I wish there were a better word for networking, because “networking” has kind of a cheesy vibe. But if you network to find a job, you will get your foot in the door.
There are two simple components to good networking: curiosity and kindness. You don’t need to worry about bothering people if you are genuinely curious and kind.
People love it when you show genuine interest in them and their work. They also love to help, if you are not coming at them in an annoying or entitled way. Good networking is just you reaching out to people who work in companies are roles that interest you, or know those who do. It’s just asking questions.
If you’re interested in getting a job in digital marketing, start poking around podcasts, Facebook groups, Twitter accounts, and Substack newsletters to see who you find interesting and valuable in the space. Follow them, and follow the other people they lead you to and others who follow them. Then take one more big step most people don’t: message them!
A simple DM that says, “Hey Sally, I have been following your Tweets and I love your approach to marketing. I’d love to know how you first got your start in marketing.”, or, “I’m trying to break into my first marketing job and I would love if you have any leads or advice for me. Thank you for your time!” can change your life. Really!
Do this a few times every day for a week and I guarantee you will get some email intros, some contacts at companies with openings, some great advice, some books to read, or all of the above. Do this for a month and you will find a job.
Follow your curiosity, follow people, contact them in a genuinely curious way. Be kind. Ask about their work and their story. Ask for guidance. Don’t talk about yourself a lot, just ask about them.
This is an indirect route to getting a job, vs applying at the front door (aka job postings), but when you network to find a job, it will be at least 10x more effective. In fact, 85% of jobs are filled via word of mouth. Start asking around to make those connections, and when you find one, don’t apply via the normal route, but send them a pitch!
I’ve seen people go from server at a restaurant to demand gen at a startup doing just this.