“You must network” is a message that we all hear all the time. But if you’ve asked yourself whether you really need to spend precious time on that effort, consider these scary statistics:
- Research suggests that as many as 60 per cent of job opportunities are not advertised.
- In 2010, 42 per cent of new jobs were found through networking.
- Most experts agree that 60 per cent of time spent during a job hunt should be devoted to networking, not responding to job adverts or polishing a CV.
Nurturing relationships is therefore a very important weapon in the armoury of the career-minded project management professional. Its value cannot be underestimated and it is not a single activity. So, what practical steps can you take?
One place to begin is to build a professional profile on LinkedIn and Facebook. Recruitment agencies constantly use LinkedIn to source quality candidates. In fact, a recent social recruiting survey by applicant tracking system Jobvite stated that 94 per cent of job recruiters use LinkedIn (up from 78 per cent in 2010). The same survey suggested that 66 per cent of recruiters use Facebook, and 52 per cent use Twitter.
How else can you network? Well, APM provides part of the solution by organising hundreds of events, which means there is no excuse not to take part. I recently met Emma Arnaz-Pemberton, chair of its PMO SIG committee. Like all the committed APM volunteers, she invests a great deal of time and effort, but states that: “The biggest gain from being involved is the networking opportunities.”
Yes, it might take one or two evenings a month, but surely your career is worth this investment? Managers look to make confident hiring decisions. They do not want to take risks. The realisation that “Oh yes, I met that candidate at an event last year” immediately increases your chances of success. With that in mind, it’s time to engage.
Vince Hines is managing director at Wellingtone Project Management, an APM career development partner.
Other blogs in this series:
- Is it time to go contracting? Weighing up the pros and cons
- There is a buzz word that is being thrown into conversations… ‘agile’
- Making the jump from project coordinator to project manager
- What are you worth?
- Don’t be afraid to move industry. Your skills have universal relevance
- How good are your project management skills?
- Your career is your own personal project