Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and that means everyone’s recognizing what they have to be thankful for in their lives.
Job seekers and working professionals in particular have a lot to be thankful for. Regardless of your employment status, there are plenty of reasons to be thankful for those in your life who have provided advice, helped you to seek out new opportunities, or otherwise assisted you in your job search or career growth.
Your professional network of contacts has likely been a steady source of guidance and support throughout your career or job search, and that means it’s time to show them some appreciation. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, here are three reasons professionals and job seekers should be thankful for their professional network:
They give great advice. When building your career or searching for a job, you’re likely to wonder about a variety of issues: Am I formatting my resume correctly? How do I answer this type of interview question? Am I qualified for a position in marketing? Should I attempt freelance work? Whatever the case, you can think of your network as a pool of resources to draw from when you need career insight. Any professional should be thankful they can tap into their network’s collective knowledge to glean advice for their own job search or career.
They provide you with insider info. Your professional network is likely made up of a slew of individuals with different values, interests, and skills. They probably work at a variety of different companies or organizations, in a variety of different positions. That means they can provide insight into a seemingly endless list of disciplines, professions, companies, and work cultures. In most cases, you’re only a quick email or phone call away from this insider info—something any job seeker or professional should be thankful for when building their own career.
They connect you with new opportunities. Your professional network isn’t just about getting advice and insider info on companies and professions—your contacts can often be your key to a new job. Regularly keeping in touch with your professional network is key to keeping tabs on any job openings or other professional opportunities they may know about. In other words, your network is your door into the “hidden” job market. Too few workers tap into their network when they’re looking for a job, even though referrals dominate when it comes to filling open positions.
So now that you know why you should be thankful for your professional network, let them know! Send your contacts an email or LinkedIn message letting them know why you appreciate them this Thanksgiving.
Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for organizations with products that target job seekers and/or employers. She is also the author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011), #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.