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Networking for work, for employment….. a question I received….

November 7, 2014

I received the following inquiry (or is it enquiry!) from a event listings website that I use – Find Networking Events

Just looking at the message it says enquiry – is that outgoing and mine is incoming – another blog post methinks!  Enquiry is also being highlighted in my editor as a spelling mistake – the plot thickens! When I look back over what I have typed I see that inquiry has not been underlined – so does that mean that everywhere it says enquiry that the word is wrong – I will stop this now and get back to the original theme!

“Good afternoon

I will soon be coming to the end of my military career, 16 years in the Army and I am keen to settle in the Bristol/Bath area.

I am not out of the Army until next summer, however I have started attending networking events as this appears to be the best way to seek future employment.

Is the event next week more about companies networking with each other or about individuals looking to find new employment?

I am keen to follow a career in either project management or leadership and management as I have experience of both from my time in the Army.

I look forward to hearing from you.”

 

I have had not had this question asked me before but it did throw up a lot of thoughts – with the way in which the Armed Forces are being cut in terms of man power there will be more people like this who have a tremendous amount of skills and expertise, a proven track record, have worked in places and under pressure that make our businesses/lives look like a walk in the park, have worked in teams, understand the importance of systems leading to success, have a great work ethic, present themselves well, have drive, enthusiasm and are keen to get their knowledge and know how used in the civilian world.  They could be great employees and they could also be great consultants, interim managers running their own business.

 

In answer to the question “Is the event next week more about companies networking with each other or about individuals looking to find new employment?”

I can answer that networking has elements of both. When people are in conversation then all sorts of opportunities can open up – a recent Radio 4 series – Networking Nation (by Julia Hobsbawn – the world’s first professor of Networking, having been made Honorary Visiting Professor by London’s Cass Business School) – talked about knowledge networking and support networking both of which I am sure you are familiar with being in the Armed Forces. So companies that are networking with each other could be looking to recruit, they could know people who are looking to recruit. Certainly when they meet with people who impress through the way they communicate their expertise and enthusiasm, are friendly, likeable and memorable then when opportunities do arise they will have that “aha” moment.

Looking at what you are looking to follow as a career (project management or leadership and management) then there could well be businesses who need that type of expertise (whether employed or as a consultant) to help them with the challenges and developments they have.

Great that you are networking now as it is a long term strategy;  developing your network through meeting people face to face, connecting via social media and nurturing those relationships will certainly open up opportunities for you – there is a plethora of networking advice available that can help and when put into practise will ensure that the networking that you do is a win-win.

 

That was my response and I am sure that other people will have other views – please add!

 

Author

 

Sean Humby

 

Director and host – Business Network SW

 

 

Networking in a nutshell – Sean’s take in film!

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