In any stage of your career, being able to network effectively can reap significant rewards. Cultivating relationships with others in your industry and externally can help land you your dream job a or start out in a new industry altogether. Most importantly, it can help you cultivate a supportive community of mentors and peers.
Clarify your goals
First define your goals. Are you looking to enter a new field, to move up in the company or find a mentor to help you grow your career? Depending on your answers, you can determine which social and professional channels would serve you best.
LinkedIn is your first step to new connections. If you are looking for a new job, ask your close connections about upcoming work opportunities and possibility of an introduction to others who can help you get one step closer to that coveted position. Follow companies and thought leaders who offer insight in fields in which you are interested. If you are looking to reach out to someone not in your immediate network, send a personalised request to connect. Share some details about yourself and include interests you may have in common.
Once you have made a connection or introduction, work on building a relationship. This means learning more about your new contact and building a relationship based on trust and mutual benefit. Offer ideas, suggestions and offer to connect to a people in your network who may be able to help. If your contact is in a higher position than yourself, be sure to ensure it is a two-way relationship. Ensure you don’t rely on them to constantly help or give career advice. Offer ideas or suggestions and introduce them to people who may be of interest to them as well.
Join your local business organisations, attend industry networking events and look out for meeting groups such as a Toastmasters Club or meetup.com group in your area. Be sure to actively contribute and consider serving in available posts. It will help enhance your visibility and broaden your contacts within the organisation and externally.
Set aside time
Earmark 10 to 15 minutes a day to connect with new people and strengthen your relationships with your current connections. It can be as simple as sharing a relevant article to someone who may benefit from the information or scheduling a lunch together. Suggest attending conferences in which you both would find beneficial and informative.
Take the first step to effective networking by signing up for our free membership (for a limited time) which will help you build professional networks and connections and partner with the right mentor for your career journey. Sign me up!.