Networking: The action or process of interacting with others to exchange information and develop professional or social contacts.
Having the right professional contacts can help you develop your business or personal career path and is a sure-fire way of opening doors to new opportunities. Yet somehow, many business professionals still fear networking, or don’t execute it correctly.
Find below our top tips for career networking, and advance your career today!
Network Anywhere and Everywhere
If you think of networking as simply forming connections, it’s easier to see the many opportunities that present themselves when it comes to networking.
Use Social Media Effectively
Nowadays, networking doesn’t restrict itself to rounds of golf and formal events. Social Media is one of the biggest tools at your disposal when it comes to forming connections with like minded professionals.
LinkedIn should be your starting point, no matter what job you’re looking for. Search by company or job title, and reach out to connect with people. Twitter is also a useful tool. It’s a great place to research your target companies and connect with recruiters or hiring managers.
Seek out a Mentor
Whilst it’s good to connect with a variety of people, it’s also good to build deeper, meaningful connections that last for the long term. A mentor can guide throughout your career, help you negotiate and provide advice.
Lend a hand yourself
It’s safe to say that networking goes both ways. If you see an opportunity to help out one of your connections, make sure to take it. You’re sure to gain a deeper working relationship with them, and they’ll be very grateful!
Always follow up
Following up is a simple task that many people forget about, or don’t bother doing. And it’s a critical step in the networking process.
As soon as possible after meeting someone new in person, make sure to connect with them on LinkedIn and include a personalized message asking to stay in touch. Be sure to reach out every so often, or engage with their posts.
Like most processes, consistency is key. If you find your networking isn’t bringing you opportunities, it may not be about how you’re networking, but how often you’re doing it.
You must be willing to put yourself out of your comfort zone, and introduce yourself to others – be it formally or informally – on a regular basis.