Wherever you are in your career, it pays to consider two revealing statistics. One is that roughly 35 per cent of job-seekers find a position thanks mainly to the help of a friend, relative or associate. The other is that as many as 80 per cent say their network of contacts helped in a significant way in the course of their last job search.
However, the value of networking is not just about finding work or reaching the next rung on the career ladder. It is also about building stronger relationships with your boss and colleagues while developing a wider circle of friends to bring new interest to different areas of your life.
You can start to network more effectively in several ways. A good start is to join professional associations and attend seminars, workshops, conferences and trade shows. At work, you can also volunteer for committees dealing with new technologies or processes. This shows a commitment to progress and allows introductions and interaction with colleagues.
Remember too that good networking involves both business and personal contacts. Take the initiative to stay in touch with friends and former colleagues, even if it's just a short note. People like to know what's going on and can be a great source of ideas, information or advice next time you are looking for job leads or hoping for a referral.
Article contributed by Lancy Chui, managing director, Manpower Hong Kong, Macau and Vietnam Operations