Building Relationships not Just Connections

0

networking

GeoSpatial Connect Job Seeker Coaching

No matter at what point you are in your career, moving up the ladder or even just trying to get onto it, it is all about building relationships not just connections.

It is very easy these days to build lots of connects on Facebook, Linked In, Google Plus, etc , I can even show you a strategy on how to build good quality connections in a short period of time, but are these connections good for your career.

Let’s have a look at three broad areas and why both sides of the equation can be important but it will be very obvious which side you should be leaning towards. These broad areas are “Quality versus Quantity”, “Mentors versus Colleagues” and “Networking versus Chatting”.

 Quality versus Quantity

I have almost 8000 connections on Linked In, there may be a good chance you are one of these people, but how many of these people do I really know and connect with on a regular basis, to be honest not many. That is not to say I have not had at least one e-mail conversation with a great majority of them but there are probably only a couple of hundred people that I converse with on a regular basis. In many ways business and finding a job can be seen in this category, so it is a real numbers game. The more people you connect with the more likely you are to find people you resonate with. The aim of the game is to find enough quality people to build a professional relationship with. Find people that are doing the sort of role you would like to be doing, or work for the company you would like to work for. Reach out and introduce yourself, connect, follow and ask questions. Build the relationships as this is what will get you a job or promotion or anything you desire.

Mentors versus Colleagues

When you are building your quality list of connections, look for people who can help you on the journey. As mentioned above, people in the role you would like to have, or who work for a company you would like to work for. These are the sorts of people who can mentor you or give you the inside running on a job vacancy that may be coming up. Don’t disregard your college mates or other work colleagues as one day they may be in the position of influence but build the relationship with the people who can help you right here, right now.

Networking versus Chatting

It is very easy today to waste time chatting to your connections about the weather, the results of the weekend sports, family or any irrelevant small talk. Don’t get me wrong this is important in building a solid relationship as you want the people you are connecting with to feel a genuine connection, but too many times we waste time chatting about nothing and forget to ask simple questions that will help us to get to the crux of why we are networking. Networking is probably the most important part of the job seeking process but it is one part that most people do not put time into. When I ran GISjobs Australia for over 10 years, I would say that less than 25% of all GIS industry roles were filled through advertising or through external recruitment agencies. That means that most jobs are filled through word-of-mouth, well before they are advertised. Make an effort to be involved in your local business and user groups, get know in your industry, be an active participant not just expecting things to flow to you without any effort.

 

Dean Howell
GeoSpatial Connect

Dean M Howell

I am a cartographer by professional with over 25 years in the GIS / Mapping Industry. GIS has allowed me the opportunity to work around the globe in countries like Singapore, USA, New Zealand, East Timor and throughout Australia. I have a passion for helping people in the industry with their careers and have spent most of the last decade running my own GIS specific recruitment company and websites.