The Importance of Networking
Career Networking is a topic that many people know about, but they do not truly understand the significance. I am in this category as well. Influences of Networking on career growth and success is pondered by every individual in the work force. People tell me that networking is the fastest way to find better job opportunities, but I wanted hard evidence indicating that it results to better career success and career development. My goal is to find how networking influences your careers and how to successfully network with others.
Can it be proven that networking has a positive effect towards your career?
I found a longitudinal research study/experiment conducted in Germany from 2000 to 2003 to determine the effectiveness of networking towards an individual’s career. The study described whether networking with internal and external contact correlates to career advancement and success. Networking in this article is defined as,”building, maintaining, and using relationships, on career success” (Wolff, p. 196). The research participants varied among students, alumnus, facilities, people in different workforce, etc. This experiment took place over the span of three years and monitored the participant’s careers. Career success is defined by many scholars to be whether objective or subjective. Objective career success is measured by an individual’s salary growth and promotions through time. Subjective career success is measured by an individual’s satisfaction in their career/job.
From the experiment, data showed that building, maintaining, and using new and old contacts were effective ways to improve salary growth and help improve career satisfaction. Networking is directly correlated with career success.
Through the data gathered from this research study, many critics may say that this is just a survey that was only conducted in Germany which does not guarantee a 100 percent accurate data. They may say that there is insufficient data to deduce that the result is accurate and that this study should experiment on other countries with different working culture as well. I agree with the critics that more data should be gathered and that networking may not be the causation of objective and subjective career success, but I believe that networking correlates with these two-career successes. It is also important to see how different types of job searching strategies has a positive influence towards career success.
Does different roles in job search strategies have a positive influence towards your career?
I found an article that gathered data from the National Longitudinal Study of Youth which was created by the Bureau of Labour Statistics to explain whether different roles in job search strategies have a positive influence towards developing a individual in their mid career. The author uses an individual’s core-self-evaluations (CSE) to assess their job search strategies. In this article, CSE is defined as, ‘‘fundamental premises that individuals hold about themselves and their functioning in the world’’ (Da Motta Veiga, p. 341).
The author explains that CSE,” consists of four underlying traits, namely, self-esteem, generalized self-efficacy, emotional stability, and locus of control” (Da Motta Veiga, p. 341).
The CSE will determine whether an individual will rely on contacting friends/relatives (Networking Job Search Strategy) or contacting employers directly (Direct Job Search Strategy) to gain a new job. The two-different job searching strategy will determine the different outcome of career success.
From the experiment conducted, it showed that mid-career professionals who had a higher CSE heavily relied on direct job search strategy to find new jobs. The results also showed that networking job search strategy only led to an increase in job satisfaction which is a subjective career success. Contacting friends and relatives to gain new job position did not have any influence towards new promotion and increased salary. Individuals who used the direct job search strategy to gain a new job position lead to new promotion and increased salary. However, it did not influence job satisfaction. The results of this research showed that the,”use of the networking job search strategy influenced positively subjective career growth, while the use of the direct job search strategy influenced positively objective career growth” (Da Motta Veiga. p. 346).
I was very intrigued by the outcome of this research study. I did not expect people who had a higher CSE to rely more on the direct job search strategy approach. It seems like most professionals who have higher self-esteem and self-value contact employers directly to increase career success. This is understandable because you wouldn’t need to rely on your friends/relative’s connection to gain a job if you were truly confident in your abilities. However, I believe that using both job strategies effectively is the best way for career development because you are optimizing every opportunity. Why not take advantage of your personal connection if it may be helpful? I do understand that professionals may not choose networking through friends/families as a job search strategy because of their pride and that they do not want to be dependent on other people’s help.
I also found it interesting how job search strategies affects different types of career success. I understand that network job search strategy positively effects subjective career success while direct search strategy positively affect objective career success, but I want to know the reasons for this data. The research study in Germany from 2000–2003 I mentioned above also showed similar data. Since Networking is a new topic, the limited data in these types of research caused me to raise more questions.
Why does using personal connection to advance your career not have any influence towards promotion and salary increase? Does personal connection hamper your chance to gain a promotion and a salary increase? Why does contacting employers directly to gain new job not make the individual satisfied with their career? It is the individual’s higher CSE to keep improving them self that leads to their dissatisfaction of their current career state? I believe that networking leads to better career satisfaction, but more research should be conducted. From numerous research on the influences of networking towards career success, I found out that networking has a positive influence towards career satisfaction. It is also important to understand how to successfully network with others.
The way to successfully network with others
According to Lena Ansmann and several others, “Networking with multiple others is more beneficial for career success than mentoring by single mentor relationships alone” (Ansmann, p 133).
Most people usually try to follow their role models as a guide to their own objective. This is good, but it is more helpful to have many mentors/role models. Networking with many different types of people will gain you more knowledge and more source of information. Having one or two “strong ties” in networking relationships is not as important than having many “weak ties”. This is intriguing to me because friendship is the complete opposite. In friendship, having more best friends is more important than making many fake friends. You kind of need to make many “fake” networking friends to advance your career. How is just how the world works. A good example would be the story of Paul Revere and William Dawes. Their story signify the importance of true networking.
A perfect example of true networking is the story between Paul Revere and William Dawes which Richard B. Gunderman describes in his article on Networking. Paul Revere and William Dawes were two men during the US-Revolution who went on a midnight ride to spread the news to their fellow citizens that the British army was coming. What is interesting is that today, Paul Revere is much more well-known compared to William Dawes. Paul also spread the news more effectively even though William Dawes traveled more distance and spread the news to more people. It is important to understand that Paul Revere had a lot of connections with various types of people whom helped Paul by continuing to spread the warning. Paul Revere had many “weak ties” relationship with many diverse group of people. In constant, William spread the news to people who were only like him. William had many “strong ties” relationship with people of similar backgrounds. Those people could not spread the news effectively because they only talked and connected with other similar people. The information William Dawes worked hard to give stayed in a group of certain people. This was the reason why Paul Revere was so much more effective than William Dawes. This example truly epitomizes the fact that you should network with people of different opinions so that you gain new insights in life which will instigate creativity. Since various departments within companies and organizations are more specialized today, people only engage and interact with co-workers within their department. Networking only with similar group of people does not leave many room for self-improvement and encounters with new ideas.
The author said, “Such organizations need neither yes people nor naysayers… They focus more on implementing than listening” (Gunderman, p. 1105). More people in an organization today only interact and connect with co-workers in their same department. Many companies value workers who obey their supervisor’s instructions and work like robots without expressing any personal opinions. To sustain a healthy organization, you need diverse workers who share different ideas and perspectives. You need workers to network with various people within a company. Everyone says that networking is very important, but you need to understand the correct way of networking. Networking with new people who share similar ideas may be an easy solution, but it is not the correct solution. Networking is best effective when you interact and surround yourself with different-minded people. For this article, I agree in all the author’s arguments. It is important to network and interact with more people who tend to be outside of your comfort zone. Networking with many different types of people will give you more knowledge and more source of information needed to advance your career.
Using networking connections as a job searching strategies does influence subjective career success. People with lower CSE relied on Networking Job Search Strategy to enhance their career. Building, maintaining, and using new and old contacts is a good way to enhance your career satisfaction and career development, but networking does not influence objective career success. Based on different research studies, people who contact employers directly lead to an increase in objective career success. People with high self-esteem and CSE chose to use the Direct Job Search Strategy to gain a new job. Even though more data and research study should be conducted, networking does have a positive influence towards advancing an individual’s career. The best way to successfully take advantage of Networking is to proactively interact with people of different opinions and backgrounds so that you gain new insights in life which will instigate creativity.
Ansmann, Lena, et al. “Career Development for Early Career Academics: Benefits of Networking and the Role of Professional Societies.” Patient Education and Counseling, vol. 97, no. 1, 2014, pp. 132–134., doi:10.1016/j.pec.2014.06.013.
Da Motta Veiga, Serge P. “The Role and Types of Job Search Strategies as Career Growth Tool for Mid-Career Professionals.” Journal of Career Development, vol. 42, no. 4, 5 Jan. 2015, pp. 339–350., doi:10.1177/0894845314566274.
Gunderman, Richard B, and William D Kerridge. “Networking.” Journal of the American College of Radiology, 2014 American College of Radiology, 2014, www.jacr.org/article/S1546-1440(13)00737-0/pdf.
Wolff, Hans-Georg, and Moser Klaus. “Effects of Networking on Career Success: A Longitudinal Study.” Journal of Applied Psychology, American Psychological Association, 1 Jan. 2009, http://web.a.ebscohost.com.proxygw.wrlc.org/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=1&sid=05b1c3c4-3c43-497c-b091-4e43af69810a%40sessionmgr4007