“Networking” is one of those business buzz words that sounds fancy and complicated but is really quite simple. A network is really just a group of connected people, which can mean family, friends, colleagues, competitors, classmates, customers or all of the above. Networking refers to building and maintaining relationships with people within your group, who may be able to benefit you with information.
When it comes to your job search when emigrating to New Zealand from the UK, networking can be a very valuable way to find great leads and opportunities. It’s not too difficult – you already know how to get to know people and networking isn’t too different than that.
However, it has to be done naturally. If you just make several cold calls to strangers, send hundreds of friend requests or ask people you barely know for job leads, you won’t have much success and you might end up annoying everyone. It’s more about building mutually beneficial relationships, so when you receive a favour from someone in your network you should be thinking about what you could offer in return.
Networking works because people tend to do business with the people they know and like. You are much more likely to get the job if the employer knows you than if you send a resume or cover letter blindly. Also, the perfect job for you might not be advertised at all, you might find out about a job lead before a job is posted on any job boards.
Tips for Networking and Finding a Job in New Zealand
So how can you network when you arrive in your new home in New Zealand in order to find a job? Here are some tips to keep in mind.
- Make a list of the groups and networks that you already belong to, such as your church, your gym, any clubs you are a member of, etc. Your job network in New Zealand might already be bigger than you think. Even if you have just arrived recently you probably still have contacts, such as the other parents at your child’s school or a newcomers group.
- Remember that every member of every network you are a part of might know about an available job, or might have a connection to someone who would know about one.
- When you have made your list, start making contact with the people in your network who you think will be able to help you.
- Let people know that you are looking for a job and be specific about the type of work you are looking for.
- Don’t assume that certain people will not be able to help you find a job – you might be surprised by who they know.
- Your networking efforts will be more effective if you are more specific. You should let people know exactly what type of job you are looking for, because if you say “anything that comes up” they won’t know what to look for.
- If you are shy about asking your network because you are uncomfortable asking for favours, remember that it feels good to help others and many people will gladly help you if they can. Also, people like to give advice and enjoy being recognized for their expertise.
- Don’t ask people directly for a job, which puts them under a lot of pressure. Instead, ask them for advice or to be allies in your job search. If they are able to help you or refer you to someone who can, they will. If they aren’t able to help, they won’t be in the awkward position of having to turn you down.
- Don’t be the type of networkers that only contacts someone when you need something. If you get what you want then disappear until the next time you need help, people will start to associate you contacting them with you asking for a favour. Instead, take the time to follow up afterward and offer thanks to those who were kind enough to help. Offer to help them when they need it – and live up to the offer! Check in periodically just to say hello and see how they are doing – they will really appreciate it.
These are just a few very helpful tips that will jumpstart your networking efforts when you are looking for jobs in New Zealand – so why not get started today?
Related post: Need a Break? 7 Tips for Moving Abroad