In Canada, networking is considered a critical component of a successful job search. Research indicates that between 65% to 85% of jobs in Canada are filled as a result of networking, compared with 15% that are filled through job adverts.
If you are relocating to Canada and networking is not something you are familiar or comfortable with, you may need to initially force yourself to circulate in order to build your network. Networking does not have to take place in formal situations or cost a lot of money. Talking with parents and teachers at your children’s school offers networking opportunities. Introducing yourself to neighbours and letting them know you are new to Canada and looking for work is also networking! Most people are willing to help out, because Canadians are generally a friendly bunch and enjoy the satisfaction of helping others.
Networking is about giving as well as receiving, and successful networkers understand that it is important to show an interest in the needs of others by asking “Is there anything I can do for you?” before ending a successful networking conversation. Networking is not an opportunity to ask directly for a job and it is customary to only ask for one thing at a time.
As you build your new network in Canada, remember to thank those who have provided leads, information and advice. Stay in touch and let them know the results of your follow-up. Giving them an update on your progress and successes will let them know they did not waste their time helping you, and they will be more likely to help you again in the future!