We all know: No job is forever and, especially in modern and complex environments, people like to say: “after 3 years you can and after 5 years you have to change!” Corona is also currently accelerating uncertainty and even leading to job loss for employees.

Now the stress starts – write applications and work your way from rejection to rejection until it works. Is it always like that? No, because it is not necessary for people who work permanently on your network and therefore often do not have to apply at all. In addition to this blog, I also work full-time for the company and I have never had to apply to my four previous employers. There was always an offer through good contacts to make decisions about the company. Because an old popular saying already says “Relationships only hurt those who don’t have any”. In this article I would like to show you how to use your contacts in a meaningful way.

People hire people

Contrary to all objectivity and assessment centers, in the end it is people who hire people. The first step towards your own network is definitely an account with networks like LinkedIn and Xing. But it is not a matter of accepting people there, but rather developing a system.

On the one hand you take up existing contacts that you know and on the other hand you add new contacts from the company, trade fairs and other events. Even in everyday life, you should always plan 20% of your working time for active networking. Not only does it help you get the job done better, but it also helps you advance professionally.

Networking is hard work, but it is the greatest security in professional life! “

The second tip is that you choose a specialist topic on social networks. This can be, for example, agility or the digital workplace. Now share content and exciting articles on this topic. I recommend at least 2 preferably 4 per week. You don’t necessarily need your own content – of course that would be better, but external content is also sufficient, e.g. an article from T3N and much more.

Now the contacts in your network will slowly but surely see you as an expert on a topic and will contact you if necessary.

Third degree contacts are often key

You make contacts when you don’t need them, in order to benefit from them when you need them. Often the right contact is not the right contact for a new job in the network – but there is always someone in the network who knows someone who knows someone …

A study by the Nuremberg Institute for Employment Research shows that every third position is awarded through contacts. This means that more jobs are filled through relationships than through advertisements or the agency of the Federal Employment Agency.

Maintaining contacts: tips

If you close contacts, then don’t water it down and do so arbitrarily. Make sure that you have important decision-makers and people that many other people know on your list. Unfortunately, normal corporate employees are often of little use to you. It is the few decision-makers (bosses, budget managers, owners) who can really help you. Use the time wisely to maintain contacts.

Try to write to the contacts regularly and briefly inquire about the current situation. Ask about your profession or private events. Make small talk. Write with someone at least 5 times before you ask for anything.

Conclusion: The construction is difficult but it is worth it!

Contacts are very important! Do not expect too much at the beginning and maintain regular contacts. Also filter important from unimportant contacts (decision-makers). Bring yourself up to date with contacts on a regular basis and actively address them. Stay tuned!

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Gendernote: I have used the masculine form for ease of reading. Therefore, unless an explicit distinction is made, it always refers to women, diverse as well as men, and people of all origins and nations. Read more

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Dr. Dominic Lindner
Author

I blog about the influence of digitalization on our working world. For this purpose, I provide content from science in a practical way and show helpful tips from my everyday professional life. I am an executive in an SME and I wrote my doctoral thesis at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg at the Chair of IT Management.

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