There is definitely a grain of truth with the old saying, “it’s not what you know but who you know”, this is particularly relevant to the Gold Coast job market and relevant to when it comes to building your career and business prospects. Our Market represents the biggest “ buddy” system in Australia, that is jobs go to people who know people, this is also known in recruitment agency circles as the ‘hidden job market’ as these jobs are not advertised, not on online job boards and certainly not handled by recruiters.
Whilst your ability to do your chosen job or run your own business is still the most important factor, making the right contacts with the right people also is a great help. Casting the net or networking can help you not only do your job very well by gaining valuable advice from more experienced people but it can often lead to terrific job opportunities through a wider contact base. Of course, managing your visibility is your own responsibility the more you surround yourself with “top of class people” the more opportunities and experience will emanate.
Networking is a great way to get your wins out there if you connect with the right people. Exchanging cards and attending an event whilst on the outside seems worthwhile but only if you choose your networking events carefully and you have a strategy or carefully think about what contacts you are looking to make. Rather than madly swapping business cards target 2 or 3 interesting contacts and really concentrate on talking to them.
We are definitely creatures of habit, how many times have you been to an event and you end up talking to the same people at each event, despite there being hundreds of people at the event. Are you talking the time to talk to new people?
According to networking expert, Julia Palmer there are 3 key stages for building profitable business relationships:
(It’s about quality not quantity- know who you want to network with)
Do have a plan and don’t just show up and hope for the best
Do set realistic goals and align them to either your current job or career plan.
(leverage, focus on relationships not selling)
Do know how to approach people and make real connections
Don’t assume your business card has a personality as it won’t create relationships for you.
(retain your advantage, think about ways to stay visible so that you become a go to person within your network)
Do follow up with qualified leads and follow up again if needed.
Don’t just add them to Linked in or your own database or send a “ nice to meet you” email. Know why you want to stay connected so you can add value to each other over time.