By now, many of you must have heard about the big wave of layoffs from many tech companies, such as Shopee and Carsome, which puts many workers into unemployment mode.
The devastating status of our macro economy – all-time inflation, increasing interest rates, the Russia-Ukraine war, and weakening currency – induce a breakdown of the tech industry that has been thriving during the pandemic.
As an employee, that is nothing we can do, or change, for that matter of fact.
Whether a company is a small startup or a multinational company, anything bad can happen that destroys the operation and the profitability of a business.
For example, the 1997 Asian Financial crisis, political wars, or the recent contagious disease.
We cannot control the big environment, but what we can focus on is our ability to adapt and work in a new environment.
The question is: How can you find a new job in this tides-after-tides layoff period?
The power of networking
A leadership coach once said that connections are crucial. “If I didn’t know anyone and didn’t build a network, would I have moved forward? It would be very tough.”
Here are some left-brain stats: 88% of employers are found to view employee referrals as the most reliable way for new hires. Not only are the new employees responsible and independent, but their retention rate (45%) is also much higher than job board hires (25%).
But the problem is a lot of individuals found networking events uncomfortable and agenda-driven. It’s awkward and nervous; some even found the whole hoo-ha is a disguise for selling and showing off yourself.
For the past 5 years, Monsta Asia has collaboratively organised and conducted thousands of networking and learning events with colleges, universities and businesses. We found out that networking is not as scary as many people think it is.
Our participants have always enjoyed the sessions and just like what we promise, you will at least take away these 3 things from every session we have: 1 knowledge, 1 smile, and 1 new friend. (See all the brightening smiles flashing here!)
The best networkers create sincere connections and give more than they receive.
They ask “How can I help?”.
So, how can you start networking? Where can you network? What should you do to network?
The starting point of networking
First, where do you want to network? There are plenty of places or events that you can choose from.
Here is a list from Idealist:
- Ask for an introduction from friends/family
- Attend workshop
- Attend conference
- Join clubs
- Connect with coworker
- Social media
Or, even at a once-a-lifetime theatre show.
There is no limit to how or where you choose to network. One of our team member’s friends is learning Muay Thai and Japanese language at the same time!
That’s really no one-size-fits-all networking place for everyone. The rule of thumb is to start from your hobby – what interests you, and then show up to that place, and the rest will fall into place eventually.
The on-the-ground networking
Now, you have the place. It’s time to work out how you can slay and stay being you in the networking place without all the awkward and forced conversations.
Forget your personal agenda and focus on having a genuine real talk. Even if you are desperate to land a new job as soon as possible, do not reach out to people just because they are someone influential in a company. Get to know them first before talking about any “businesslike” topics.
Prepare yourself by having a clear understanding of your strength, skills, talents, and what you value the most. When you are in a networking event, especially having representatives from big companies like Meta and Maxis a few feet apart, you need to be the best version of yourself. Only then you can leave a good impression with them and they will turn around to notice you.
Be open-minded and honest. There will always be different opinions, thoughts, and perspectives from different people. Be ready to open your mind and broaden your horizon. If you feel uncomfortable with a certain topic, politely tell the person and try to divert to other topics.
Listen, Listen, Listen. The worst part of a conversation is to start bragging about how much achievement one has without letting another person to even open their mouth. When it comes to networking, as much as one wants to socialise, always remember to stop and listen. Only then a truly engaged and sincere conversation is formed.
Believe in the power of networking, or rather, the power of people. When you reach a networking place, the first thing you should NOT do is start to run away because of the crowded scene in front of you. Take a deep breath and look around slowly.
If you are not ready to talk to anyone, just grab a drink and sit somewhere else. You do not have to initiate any conversation. Just feel into the vibe and the surroundings first. It is okay to not talk to anyone if you are new to going to these kinds of networking events.
Other people might come up to you and talk to you. One day, in one place, you will get used to it and start to come up and out to others.
3 booster shots to network
These are some extra tips for you to have the best experience in networking, even after the event ended.
To get the most out of networking, and also help others as well, you can help to connect people together. When you are talking to different people in a networking event, there is a high chance that you come across 2 people whom you think might “click” since they have common interests or see eye to eye with some concerns.
This is where you can introduce both of them to each other. Small gestures like this will go a long way and leave a mark on people.
Follow up with people AFTER the networking event. You can share what you learn from that person and thank them for having a fruitful conversation by contacting them after leaving the event. The recipient will feel touched and appreciated, which helps to build a stronger bond between both of you.
If you are an introvert or a beginner for networking, bring a friend along to the event. Having someone you already know close to you helps to soothe your nerves and let your friend help open up conversations. The best way is to bring an extrovert friend who understands you well enough to help share your values and skills with others.
If you ever face a layoff (touch wood!), you will be jumping into the next company in no time. Because networking is the only thing that is constant in this ever-changing world.
The more you network, the more you have genuine connections, the easier you will get help, and the faster you land a job.
And you can start your first ever (or, second, third…) networking event at Monsta Asia’s LIVE theatre show that features a self-discovery performance show, high-profile juries networking, and the reveal of the winners of the MonStar Awards 2022.
Not only can we guarantee that you have never experienced this kind of networking event, but you will also walk away that night feeling empowered, strong, and most importantly, being your true self.