Myth: “Networking is about asking for favors or having something to offer. What can I offer when I’m new to a country and I’m looking for a job?”
Fact: Networking is more than transactions; it’s about building genuine connections and sharing experiences. New beginnings often come with keys to unexplored doors – your openness can lead you through them.
In my journey, networking played a pivotal role in landing jobs in Israel. I kept networking even after I found a job. I believe that networking is about building relationships, a two-way street of giving and receiving value.
Here’s a practical guide to help you navigate networking:
- Engaging in Online Communities: Be active, help others, answer questions – don’t just quietly be an onlooker. The person you’re helping today can be the person who will help you tomorrow.
- Connecting on LinkedIn: Always write an introduction and explain why you want to connect with the person – you’ll see that by doing that, more people will accept your connection request. And it’s about them, not about you! Soon I’ll write an article on how to operationally do that and a few template ideas.
- Attending Events: These are the best places to network – you can go to an event where the goal is to network (do you know Meetup.com? And what about Eventbrite.com?). But you can network even at weddings, in the beauty salon, or at a restaurant. Believe me, I’ve done it all! Don’t be shy to say that you’re looking for a new opportunity – especially in Israel where everyone is open to helping you with a tip!
- Inviting People for Coffee: This one is the toughest one because you’ll be asking for someone’s full attention for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. It can be a virtual or a physical meeting (I prefer the second option). Be flexible, go meet the person where is convenient for them. Don’t forget to do your homework and read about this person beforehand. Ask questions, listen more than you speak. Be thankful for this person’s time.
- Nurturing Relationships:
- Like, comment, and share: Show engagement with your connections.
- Don’t stop networking: Keep building your professional network, even if you’re not actively job hunting.
- Give before asking: Offer your help to build mutually beneficial relationships.
Networking as a newcomer may seem daunting, but it’s a journey filled with opportunities to connect, learn, and grow. Every successful connection was once a first introduction. Keep nurturing these connections, stay open to new experiences, and share your unique perspective. Your journey isn’t just about finding a job; it’s about building a fulfilling life in a new country.
What are your networking experiences? Share your insights!