It’s not unusual for people to tell me that their situation is different than others, and networking doesn’t work for them.
Usually, it’s after they tried to connect with someone, or they reached out to someone that they found on LinkedIn and it produced no leads, referrals, or insight.
More often than not, it has more to do with HOW they try networking than whether networking works or not.
I heard a voicemail recently that was intended as a networking call to reach out to someone in the hopes of getting referrals. Unfortunately, it was a disaster. The message lasted over 2 minutes, the person rambled, repeated themselves, had no point to the message, and almost forgot to leave their phone number. It’s highly unlikely that they get many, if any, returned phone calls. It’s even more unlikely that they get any referrals or leads… not many people that receive a message like that would feel comfortable inflicting the caller on one of their acquaintances.
The caller probably believes that “networking” for a job search is way over-rated since it doesn’t seem to work for them.
Similarly, others run into friends or acquaintances at a mall or grocery store and ramble endlessly about their job loss and difficulties in finding a new job, and then are surprised when even friends don’t seem to be willing to share names and job leads.
They soon decide that their circumstances must be different, and networking doesn’t work in their situation, and they quit trying.
It’s not the concept of networking that’s the problem, but rather how they do it!
Preparation is key!
Know what you’re going to say! - Write scripts… for a conversation, and another one for the inevitable voicemails.
Brevity is a virtue! - Don’t ramble, be concise, get to the point.
Be direct! - State your objective soon and without fluff.
Practice! – The presentation improves with repetition.
Try and try again! – Nothing works every time. The more often you do it, the more likely you are to see results.
Don’t decide that networking doesn’t work for you! Find ways to improve until it works!