Networking – Is it possible to survive without it?

Networking! The job market here in Canada relies heavily on networking, which can get too daunting sometimes. As a part of my learning at George Brown College, we took a course where various marketing industry experts shared their journeys. They guided us on how to navigate through the marketing industry in this country, and more specifically, on how networking can help us succeed here.

I am thankful to Wendy Greenwood, our professor at GBC, who spearheaded this course to aid our journeys. She sourced a perfect platter of people to mentor us, ranging from the heads of companies to our program alumni, so that we could see what was ahead of us from both sides of the table.

These speaker sessions helped me understand how marketing functions in Canada. Having prior experience in the field in India, it was interesting to note that there are more similarities than differences in its structure and operations.

What the speakers had to say

Coming to the speakers that I thoroughly enjoyed listening to, Blair Roebuck, the Vice President of Marketing Science at Valtech, introduced me to a new and booming profession: Marketing Scientist. She walked us through the importance of data and analytics in marketing and taught me how to navigate the deep waters of numbers.

Through these seminars, I learned more about social and public sector marketing from  Caroline Berryman, Manager of Communications, Community Engagement & Marketing, York Region. Her insights made me realize that when it comes to social marketing, there is no proven method to it because, here, we are selling an idea as opposed to selling a product in the private sector. Digital marketing aids this process by helping you measure the engagement of your online marketing efforts.

Amanda Lee, Account Director, Aber Group, shed light on the Canadian marketing agency life owing to her continuous growth within the field. Her seminar substantiated my interest in paid media marketing. There are always new platforms, methods, and strategies that you can experiment with in this field. It keeps you on your toes and helps you learn something new daily.

Photo by cottonbro

Plunging into the world of networking

This year, I started taking baby steps into networking. Amanda’s (The Aber Group) professional growth motivated me to apply for the co-op position at her firm. I connected with her and gave an interview there as well. Here’s hoping that something works out for good!

Regarding the job-finding resources, I rely heavily on job boards like Glassdoor, Indeed, and LinkedIn Jobs. When I find one I am interested in, my first step is to find the company on LinkedIn and check if I have a connection there. Drawing from the tips by various speakers, I reach out to these connections and try to build a rapport with them.

GBCareers has also been a helpful resource. I like that it filters through the barrage of jobs available on other job boards and curates a selection of the ones relevant to your program. It helps save time and effort of going through hundreds of irrelevant job postings out there.

Is there a right way to network?

Along the way, I learned that you need to be ready for the job-hunting storm waiting to hit you. Have your resume updated and ready. You might have to send it across any time, anywhere. Always aim to ask questions to the interviewer. It shows them that you are interested in the company and position.

Additionally, don’t hesitate to reach out to people on LinkedIn or even platforms like Twitter and Instagram. Send them a well-articulated introductory message. Remember not to be a creepy stalker. What’s the worst-case scenario? They might not reply to you, or they might block you. It’s okay. It is not the end of the world. At least you tried!

Another thing that might work in your favour is being active on your social media platforms, especially LinkedIn. Curating and posting suitable content regularly helps gain eyeballs. People usually gauge your interest in your field based on how active and relevant you are on LinkedIn.

Most importantly, don’t get disheartened if you get 10x more rejections than positive replies. Things have a way of working out. It might just take some more time. After all, you will eventually work at only one place, not ten at the same time.

Photo by Tracy Le Blanc

Parting Thoughts

I am finally giving an honest chance to networking. While I connected with a few speakers, I thanked and spoke to others on LinkedIn. It may or may not be fruitful in the short term, but I now understand that building bridges will help you someday. These connections will come to fruition one day, and until then, I am happy to keep walking this path and adding to my personal database.

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