My first career was in an oil and gas company, where I took up an innovation and design contract position for 3 years. The sector was not performing well when my contract was ending and thus I became unemployed.
I had no luck in my job search for some time and to broaden my job search efforts, I visited the Workforce Singapore’s Careers Connect and was referred to attend a C.L.A.P (Career Life Action Plan) Workshop.
I picked up some crucial career tips and skills during the workshop. The one key tip that stood out was the ability to network confidently and strategically. I have found this to be very useful, not only during my unemployment period, but in my career journey. It takes some practice and coaching, but the key point is to remember that people are more likely to respond positively to authenticity and confidence, without being too self-centered. Here are some tips which I got from the workshop!
1. Build a genuine relationship
Build relationship with someone without any ulterior motive. Focus instead on getting to know them better instead of thinking how they can help you. Think of it as nurturing a friendship and not just a business contact. This way, it shows your authenticity and when the right opportunity comes, they will be more inclined to help you.
2. Be confident and positive
It is natural to lose confidence in yourself if you are unemployed, especially for an extended period of time. Most of us can sense it when someone lacks confidence. Therefore, when you are networking, you need to convey a genuine sense of positivity and conviction in yourself despite your unemployment. After all, we are all naturally more receptive towards people who are positive and interesting.
3. Be yourself and share personal stories
Your personal stories are what make you interesting and memorable. Instead of dwelling in the negative aspects on your situation, consider taking up a part-time job or hobby. Not only will this change your energy in a more positive manner, it also offers a conversation topic that you can bring up while networking. People remember stories!
My career has progressed since then and I have an incredibly fulfilling career now!