Networking in Canada is one of the biggest challenges faced by newcomers.
They get it wrong, and they think they are doing it right. It’s not their fault. Networking techniques is one of those subjects that’s rarely spoken of in a job search.
The right way to network is to build relationships with people who have the authority to hire you by offering value, consistently and unconditionally.
I want to talk about the first part of that sentence – “people who have the authority to hire you”.
These are not acquaintances, these are not your family and friends, these are not even recruiters.
Sure, you can use these people as stepping stones in your networking strategy. But ultimately, the final destination to your core network are people who have the power and authority (and budget) to hire you.
These are senior managers, directors, VPs and Presidents/CEOs.
Now this is where the FEAR comes in.
“Woah! How can I connect with people so high up? What will I say to them? They must be so busy!”
Ironically, because everyone thinks this way, no one ends up contacting these folks on LinkedIn. So if you do, and offer value, consistently and unconditionally, you are the exception.
Some time ago, I attended a graduation ceremony for a non-profit I support. The keynote speaker was the CIO of the City of Toronto at the time, Rob M.
I hung on his every word, and they day after the event, I sent him a personalized LinkedIn connection request, specifically complimenting him on his speech, and calling out a couple of key points that stood out for me.
He immediately accepted my request, and since then, I’ve been occasionally messaging him about new initiatives, YouTube videos, and article about smart cities – something I know he is passionate about.
He, believe it or not, responded to every single message.
Contacting a CEO or President or VP or director is not something that is reserved for some “elite” class of executives. At least certainly not in Canada’s culture.
Anybody can speak to anyone. You just have to have the right strategy and consistency in know what to say and how to stay at the right time.
And in time, when a position does become available, you will be the first person they think about for the job – isn’t that the whole point?