Being an engineering jobs website, I assume most of our readers are searching jobs. Coming from the engineering background, I also assume, most of the readers have a LinkedIn Profile (if not, then create one). But are our readers and anyone who’s looking for a job, networking effectively? Can’t say for sure. Why?… As many job searchers or job seekers or job hunters don’t see networking a relevant part of their job search.
Allow me to share a story with you. May be the story will make interesting the point which I want to make later in this article.
A Woman was always unhappy about how much materialistic wealth everyone else had, and how little she had. Seeing her unhappy, God appeared in her dream and asked her to make a wish – A wish the God promised to fulfill. To make things interesting, the God suggested her to ask for anything — Anything (Good or bad) which the Woman would wish for in future and the things would materialize immediately. But to make things further interesting, the God quickly added a rider to the wish. Whatever the woman would wish for her and her family, the God will give double of that to her neighbors. Totally engrossed in her woes, the Woman asked the God to bestow on her the wish. The God blessed her and left.
The first thing the woman did the next morning was ask for good clothes, ornaments, food, money, house and a car for her family. To her utter surprise, everything materialized immediately. This made her glad to core. But the happiness proved to be momentary. The moment she stepped out of her house to show off; she saw her new house surrounded by houses double the size. Not only had that, the houses which belonged to the neighbors, had a big luxury cars doubly expensive parked in their portico. Deeply sad, she went inside.
The next night the God appeared in her dream again and asked about her unhappiness, even when she had everything she always asked for. The woman told the God about neighbors’ big houses and big cars. At this the God, reminded her of the finer details of the wish – where everything Good or bad would be doubled. Not stopping at that, the God even suggested her plan – “Dig a ditch 25 feet deep in front of your House Entrance; and a ditch double that depth will emanate at your neighbors. After that poke your one eye and both the eyes of your neighbors will get poked. You will easily avoid the ditch, with the sight from one eye. But the neighbors with both eyes poked will not be able to do that; and everyone will fall in the ditch and die”. The idea made the woman happy again.
The next morning she did what the God suggested. Amazingly, the God’s idea worked cent percent.
But, this made the woman even sadder. Why? As now she and her family had no one around them, to show off. That apart, everyone in her family was left with one eye.
What is the moral of the Story? Everything is relative.
But that doesn’t mean, it’s the reason for our unhappiness. If seen closely, this relativity in everything we see around is actually the source of much of our happiness.
As the story suggests, we will not be happy, if we don’t have anyone around to show off the success or the riches we have — The success or riches which we acquire through our hard work and constant self improvement.
The story also suggests that instead of acting on advice about diminishing our own strengths (poking one eye); we should try to increase our strengths (strengths, which successful people around us have). And not only increase our own strengths, but also help others do that. The idea is to learn from people more successful and skilled around us. The idea is try to offer a helping hand to those who want to learn from us.
And what better way to help others and get help, than Networking.
At present, where web (internet) or any virtual media is becoming a major platform for interaction and manpower sourcing, networking has become an integral part of any job search. That apart, as a society we have reached a point where the act of reaching out to those who can help you or you can help them, has become a much praised trait. Hence, unless you actively network, you will not be seen as an enthusiastic individual and the consequence of this will be missed opportunities (including jobs).
In his iconic book, How to Influence People and Win Friends, Dale Carnegie, said this about Praise – Praise is like Birds, it always comes Back.
You can apply this to Help — is like Birds, it always comes Back.
And unless you put extra effort to reach out to people, you can neither hep nor get help from someone.
Hence Network actively both in real and virtual world.
In virtual World, wisely choose people who can help you in your job search or who can help you get a job. Be ready to help those who you can help in any manner. Get in touch with people who are sailing in the same boat (are job hunting as well).
In real World, don’t cut yourself off from the society. Develop a helping attitude. Attend Social functions. Research shows, it’s usually some friend’s friend or neighbour’s remote relative, who proves to be helpful in recommending people for a job. Hence don’t miss any opportunity to introduce yourself. Try to start a conversation. Better, if you manage to get the phone number of someone who you think can help you.
Remember, Networking is effective only when you’re equally eager to help others; without bothering much about others surpassing us; or we surpassing others.
To conclude, also be aware that the likelihood of we getting help from the person we are extending a helping hand to, are remote (almost zero). Still we must keep on the helping effort. Why? As the time invested on helping others in our network is similar to the act of handing over a currency note to someone. Even when we know the same currency note which we handed over to someone or we received from someone will never come back to us again in our life time; we keep doing the act. Why? As we do know one thing: Only this Give and Take keeps on the money flow, towards us and others. Lets not bother too much, in what quantity.
Hence network and be helpful. Best of Luck for your Job Search.