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COMBINING 0FF- AND ONLINE NETWORKING

COMBINING 0FF- AND ONLINE NETWORKING

Owner: TrainerofTrainers

Module members: 18

Description:

Welcome to the module Combining Off- and Online Networking where you will learn what networks can do for you to find a job. The purpose of this module is to increase your understanding of what networking means and how social media can play a role in this. You will develop a strategy for using social media aimed at finding a job and you will become aware of the importance of being proactive and remaining active both in online networks and in offline networking.

Learning outcomes

After finishing this module you will:

  • know what the characteristics of a network are
  • have insight in your actual network and the activities you develop in it
  • have developed ideas about how to extend your network and how to be more active in it
  • have well considered thoughts about how to use your network to find a job 

In order to become aware of your own networks and how to use them to find a job you will carry out several activities in this module, either on your own or with a fellow participant or in the group. We start with a brief introduction on what networking is; later we explore this more in depth. You will see videos of people and how they use their networks to find a job. Next, you will find out how to use your own networks and how to use social media to make them even more helpful. 

Further reading:

 

Contents

 

  • A short video introduction to social networks
  • What is networking?
  • Building and maintaining a network
  • Meet Paul and Helen
  • Your own networks and finding a job
  • Proactive and active use of your networks
  • Finally

 

A short video introduction to social networks

 

A 1: Watch this video for a short introduction to the theme of this module.

  Introduction

(Note: The video mentions WhatsApp. In case you are not familiar with this, Whatsapp is a mobile messaging app which allows you to exchange messages with a single person or with a group without having to pay for SMS.)

 

What is networking?

 

Networking is in fact very simple. The essence of a network is the exchange of information with others: give and take that is the crux. This can be about very different things. Just to get an impression: fill in the table below. Bear in mind that everyone deals with networking in his or her own way and it is not about how many (different) actions you undertook; everyone has his/her own style and prefers some actions above others.

A 2: Indicate which of the following actions you undertook over the past week (a printed copy of the table below is provided in the workbook for this module):

Actions in a network

Did you do this last week? Indicate ‘Yes’ or ‘No’.

For/with whom did you do this?

Did you do someone a favor?

O Yes
O No

 

Did you give someone a compliment ?

O Yes
O No

 

Did you give someone useful information?

O Yes
O No

 

Did you ask someone for advice?

O Yes
O No

 

Did you offer advice or recommend something to someone?

O Yes
O No

 

 

Networking means coming into action; only by being active you can make your networks flourish. Realize that you are at the center of your network and that your actions are important.

Now lets have a look at the importance of networking more in depth. Most certainly you have heard of the Internet. In fact the Internet is a lot of computers linked together with the aim to enable exchange information. The network we are talking about today is in fact very comparable. 

 

Building and maintaining a network

 

Networking used to occur in personal encounters with people. The existence of internet and social media (like Facebook) offers possibilities to make contact and to maintain contacts online. Do you make use of these online media?

A 3: Fill in the table below to get an idea of the possibilities that exist and which of these you already use. Perhaps you are not familiar with some of the options mentioned. Some of the examples mentioned below, more specificly their use in relation to job search, will be explained in detail in other modules of this training.

It is very well possible that you are not familiar with (some or most of) these online means to contact people, or maybe you feel uncomfortable about it because you worry about what might happen with the data you exchange online. In general, online networking is quite similar to personal encounters. It is always advisable to carefully consider the information you share with others. More specific tips about safe use of social media will be provided in the module ‘Who am I’ and in the modules dedicated to specific social media.

Examples of online ways to make and maintain contact

 

Tick where appropriate

Sending messages by e-mail

O Yes, I know it but I don’t use it
O Yes, I use it , for example for:

…………………………………………………..
O No, I don’t know it

Sending messages from your mobile  (SMS and  Whatsapp)

O Yes, I know it but I don’t use it
O Yes, I use it , for example for:

…………………………………………………..
O No, I don’t know it

Visiting websites

 

O Yes, I know it but I don’t use it
O Yes, I use it , for example for:

…………………………………………………..
O No, I don’t know it

Participating in discussion groups/ forum

O Yes, I know it but I don’t use it
O Yes, I use it , for example for:

…………………………………………………..
O No, I don’t know it

Being active in chatrooms

O Yes, I know it but I don’t use it
O Yes, I use it , for example for:

…………………………………………………..
O No, I don’t know it

Consult databases (like job boards)

O Yes, I know it but I don’t use it
O Yes, I use it , for example for:

…………………………………………………..
O No, I don’t know it

Being active on Facebook*

O Yes, I know it but I don’t use it
O Yes, I use it , for example for:

…………………………………………………..
O No, I don’t know it

Making use of LinkedIn*

O Yes, I know it but I don’t use it
O Yes, I use it , for example for:

…………………………………………………..
O No, I don’t know it

Messaging using Twitter *

O Yes, I know it but I don’t use it
O Yes, I use it , for example for:

…………………………………………………..
O No, I don’t know it

*Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter and how to use these media to find a job will be explained in other modules of this course. 

A 4: Now take a look at all instances where you indicated “No, I don’t know it” and try and come up with the name of someone whom you think might be able to explain it to you. Maybe one of your fellow trainees? You might want to write down name(s) in the table for later use.  

In the next activity we will introduce Paul and Helen, both 45 plus and looking for a job. Let’s see what networks they are part of.

 

Meet Paul and Helen

 

Paul and Helen are both 45-plus and looking for a job.

A 5: Watch this video to learn about Paul and Helen’s participation in various networks.

Meet Paul and Helen

(Note: The video mentions WhatsApp. In case you are not familiar with this, Whatsapp is a mobile messaging app which allows you to exchange messages with a single person or with a group without having to pay for SMS.)

 

Your own networks and finding a job

 

You have seen two examples of people aged 45 or older, looking for a job. Each with their own background, stories and networks. The networks they participate in are very different: they may have a professional or a more private character. They are actively engaging in personal encounters or using online ways, like for example Helen in the online needlework community. Or combining personal, face-to-face encounters with online ways, like Paul’s WhatsApp group with colleagues’ whom he meets regularly in person as well.

A 6: Now take about 45 minutes to reflect on your own networks: which networks do you engage in? To give you a start we already put some networks in the left column, please complete the list with your own networks. We also ask you to think about and indicate to what extent you have informed people in these networks of the fact that you are looking for a job. You can indicate this by marking the appropriate cell in subsequent columns. 

 

Your networks

In this network I discuss my job search with everyone 

In this network I discuss my job search only with some contacts

In this network I don’t talk about my job search at all 

My family

 

 

 

 

My friends

 

 

 

My acquaintances

 

 

 

My volunteer work

 

 

 

My hobby club

 

 

 

My……….

 

 

 

My……….

 

 

 

My……….

 

 

 

My……….

 

 

 

 

A 7: Consider your answers in the previous table and reflect on the following points:

1)  How do you engage in each of your networks? Are you mainly active in in person encounters, in online ways of communication or do you combine both in person and online meetings?

2)  If you don't talk about your job search in one or more of your networks: what are the reasons for this? Is it a deliberate choice? Or is it because the subject simply never appears to come up? And if it never came up, do you think it could be beneficial for you to mention it sometime?

3)  Discuss the table and your answers on the two questions above with a fellow participant to see where similarities and differences can be found in terms of kinds of networks, the ways to be active and the question whether or not you talk about the fact that you are looking for a job.  

 

Proactive and active use of your networks

 

A 8: Let’s return to Paul and Helen and see how they make use of their networks in search of a job. Watch this video: 

Proactive and active use

Previously, we discussed what a network is and payed attention to various online ways to develop and maintain your networks. Here we explore more in depth how to ameliorate your networks and use them to find a job, both through in person encounters and by means of the Internet and social media. For this purpose please complete the following tasks.

A 9: Make a summary of yourself. Communication is the essence of networking. Can you explain in four sentences what it is you are good at and what kind of job you are looking for? It is a good idea to have these sentences always 'top of mind' as this will help to start conversations (both in person and in online contacts).

The questions

Complete the sentence 

1. I am good at...

 

2. Also, I am good at....

 

3. I am looking for a job that fits with the things I am good at. Examples of these jobs are..

 

4. Then again, I would also be glad with a job that…..

 

 

A 10: Exchange your answers with the group by means of a brief, two minute, oral presentation, or online, in the module discussion or chatroom. Make sure that other participants have gained a clear understanding of your summary.

A 11: Use your network. To gain inspiration for this taks, read the story of Lauren [Link].

Next, consider the summary you created in the previous task and think of creative ways to use this. For instance: do you know people who are good in the same things as you?  Do you know people who are working in jobs where you would also like to work ? Explore how you can link up with these people. Are they already a member of your network? And if not, think of ways you might get in touch with them. What will you talk about? This can be an in person contact, but think about ways to link online as well. The following three questions will help you to make your intentions more concrete:

The questions

Your answers

1. Whom do you want to contact?

 

 

2. What do you want to talk about?

 

 

3. How are you going to realize this? (in person, online)

 

 

 

A 12: Share your intention with the other participants and ask them for tips. But above all: execute your plan next week!!

 

Finally

 

The experiences of Paul and Helen show that searching for a job, online ways to communicate are supplementary and an extension to personal encounters and more traditional activities to find a job. In the first place online activities make you more visible as a potential valuable employee and in the second place it enlarges your chances to be informed about job opportunities. You decide yourself how you prefer to use online networking (like social media); this all depends on your situation and your preferences.

To conclude, answer the questions below to summarize for yourself what you have learned. The discussion group of this module offers the possibility to exchange ideas with others about the answer to the first question.

1. The essence of networking to me is:

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

2. The most important thing that I learned in this module is :

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

3. Looking for a job I think it is important to start using the following online ways to communicate:

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

4. I don’t know yet what I will do after this module, but I am curious to learn more about: ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

 

This module has a closed membership.