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Networking In The New Millennium

25th Feb 2016

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I came to Australia in 2011. I left behind a cushy job in Mumbai with one of the world’s biggest ad agencies at a time when the market was booming. I was working on multi-million dollar accounts and managing a team of about 4 people.

I had been told I would have to start from scratch. So I was prepared for the grind. My first stop in my job search was to approach recruiters. I went to several armed with my resume. However, I have always believed in the power of networking. Though I was on spanking new turf – Canberra, no less - I was determined to work every networking contact I had.

I managed to get a meeting with the CEO of a global ad agency in Melbourne, who had just won a prospective client in Canberra. This was through my contact, the Asia-Pacific Marketing Director of a reputed FMCG, who had been my client in Mumbai before I moved to Australia.

They didn’t have a vacancy at the time but I looked upon this meeting as an investment. And it paid dividends a year later when they called back. A position had opened up and they felt I would fit the bill!!

So never underestimate the power of networking. It is your nest egg for that future job. Even if a door doesn’t open for you immediately, you will have made a new connection and who knows where that might lead? In the job market remember, information is currency and networking might just be the key to land the job of your dream.

Here’s another small piece of advice – never burn your bridges.  Stay in touch. Stay connected. Considering that it’s never been easier, given the tools that we have at our fingertips, you have no excuses. LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter have made networking that much easier. So keep the conversation going.

A great case in point is Susan Goldstein, the author of Carry A Paintbrush – How To Be The Artistic Director Of Your Own Career. After a two-year stint working in the National Theatre of Great Britain, she made her way to Hollywood and gave herself six weeks to make it there. On day one she went to meet the one person she knew in the town. While waiting for the appointment, she struck up a conversation with the other person in the room and handed him a copy of her resume.

A few days later she got a call from (hold your breath) Spielberg’s office. Turns out the man she chatted to knew an executive working for Spielberg’s company and he was looking for an assistant. She tried the job for a day and realized it wasn’t for her but before she left she asked the executive for short meetings with five of his contacts. She met each of these people for five minutes and asked them for five more contacts. By the end of five weeks, Goldstein had networked with 54 people.

Then one day she got a call. It was from Disney. The person calling said they needed a prominent assistant director and11 people he had called had recommended her name and submitted her resume. She got the job. Need I say more?