In Canada, networking is a must-have skill. The reason for tips is that it will have a significant impact on your job search. If you already have a network, that is a good start. However, it is crucial for you to keep expanding your network because it is where you will find most of the job opportunities available to you. Therefore, the job offers advertised on websites such as Indeed, Monster, etc., represent only the tip of the iceberg.
What Is Networking?
To create and maintain a good network, let’s first define the concept of networking. According to the Oxford Dictionary, it is ‘[interacting] with others to exchange information and develop professional or social contacts.’ In other words, you connect with people and share advice about the labor market. It will surely help you with your professional journey and growth.
How Can I Expand my Network?
The best way to increase your network is to meet people, the more, the better! You can do it in different ways: through special events, associations or even daily encounters. Use any excuse to engage in conversation! It could be at a restaurant, on the bus or at a park. The more active you are, the more chances you have to learn, bond with people and become familiar with your new environment. Here are some suggestions to help you develop your network:
- Become a volunteer (Find out why it is important to volunteer)
- Join an association (Many opportunities are available in different fields. Here is a list of professional associations)
- Participate in networking events in your city and community (Find out which events are happening when here)
- Use social media, such as Linkedin (If you don’t know where to start, we got you covered)
- Engage in a random conversation
How Can I Prepare Myself for a Networking Event?
The first thing to do is to have a look at the participant's list and check their profiles on social media, such as LinkedIn. It will give you a good idea of the participants’ different backgrounds, and you will know whom you will want to talk to.
At the event, it is best to come early to have a chance to chat with the people you want to meet most. Keep in mind that being on time in Canada means arriving 15 minutes early. It is essential to try to connect with people, rather than directly asking whatever you want. You can first get to know the other person before making a professional or personal connection. Also, if you have seen a job offer or a contact that would be helpful to share, don’t hesitate to mention it! It will help to create a connection because you already show that you care about the other person, and can be a valuable connection for them, as well.
Before leaving, exchange business cards, phone numbers, and/or social media accounts to keep in touch. Click here for more tips before attending a networking event.
What are the benefits?
You have nothing to lose by networking. On the contrary, if you connect to the right people, no matter the place, you will eventually meet someone that might be able to help you get a job.
Once you have a job, you will have the opportunity to return the favor to newcomers. It is always easier to help others when you can put yourself in their shoes. And, if you want a change in your career, you can still use your network to seek another exciting challenge.
In essence, networking is an art in Canada. Continually developing your network will allow you to stay tuned to the industry and seize the right job opportunity. It will also give you the chance to help others by sharing job offers or useful contacts with them.