How Solid And Valuable Is Your Network?

Many professionals have misunderstood the true meaning of network. This explains why it is severely undervalued.

So, what does networking mean to you?

Finding yourself in a large hall, about the size of a stadium, filled with strangers and exchanging business cards? Nope. Far from it.

A strong network of people is that pool of human capital that you can quickly tap into when you need (to exchange) ideas, information, and assistance for personal or professional reasons.

I will share a true-life story to help you understand the true value and meaning of a network.

A friend of mine was running out of contract. He needed to move on to another contract as soon as possible to secure his job.

So, what did he do?

He reached out to his network and let them know he was seeking opportunities and what he wanted. After a few days, two of his connections linked him up with various jobs, and he got another contract and settled in a new role within one week.

According to him, he’d always had this pool of people within his reach and was constantly engaging with them when he was not in need.

Is your network this strong?

A strong network gives you instant access to human capital and resources when needed. It becomes a bit complicated if you don’t have this pool of people ready to go.

Why?

Because you can’t simply tap on a stranger’s shoulder and expect instant help. People help those they know and trust.

So, here are the takeaways for you:

  1. The greater your network, the easier it is for you when you need access to information, resources, and opportunities.
  2. The best time to network is when you don’t need them. Having a network pool ready to go will make your life easier when you need information.
  3. Don’t network with the aim to receive. Help others when you can.

So, how should you start expanding your network?

Start with LinkedIn. It’s the powerhouse of millions of professionals from over 190 countries. Connect with me here.


Other useful resources:

Here is the video I uploaded on YouTube this week. Please watch, like, subscribe and share. It will help other professionals like you find it.

I wish you the best.

Give The Hiring Manager A Call

Early this week, I chatted with a young professional who was job hunting. He told me he had applied for some roles that suited him and was awaiting a response.

He looked excited and expectant. I was happy for him and hoped he would get his desired results.

When the conversation was about to end, I asked whether he had given any of the hiring managers a call. I realised he hadn’t given any hiring managers a call before or after applying for the roles.

I wish he did.

A call to a recruiter has many hidden benefits.


Unlock Information

 

A call can help you get more information.

I have come across position descriptions that were not very clearly defined. In this case, a 10–20-minute telephone call to the hiring manager can give you an insider’s perspective about what they need for the role.

Such calls can also help you understand whether you are a true fit for the role.


Become Familiar With The Hiring Manager

Hiring managers shortlist and employ those they know.

A great way to kick off your job search journey is to call the hiring manager to quickly chat with them to familiarise yourself and speak with them directly.

This act not only helps you absorb information but will also help you familiarise yourself with the hiring manager and possibly the team.

Remember, hiring managers hire who they know. Therefore, I encourage you to use the contact details in the position description to your advantage.


Prepare For The Interview

 

Hiring managers will reveal their priorities to you when you get on a call with them. They will let you know why they are hiring for that role and the immediate responsibilities.

Once you have received the information, the next thing you want is to use this information to kickstart your preparation for the interview.


Final Summary

Giving a hiring manager a call can go a long way in understanding the organisation’s needs, establishing relationships, and preparing for the interview for your next role.

Do not see a contact number as mere digits. Use it to your advantage by ringing the hiring manager to advance your job search journey. This action will help them remember you during the shortlisting process and hopefully hit the interview list.

I wish you the best.


Video Of The Week

Here is the video I uploaded on YouTube this week.

Please watch, like, subscribe and share. It will help other professionals like you find it.

The More, The Merrier

Charles has just decided to go back into the market for another role.

He had been on a temporary contract across multiple employers in the last couple of years. He wanted something more stable, so he had to start looking into the market again.

The good news is that Charles is highly skilled and does not foresee any challenges with his job search. He knew he would be able to get an offer with ease.

Charles wasn’t wrong after all. After weeks of applications and interviews, he was swimming in job offers.


Having too many offers is not a problem

I love Charles’ problem. Having multiple job offers is a good problem to have.

Imagine the reverse was the case, and Charles had to run out of contract before finding a role. Or he only had one offer to choose from.

Contrary to your opinion, it’s a good problem when you have more than an offer. I understand that you might have trouble deciding which is the best for you, which might cause you a little bit of anxiety.

In the end, all you really must do is:


Decide what’s right for you

two women sitting on leather chairs in front of table
Photo by Amy Hirschi on Unsplash

Ultimately you will have to decide which one is right for you. This might mean the one that offers more flexibility or the one with more benefits. You’ve got to decide.

It was an easy decision when I was confronted with multiple offers a few years ago.

What did I do?

  • I made a list of things that were important to me.
  • I decided early.

Deciding early before getting confused when the offers come knocking is particularly helpful.


 

Always put yourself first

woman in black long sleeve shirt using macbook
Photo by Magnet.me on Unsplash

 

Whatever you do, you must put yourself first.

After all, if you don’t, who will? Certainly not the employers. Employers look after themselves by ensuring they hire the right person, so why not look after yourself by making sure you have made the right career decision?

Remember, it’s your responsibility to look after yourself and put yourself first.


Closing thoughts

Getting faced with multiple job offers can be confronting. However, this can be an opportunity to decide what’s right for you. It’s your job to look after yourself. If you don’t, no one will.

Thank you for reading Career Digest from Banji Alo. This post is public so feel free to share it.


Need Career Advice?

Whenever you are ready, here’s how I can help you advance your career:

  • Book me for a 45-mins one-on-one chat to discuss your career in data analytics. Talk to me directly and have your questions answered.
  • Career Services for Data Analytics: Resume Upgrade, Cover Letter Review, Personal Branding and LinkedIn Profile Optimisation, Interviewing Hacks and Job Search Strategy.
  • Get a copy of my new book “Before Graduation Day” It’s the best career guide for students. Get a copy for yourself or someone you care about.


Subscribe To My YouTube Channel

I developed this video using Videoscribe.

Please watch, like, subscribe and share.

It will help other professionals like you find it.


The Tools I Use:

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Before You Jump Ship

After I completed my postgraduate degree, I landed a role that I loved in data analytics. Everything was going well, and I had a great manager that was super helpful. It felt like a wonderland. I got the opportunity to work on exciting projects too!

What more could I ask for?

Anyway, after 4-5 months on the job, I got approached with an offer. It had a nice job title, and I Imagine it would pay much more than I was earning at my current job.

Oh Wow! Was my initial reaction? So, what’s next? Inform my boss I was leaving and jump ship immediately? While it sounded good, something in me felt like I wasn’t ready. I felt inadequate and unsettled.

I decided not to accept the offer and instead chose to focus on my current job

It was probably one of the best decisions of my career.

Here’s why.


Don’t Move Prematurely

man holding book on road during daytime
Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

We are in a time where things move very fast at the speed of light. It happens with careers too. We want to become the CEO of a new company in the first year of our career. We want to be the best we can be and be at the top of our careers.

It’s actually not a terrible idea.

While this sounds good and what we should all want, in most cases, you can’t become the CEO overnight. It requires time, commitment, hard work and, most importantly, career capital.


Build Enough Capital

low-angle photography of man in the middle of buidligns
Photo by Razvan Chisu on Unsplash

Jumping from job to job without building career capital can hurt your career progress.

You might find yourself landing a new role and struggling a lot. This is mostly because you didn’t build enough skills, knowledge, confidence and motivation to help and prepare you for the task ahead. You didn’t build enough capital.

Yes, you can learn on the job, but not when you have to learn everything afresh. It’s a backwards step that might lead to frustration and exhaustion.

Successful professionals moving from one job to another have solid career capital. They know the rules of the game. They probably know 50-60% of the tasks involved in the new role.

They know what they need to focus on to keep growing. They plan their career and their learning and development plans such that they can settle into jobs without issues

Not building enough career capital can have its impacts too:

  • It might affect your career growth.
  • It can affect how much you can earn
  • It can affect your skills
  • It can affect your relationships with teammates and managers.
  • It can affect your self-confidence

Wrapping Up

woman sitting around table holding tablet
Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

You want to be the CEO within the first 12 months at your first-ever job. Or perhaps you want to land three promotions in six months, whether in the same company or by moving to a new role.

These are nice, but sometimes quick moves aren’t the ones for you and your career. You want to ensure you build enough capital and confidence before moving.

Think critically about any new opportunity to see if it’s the right step.

Don’t jump too soon.

Thank you for reading Career Digest from Banji Alo. This post is public so feel free to share it with someone you care about.


Subscribe To My YouTube Channel

I developed this video using Videoscribe.

Please watch, like, subscribe and share.

It will help other professionals like you find it.

 


The Tools I Use (Highly Recommended)

Please note that these are affiliate links, and I will get a small commission if you make a purchase at no extra cost to you.

With Job Applications, Quality Is Always Better Than Quantity

A common mistake job seekers make is applying to multiple jobs using a generic CV or Resume.

They believe that the more job applications they send, the higher their chances of landing a job.

They focus on quantity instead of quality.

They believe they need to batch the job application to get a chance

Some applicants batch applications and can lodge 5-10 applications within an hour

Unfortunately, the recruiter rejects most of these applications because they are not unique or customised.

These individuals end up receiving negative emails, which frustrates them

They believe they have put in a lot of work and should get results

It doesn’t work this way.

You have to customise each application to each job if you want to increase your odds of getting shortlisted for an interview.

Ensure your applications are targeted.

Spend quality time customising your resume for the job application.

Each application can take 3-4 hours to complete, but it will be worth your effort.

Employers like these applications as they are customised.

These applications often pass the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) as well.

Applicants who do this often get shortlisted.

They land more interviews, and you begin to wonder how they do what they do.

It’s simple:

They put in the time and effort to get quality applications over the line

They do not focus on quantity over quality

Try to focus on quality over quantity.

You will get more favourable results.

I hope this helps you.