Networking in Canada: How to network your way to job success
Networking is simply interaction that allows us to pass information from one source to another, through people. Sometimes we need information, and sometimes we have information to pass on. The population of the world is close to eight billion, so why not build a team of people to help you with your job search?
Welcome to our guide to networking in Canada.
Often, fear drives us to think that we should avoid walking into a room full of strangers, reject the idle chitchat about weather over appetizers and neglect the opportunity to meet new people. Why do we make excuses? Are we afraid of feeling out of place while developing a new skill in public? We can feel very small when we are standing alone in a busy room, but we need to change our perspective and practice this skill instead of neglecting it. Networking can, in fact will, develop your communication skills, build your career, and expand your social circles. Every other person in the room is there to meet new people, so what are you waiting for?
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 for networking in Canada
The focus of networking in Canada, as elsewhere, is communicating your value to others and being a good listener. To do so, you need to understand your strengths and weaknesses. 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? Have a vision in mind and be able to articulate it.
When you meet a complete stranger, you will typically engage in conversation over trivial issues like the food, the weather, the event, etc. Be prepared to answer the question “So what brings you here?” This is your cue to communicate your value. The phrase comes from the idea that you should be able to communicate your message to a stranger over the time span of a typical elevator ride. Grab a pen and paper and formulate your sales pitch. Practice makes perfect. Ensure you practice aloud to woo strangers.
20 seconds is typically ideal to cover who you are, what you do, and where you would like to be. For example: ‘My name is John Atkins, I’m a Civil Engineer with two years’ experience on transportation projects and I have just arrived here from Australia. I love it here so far and I’m really excited about growing my career in Canada.’
Ensure you include how people can help you. If you don’t ask, then you don’t get! For example: “I’m looking to connect with other engineers, particularly those who work on bridges.” Business Network International (BNI) invites attendees to ask “who do you know that . . .?”
Where to start?
It’s always easier to network with people who share common interests. Check out Meetup.com and find an upcoming event of interest to you. Set yourself a realistic and achievable goal. For example, make five useful contacts and meet two of them for coffee within the next week.