI Corporation. Know of anyone?”