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How to Network Your Way to a Dream Job

Sarah Bartley
Front-end Web Developer | Moderator for Elphas Can Code on Elpha | Creator of Disney Codes Challenge
・6 min read

Originally published March 7, 2018 on The Original BritishPandaChick. I made tweaks to the original post so it would work for The Practical Dev.

Today's post is returning to the Land Your Dream Job webinar summit Skillcrush hosted in 2016. The second webinar in this series is all about networking featuring Kelly Hoey. During her presentation, Kelly shares some of the lessons she's learned about networking along the way that helped her make a career change.

How can I watch all the webinars in the Land Your Dream Job Summit?

Start by clicking the link below to sign up for the webinar recap. Skillcrush will send you an e-mail right to your inbox with all the webinars during the summit. You won't be able to enter the giveaways or have access to any of the resources mentioned during the presentations, but you'll get tons of good information from all the speakers to help you improve your job search.

If you would like to watch the recap of this webinar or any of the webinars, you can click the link below and sign up for the webinar recap. Once you sign up, Skillcrush will send you an e-mail with all the webinars. You won’t be able to enter the giveaways or have access to any of the resources they suggest but will get a ton of good information from a variety of great speakers featured throughout the summit.

===> Click here to get the webinar recap of the Land Your Dream Job summit!

Who is Kelly Hoey?

Kelly Hoey is a speaker and author who regularly talks about networking. She made a career change from being a law firm manager to an investor and advisor. Hoey’s best-known book is Build Your Dream Network. She is a columnist on Inc.com and has appeared on CNBC’s Power Pitch as an investor panelist.

Kelly has addressed several conferences and done projects with well-known companies including Coca-Cola, PBS, and New York Life. She found a startup accelerator in 2011 and mentors select starts up through other selector programs in New York City. She is also the chief technology ambassador for the YWCA of NYC’s Geeks Girls Club.

Click to visit Kelly Hoey official website!
Click to visit Kelly Hoey's Medium Profile!
Click to visit Kelly Hoey's LinkedIn profile!
Click here to follow Kelly Hoey on Twitter!

Here are Kelly's Tips!

Kelly shares a ton of tips throughout her webinar presentation. I'm going to share my top 5 favorite takeaways from her presentation.

1. Build up your expertise!

Preparation is an important part of networking. Even more so if you are making a career change. This might mean doing informational interviews or just taking a few courses.

When Kelly decided she wanted to make a career change, she knew she needed to build up her own expertise in the areas she was interested in. She did this by reaching out to her network to see what roles had the things she was interested in. This means doing some homework to learn about the careers you are interested in.

Kelly had to network for 18 months until she learned about a job posting for a job she was looking for. In order to get to that job posting, Kelly had to see what these roles entailed and what skills needed. She used this time learning as much as she could about the job she wanted from joining a committee to meet people and learning as much as she could from people she was interested in. She invested lots of time, money, and resources to learn the skills needed for this job.

The moral of her story is expertise is a constant activity from courses and heavy networking in order to make a change.

Kelly stresses the importance of the combination of skills needed for the position and a good network. A good network isn't just for finding a job. It is something that will help you and get advice as you start out. This is how Kelly used her network and it was valuable not only for her but people she was helping since they learned what their competitors were doing.

2. Learn the art of writing e-mails that don’t require an answer.

One of the most important things Kelly brings up throughout the webinar is staying on top of mind. This means being helpful and providing value instead of expecting a response or even a favor. Doing the simplest thing will make them more likely to remember you later.

These messages can be simply sharing a resource that might help them achieve their goals or sending them valuable information that will help them solve a problem. Although e-mail inboxes can get full and it could take time for someone to get to your message, but it won't be pestering them. As long as you are providing valuable information, you won't be a problem for the other person.

The only thing you shouldn't do is mention you are still looking for a job or a broad question like "Will you be my mentor?". Kelly recommends keeping things narrowed and focused since those are the messages that will get people to help you.

3. Understand why you are joining network groups and assess what needs are.

Unfortunately, networking groups aren’t one size fits for everyone that joins. Some will benefit from the groups while others won’t get the same outcome. Kelly says you need to remember that signing up for these groups doesn’t mean you’ll automatically get the benefits. It is a lot more work than it appears.

Kelly says she got the most from her networking events since she attended every event and helped out at these events from setting up tables to passing out name tags. It is important to be realistic and what your goals are. These goals will help you decide what is the best group that will give you what you need.

4. Every human interaction is networking!

Networking isn’t just going to an event and talking to people. Any interaction we have with others is networking. Kelly encourages participants to think about their signature line in an e-mail, profile pictures on social media sites, and more.

These little details are just additions to what would be your business card. Kelly shared an important story of how she moved a woman’s desk at her firm just so two partners who decide who becomes a partner. She said she did this to make her visible and her goal was to make her run into these two so they can see her.

Kelly encourages people to think about every human interaction and think about ways of improving it. It can be other activities like LinkedIn to social media. Remember you have control when you networking and it is more than conferences or events.

These can be things you do both online and offline. If you can’t attend networking events, you can do things online by commenting on a blog post, attending a webinar, or retweeting what someone says.

5. Take advice graciously!

If you aren’t sure what you can provide to others, Kelly suggests just using what other people give advice on and following up. E-mail people that helped you get a job or keep people updated on a resource they suggested. The follow-up is the biggest way to give back to anyone.

The follow-up isn’t just letting them know where you are in your job search. Follow-up is a great way to get feedback on the advice people are giving you and if the recommendations they make are helpful so they can adjust the advice they give in the future.

Conclusion

Networking isn’t easy, but it is something that is becoming much more necessary to find the job you want. Kelly Hoey’s presentation in this webinar is full of tips and advice that will make it much easier. If you are brand new to networking or just want to be better at networking events, you need to watch this presentation.

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