Saturday, July 9, 2011

Importance of Networking

You always hear about the importance of networking, and I know to many, it gets annoying to hear this after awhile. Especially if you feel like you do not have a lot of business or personal contacts to approach about potential career opportunities.

I do have a positive networking story though that I would like to share. Take it or leave it :)

I posted a few weeks ago on a sorority email list that we are hiring at my agency.

I rarely keep in touch with any of these women anymore. Having graduated with my BA in 1998, I also do not actually know any of the younger alumnae.

Anyways, I had someone from there who I do not know personally, respond to my listing, that her friend who it appears lost her job due to a layoff this winter, was looking, and would I be willing to hand in her resume?

After reviewing the woman's resume and seeing she had the experience for the position, I did, and my boss ended up LOVING this person and basically hired her on the spot.

As a social worker, I feel like networking is one of the best ways to find new employment in our field.

I also think that if we have the opportunity to help someone out that would like a new job, we should.

I made sure to tell my supervisor in advance that I didn't know this woman at all, in case things do not work out down the road, but I am hoping that will not be the case.

I have gotten some of my best job opportunities, (including current employment!) through networking.

What about you?

Do you have any positive stories to share?

Where are some places or people you have networked with?


  1. I believe that in a field like social work, networking plays a big part in finding out what jobs are on offer. But for me, at this point in time, networks aren't getting me far. I know about seven social workers (some who taught me at uni and some I studied alongside) and there is just nothing out there right now in terms of jobs. I think a lot of the problem is that agencies don't have enough funding to put new people on. And those that do, won't even consider me.


  2. That's awesome. Totally agree with you about networking. I used this a lot in Minneapolis when I lived there and was looking for work, because I had a lot of co-workers I had positive relationships with. It's hard now that I'm out of that state I'm reliant a lot on the internet (where I found the group home job). I'm hoping a good network can be built there and the classes I'm taking in the fall so I can go from there. I also didn't do the club/sorority thing in college so I don't have that network either. Kinda regretting it now. Good post.

  3. I think that once you have a job, its easier to network and then get another job. It's so hard to get that first job though...

  4. Yes, networking is key. Especially, meaningful networking where people ask good questions. For example, anytime I send a "networking e-mail" I always make sure to ask a professional question that is an important part of a person's job.

    My networking story is simple. I was teaching an adult education class for individuals who were attempting to get out of generational poverty and professionals in the community that were working as mentors. At the end of the event, one of the professional gentlemen asked about my career goals and my plans for graduation(MSW), I told him that I was looking and probably going to work for my placement agency. He had a post-grad fellowship and he really wanted me to apply, but I thought I had my job in the bag. Push came to shove and the job fell through, but because I had a good attitude and sent a follow-up e-mail to this recruiter I not only got the fellowship(10 weeks) which gave me more time to look for a job, but I got into a state hospital system that always has social work job offers. I feel lucky and I'm thankful that I put myself out there. My lesson is in all you do, do a great job because you never know who is watching.

  5. l am about to graduate with BA in Social Work, my biggest worry is not being able to find that first job, since most employers seem to hire candidates with experience. I have seen a lot of my friends completing their degrees and just doing some odd jobs such as call centre stuff, is it really that bad out there?

  6. I think it is a rough market out there right now---social work field or not. However, I think that if one is persistent and willing to start at the bottom, they will find something. I know for me that my first couple of jobs in the social work field were far from glamourous or work that I wanted to do for the long term.