If you reckon networking is only for corporate suit types or professional meetups that turn out to be super awkward, think again. Networking can be a really useful tool that helps you get more work and better connections.
Networking is a great way of getting to know more people in your industry. If you know enough people well, they might think of you when a job comes up. It also means you’ve got mates you can ask for advice and learn from which is an awesome bonus.
Most tradie jobs are filled by people who know each other, which is why jobs aren’t usually advertised on public sites. So your best chance of getting regular work is to get to know as many other tradies as possible.
We know it all sounds pretty cringe worthy, so we’ve got you covered to make it as pain free as possible.
List your Current Network
The first thing you can do is make a list of who you already know. That’s your current network. Start with everyone you’ve worked with before. Don’t just think of your old bosses, family or friends. Think of your trade school mates, who you did your apprenticeship with or people at your footy or cricket club. Do your mum, dad or family have friends who work in the industry? Put them in your list as well. Even if you hired someone to work on your own house, they still count as part of your network, so add them too.
Stay in Touch
Networks talk to each other all the time so it’s important to keep in touch. Even if it’s just to catch up or say hi, keeping in touch means you don’t feel awkward when you do want to chat or ask something.
When you do need something from your network, think about what you’re after first. If you’re looking for a job, you’ll want to ask for things in a different way than if you just need some new info about pay or hours.
If it’s for a small favour or a quick bit of advice, you’re probably right to just ask the question in a quick phone convo or text.
If you do reckon you need to see the person face to face, it’s better to think about what to say in a longer message first so you sound right and don’t come off pushy.
Try something like:
G’day mate (or use their name), I’m looking at getting work in (whatever area you’re interested in) and I’d like to buy you a coffee or pint and pick your brain about it. Let me know if you’re up for it over the next week or so.
If you’re ready to start your network list then you can grab a head start by downloading the goodwork app and setting up a profile. Chances are you’ll find people you already know so it’s a good bet.