According to a recent survey, 80 percent of today’s jobs are found through networking, and what can be referred to as the “hidden job market.” This means that many job openings are not advertised. Instead, employers might look at internal candidates, review previous candidates for the position or ask current employees to make referrals.
In today’s job market, networking can be the key to success. It is more important than ever for job seekers to master the art of networking to find work in their field. This means using personal connections to trade information about job leads and contacts. For R.T.s, building relationships will help you tap into the hidden job market. You can start by taking advantage of the resources already at your fingertips – former colleagues, friends, instructors, relatives, neighbors, acquaintances and others – to help you build your network.
Here are some other ways you can build your professional network and start navigating the hidden job market:
- Join a professional organization. An organization such as ASRT is dedicated to helping R.T.s gain the tools they need to be successful in their profession, but it can do much more than that. With a little involvement, R.T.s can significantly expand their networks by joining ASRT Communities, regional or state affiliates, a specific chapter, and much more. Just a small amount of time dedicated to one or more of these groups within ASRT can open up doors to a world of networking contacts who are well connected and willing to help fellow R.T.s reach their career goals.
- Step up at work. Maybe you’re looking for a way to advance within your own company. There’s no better way than to network within your organization by stepping outside of your comfort zone and volunteering for an assignment. Are they looking for volunteers to help develop hospital standards? Join the committee. Do they need help planning a large employee appreciation event? Raise your hand. You may get noticed for going above and beyond the call of duty, as well as have the opportunity to meet other professionals within the organization who might be able to help you reach your goals.
- Volunteer. Whether you build a house for Habitat for Humanity, become a mentor to a child, volunteer to pick up trash on the side of the road, or any other number of activities available in communities around the world, there’s always someone to talk to or meet. Sometimes the best opportunities come from where we least expect them – and giving back to someone else might help you get to where you’d like to be. Not only does it help the community, it can help show potential employers you’re a well-rounded candidate.
- Attend a networking event. Many communities – both large and small – host networking gatherings that are hosted by area organizations, such as Chambers of Commerce, young professionals groups, Toastmasters or any number of organizations. While they may not be specific to the R.T. field, these events can expose you to the world around you, and open doors you didn’t know existed.
The key to navigating the hidden job market is not only to get out and network, but also to utilize the network you already have in place – from former colleagues to classmates, professors and supervisors. The vast majority of people have been in your shoes and they are eager and willing to help you land the perfect job. You just have to get out there and ask!