5 Reasons Why Networking is an Essential Part of Any Career Change

By Cari Frame, Career Coach


One of the first things we career coaches ask the clients we support is

“How do you feel about networking?.”

The vast majority do not enjoy networking, many actively avoid it at the best of times and even more so during a career change. One of our first priorities in supporting their professional goals is to help our clients not just accept that networking is important, but to embrace it and make it their own. But first, we must convince them why it is essential to their progress.

Here are the top 5 reasons:

  1. Access to the Hidden Job Market

If you have ever searched online job postings in sites like Indeed and LinkedIn, you will see that they share the number of applicants for each posting. These numbers can be alarmingly high, in the hundreds, which means a massive workload for HR teams to find the 10-20% of applicants that are qualified. To accelerate their access to top candidates, companies will ask their teams to bring them people from their networks who would be an excellent fit and are currently available. These “pre-vetted” candidates are often the ones to get interviews.

The other rarer side of the hidden job market are roles that get created because an organization realizes you fit their needs and they create a tailor-made role just for you. This is especially common for candidates and consultants who have diverse and specialized skill sets. This type of opportunity only comes about through networking conversations and relationship building.

  1. Connection to Professional Self

During a career transition or while building your new business, people often feel increasingly outside of their usual professional community, disconnected and struggling to maintain self-confidence. Searching for jobs and clients online exacerbates these difficult feelings. On the other hand, networking, or more accurately titled – connecting with people, helps in every way. Chatting with people who know you professionally, regardless of whether they have direct access to opportunities, boosts your morale, keeps you embodying your professional identity and keeps you in the conversation, instead of feeling outside of it. This comes in extremely handy when prepping for interviews and needing to embody your most outstanding professional self. (See #5)

  1. Find Best Fit Opportunities

If you have been working for 10 years or more, finding job postings that are an excellent fit for your skill sets and career goals does not happen very often. Most postings will feel like a 40-70% match and applicants hope to find more alignment with the role during the interview process. When networking and sharing your vision of your ideal next role with your peers, they leave the chat with all the details they need to find best-fit opportunities and contacts for you. And because networking is about building feelings of connection among like-minded people, your network will activate their feeling of connection to you by being a bridge to people and potential roles.

  1. Balance Online Efforts

Back before jobs were posted online, people accessed opportunities through the newspaper and by applying directly at places of business. We walked around (yes, I am THAT old), talked to people and handed them a paper resume, can you imagine?! In so many ways, online job boards are better, except that they amplify a person’s experience of separateness while looking for work or business. Most job seekers these days spend over 10 hours per week in online job search efforts, while they may only talk to their network for 1 hour or less per week. Screen time mixed with professional loneliness can have a dramatic negative effect on energy, morale, and the quality of how we show up in the world. Getting “offline” and into live conversations (even if they are on Zoom) is good for your health, mental and physical.

  1. Interview Prep

Imagine preparing yourself for an interview after months searching for jobs online with only occasional professional conversations. You would likely have to work hard to refresh your vocabulary, connection to key concepts and uplift your confidence, right? This is often what causes detrimental levels of nerves during interviews, your star has a harder time shining for interviewers to see and connect with. If you struggle to stand out in an interview, fewer call-backs will come.

Now imagine preparing for an interview after months of chatting with your network, keeping up on what is new and sharing your expertise in casual settings. You would be correct in imagining that you would have ample confidence, connection to your verbal ability to relate your skills and overall, exemplify your best foot forward. You would know your worth, assert it with confidence and have enough resilience to ride the rollercoaster of your career transition.


In case you have not read between the lines here, networking is vital to every professional’s resilience and agility in the marketplace. Even if you are well-seated in a long-term role, all the above still applies to you. Send out those connection invites, have coffee, a phone call or even a 15-minute Zoom visit, it does not matter. Your career depends on it.


At Toombs Inc., we empower clients to explore networking and forge meaningful connections on their own. We equip individuals with the necessary tools, resources, and strategies to navigate the networking landscape effectively. By fostering a proactive approach, we enable clients to build their professional network and seize new opportunities in their chosen fields.

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