Networking means building a network of people to support you during your job search.In Canada, who you know is as important as what you know when you are networking for career development.
As you do your labor market research and information interviews you learn about organizations, associations and individuals who can help connect you to others in your area of interest.
In some cases, there are formal groups set up to network, share information and resources and meet on a regular basis.
You can make personal contacts through volunteer work, community involvement, going to an some specific organization, taking an educational class, cooperative education, joining a club or child-parent program, social activities, and so on.
Successful networking or information interviewing can help you to access the hidden job market. The hidden job market means the jobs that are available might not be advertised in traditional ways (such as newspaper ads and online job listings).
In some cases, employers will contact people they know to ask if they know anyone who is right for the job. If you have made an impression through your networking or when you interviewed someone, you might be contacted about the Job.
Table of Contents
- Networking Career Development in Canada
- Key Concepts of Networking in Canada
- Importance of Networking for Career Development
- Tips for Networking For Career Development in Canada
- Networking Programs and Events in Canada
Networking Career Development in Canada
This article will focus on how networking in Canada can be instrumental in finding a job. We’ve gathered some simple tips to help you build a team of people to assist you with your job search. It’s amazing how helpful people can be, so don’t be shy about asking someone for assistance.
To network successfully, you need strong communication skills and a willingness to engage with others. We propose that you prioritize networking in Canada to make sure that you stand out from the crowd when applying online.
Key Concepts of Networking in Canada
The focus of networking in Canada is communicating your value to others. To do so, you need to understand your strengths and weaknesses well. A few questions to help you understand the value you bring:
What are your main strengths? This can relate to your personality or your technical/soft skills.
What makes you different? It’s important to understand what makes you unique.
What are your goals?
Importance of Networking for Career Development
Whether you are currently working, looking to get promoted, or searching for a new job, networking is one of the best ways to start and manage your career.
- Having a strong network can help you do your job effectively and access employment opportunities Canada that you may not hear of otherwise. It is estimated that the majority of jobs never get advertised.This is one of the reasons networking is so important. While it may seem daunting, especially if you’ve recently arrived in Canada
- Networking also helps you to advance your career and gives you access to more job opportunities. Expanding your contacts can open doors to new opportunities for business, career advancement, and personal growth.
- Exchanging information, advice, and support on challenges, experiences, and goals is a key benefit of networking because it allows you to gain new insights that you may not have otherwise thought of.
- Discussing common challenges and opportunities opens the door to valuable suggestions and guidance. By continually putting yourself out there and meeting new people, you’re effectively stepping outside your comfort zone and building invaluable social skills and self-confidence that you can take with you anywhere.
- The more you network, the more you’ll grow and learn how to make lasting connections. As long as you have a strong network of professional connections, you can be confident that someone within your sphere will be able to answer even your toughest questions
Tips for Networking For Career Development in Canada
- Print off business cards – This step is crucial for networking career development. Playing with your phone is not professional. It’s very easy to have business cards made up cheaply.
- Dress to impress – Take note of the dress code and ensure you dress smart.
- Arrive early – Make life easy for yourself by turning up on time and getting in position to observe how people interact in the room.
- Body language – Always offer a firm handshake, coupled with a warm smile and eye contact. Maintain eye contact while chatting with someone.
- Push yourself outside your comfort zone – Don’t be afraid to mingle and interact with people.
- Names – Always repeat a person’s name aloud. If you can associate his or her name with a spelling, someone you know with the same name, or anything else trivial you are way more likely to remember it.
- Ask questions – The art of successful networking is to engage the other person. “Who?”, “What?”, “Where?”, “When?” and “Why?” become your friends.
- Listen – Our temptation is always to be heard, but take the time to listen more at events and you will make stronger connections.
- Be disciplined with your time – Set an amount of time to spend with people. Some people are happy to make 2-3 connections at an event, while others like to connect rapidly with everyone. Decide on a pace that suits you.
- Embrace the opportunity to introduce yourself to the crowd – Speaking in front of a crowd is simply a habit. If you always avoid it, your fear will grow. Conquer this fear, as the opportunity to communicate your value to a crowd of people at the same time is priceless.
- Be proactive – If you have a good conversation with someone, don’t be afraid to offer your card and ask for theirs. Inquire if they would be open to meeting for a coffee/lunch to follow on your conversation.
- Introductions – Try to bring others into conversation and connect people with common interests. Wouldn’t you like if someone did the same for you?
- Follow up – This is crucial. Ensure you email/call within a few days while the connection is fresh in your mind, as well as theirs. LinkedIn can be a useful tool for this.
Networking Programs and Events in Canada
1. Happy hour meetups
Happy hour meetups are a casual type of networking event. Usually, the organizers of the event rent out a portion of a bar or restaurant for your group.
During the happy hour, everyone is welcome to have a few drinks and appetizers while they converse with other professionals.
Since this is a laid-back environment, it’s a low-stakes way to get to know other professionals on a personal level.
2. Industry-specific seminars
During an industry-specific seminar, you can learn about different topics that are relevant to your field or industry. Many event organizers plan time before the seminar where you can converse with other professionals. Generally, there will be light snacks and refreshments to enjoy.
During the seminar portion, an industry expert teaches the group about a topic. For example, if you’re going to a marketing-specific seminar, you may learn about topics like social media strategies, copy writing techniques or email marketing.
3. Virtual groups
There are many industries or job-specific virtual groups you can join for networking purposes. Many of them are on social media websites or online forums.
The group may use email newsletters or Slack messages to inform members of different virtual networking events. A common type of virtual meetup is when an industry expert gives an online presentation through video conferencing.
An event organizer may also hold a live Q&A where you can message or video chat with other professionals about specific questions you have.
4. Career fairs
Career fairs are excellent networking events for people starting their careers. Many colleges and universities hold career fairs throughout the school year for students to attend.
During this event, you can meet with representatives from multiple companies. It’s a chance for you to introduce yourself and ask a few questions about their company.
Many employers with job openings have booths at career fairs, which is a great opportunity to give representatives your resume so they’re familiar with your name when you apply to a position.
5. Conferences/trade shows
Many industries combine conferences and trade shows. Essentially, a trade show is when businesses within a particular industry can present their products and services.
Trade shows usually take place at a large expo center where businesses set up company-sponsored booths.
People interested in these products or services can talk to representatives at each booth or exhibition, which is a useful way for businesses and their clients to meet face-to-face.
Workshops are a chance to develop your skills while growing your network. Most workshops focus on a particular topic or skill. During a workshop, you may watch a presentation or do more interactive learning.
For example, if you were to go to a team-building workshop, you may participate in different team-building activities. Likewise, a coding workshop could be a chance to work on your coding while getting hands-on help from another professional.
10. Round table discussions
Round table discussions are when a small group of people meets to discuss or debate a particular subject. It’s a great way to share your opinions and thoughts while learning other perspectives. The goal of round table discussions is to facilitate respectful conversations.
While you are speaking, everyone is focused on what you’re saying. When it’s the next person’s turn, you direct your attention to them. There is often a potion for follow-up questions and closing remarks.