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Unlocking Career Opportunities: The Power of Professional Networking & the Hidden Job Market

Most of us are familiar with the traditional way of looking for a new job. Usually, we would go to popular job posting websites like LinkedIn, Indeed, Monster, Glassdoor or others to start our search. But is there a more effective way of finding job opportunities?  Many job seekers have found success looking for job opportunities by engaging in professional networking. 

Professional networking can be such a game-changer as it opens the door to the ‘hidden job market’ – those fantastic opportunities that aren’t plastered all over job websites. There’s a treasure trove of jobs out there, and around 70% of them aren’t on the typical job sites. So if you stick to the basics, you’ll only see a fraction of what’s available.

So, how do companies spread the word about these unadvertised roles? They turn to professional networking! By building connections with other pros in their industry, they get the word out. And that’s where you come in – jump on the professional networking bandwagon and expand your job horizons.

Ways to find professional networking events

How can you get started, you ask? Well, you’ve got options. One of the most popular platforms for professional networking is LinkedIn. It’s like the ‘Facebook for professionals.’ You can create a detailed profile, search for other pros, and send messages. This is where the magic happens.

When you spot someone in a company or industry you’re interested in, send them a message. Don’t just say ‘hi,’ though – ask for an informational interview. It’s a friendly chat where you both share your professional experiences and goals. These conversations are gold for job seekers looking for hidden job market leads. 

And here’s a little secret sauce: some folks might not respond. Not everyone’s glued to their social media, and some might not be into professional networking. To up your chances, target specific roles – like Managers, Directors, or HR pros. They’re more likely to be up for a chat.

Now, remember, practice makes perfect. If you’re new to professional networking, start small – a couple of informational interview requests a week. As you get comfy, you can ramp it up. Because the more you network, the more job opportunities you’ll uncover. 

Another way to network is to attend professional networking events. These are like parties for professionals in your industry, where you can chat, share, and learn. They can be in-person or virtual on platforms like Zoom. There are events for all kinds of industries, so there’s something for everyone. 

Where can you find these events? Websites like Meetup and Eventbrite are great places to start. They host tons of events for various interests, and most of them are free. You can also check out organizations or groups in your industry – many have event listings on their websites.

You can also do a search online for organizations, associations, or groups which support individuals in specific industries or professions. Often, these groups have listings of events and other activities on their respective webpages.  Below, I have listed some examples of organizations, associations, or groups in British Columbia:

Attending professional networking events

To make the most of these events, prepare your introduction – it should include your name, profession, company, industry, and why you’re there. Also, don’t forget to ask questions! It’s all about building rapport and learning from each other.

And if you’re job hunting, ask about job leads or advice. Professionals are usually more than happy to help. Oh, and bring business cards! They’re like mini resumes that help you stay in touch with your new connections.

Professional networking can unlock that hidden job market and give your career a boost. So, why not give it a shot? There’s no age, profession, or background that can’t benefit from a little networking. Ready to explore new job opportunities? We’ve got your back. Visit www.peoplesresourcehub.com or drop me an email at ryan@peoplesresourcehub.com to supercharge your networking skills.

Give it a whirl – you’ll be surprised at the doors that professional networking can open!

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