Networking can be a really good way to find out about vacancies, work experience opportunities, job roles and so on. It’s something everyone can do and can be as simple as telling people you know that you’re interested in a particular career area and on the hunt for information, sources of vacancies etc. Once you’ve done this you’ve immediately upped your chances of finding info that could help you on your way.
Work experience in sectors like the creative industries often comes about through word of mouth and can lead to a proper job. A recent graduate has just landed a job in the music business, which is an extremely competitive area. How? Well it all started when his mum, who works in a school, chatted to a colleague over lunch about her son’s interest. The colleague mentioned that his girlfriend’s friend worked in the industry and might be able to help. This led to a short spell of work experience, which led to new contacts, one of whom recommended the graduate for a vacancy with another company, which he applied for, got and is now enjoying… quite a trail… and it all started with a simple lunchtime conversation.
Making a point of going to conferences, talks and events is a productive way to meet potentially helpful contacts. Most people are happy to share their knowledge. But be warned, don’t ask for a job as this could make them feel uncomfortable. It’s better to ask how they think you could find work experience, learn about an industry, find vacancies etc. If you want to learn more about networking have a read of our Networking handout.