According to Eurostat, the UK unemployment rate is currently 7.5%. The jobs market is incredibly competitive, and finding work through websites or newspapers can be difficult.
If you’re between jobs or looking for new employment, now is the time to start attending events that have networking opportunities. Not only will attending events let you keep up to date with your industry, but research suggests that, in the long term, it may even help you find your next job.
In the USA, 70% of all jobs are found through networking. This means that the majority of opportunities are found by knowing the right people, be it through nepotism or having the right business connections.
On top of this, according to research by The Guardian, 60% of jobs are unadvertised. There is a wealth of hidden jobs available. Many of these roles are hired internally, or companies use headhunters to find the right candidates, but by meeting the right people, you can increase your chances of being considered.
James Caan recently admitted in a LinkedIn article that, if an exceptional individual comes along, he will make a job position for them. You need to prove to the right people that you have a good mentality, because as important as your qualifications and experience are, they need to want to work with you.
What This Means For You
Making the right business connections is exponentially easier when you attend events in your field of interest. Forbes highlighted how attending events can be a great way of finding jobs, suggesting that professionals should attend one major conference every year.
If you can go into a room with a great personal elevator pitch (check out our tips here!), and you deliver it to the right people, you are beginning to build a network that can potentially help you find jobs.
Remember the advice from Cornell: “Ask for advice. Don’t ask for a job“. Sometimes being upfront with your intentions works, but often it won’t. Focus on making good connections, as opposed to making them offer you a job. Our tips on making good connections are here.
Finally, we’ve said it before, and we’ll no doubt say it again, but make sure to follow up with your contacts! Treat networking as an investment, as opposed to an immediate buy. The chances of you being offered a job there and then at the conference are pretty slim, but by emailing, sending a LinkedIn message, or contacting them on Pickevent, you can form great business relationships. Keep in touch, meet with them at industry events, take them out for lunch, and you never know, the next time the hiring manager in their firm mentions an opening, your name may end up in the mix.
Have you ever found work through networking at events?
Photo Credit: OSU Special Collections and Archives, via Wikimedia Commons