Last week I was talking about networking with one of my coachees. They were very worried because they felt they did not have a network. They understood that a network was important, but they could not identify their network. They were concerned that a lack of a network would hurt their career, hold them back from achieving their career goals. You know what, they are right. Following are our 5 Awesome Tips to Start Building Your Network:
The Australian Government revealed that “The research shows that 17 per cent of all jobs are advertised through word of mouth alone.” Searching for new opportunities on the internet is no longer the conventional way to develop one’s career. It is the connection between people that can be the start of a rewarding career. These are the connections that will refer you, support you and boost your chances of finding that dream job.
Networking is building a professional relationship with someone that has more experience that can turn into a mentorship, professional friendship or a sponsor that will recommend you for a promotion. One of the factors that some people tend to forget in a networking relationship is both people need to benefit. Network relationships are collaborative partnerships.
Here is a classic example of the beauty of networking. A previous colleague of yours is searching for a managerial position and a new opening is available at your company. Share the news with him and if he is interested in applying, recommend him to the hiring manager. In the future, he will remember your act of kindness and will return the favor. I call it the art of networking.
Below are some tips that can help you build a strong network.
Create a Public Profile
Personal branding is the key to success. I recommend using promotional tools such as business cards, a website or a LinkedIn profile. Be creative and post photos while at networking events or write a blog about trending news stories in your industry. The power of an online presence will establish you as an expert. As a result, people in your industry will naturally be drawn to you.
Go to Networking Events
I strongly recommend attending networking events at least once a month. It can be a scary experience for introverts, but it is essential for career development. You will be surprised to discover human resources recruiters attend to search for fresh talent. If you show up with friends, walk away from the group to start conversations on your own. It will help to build your confidence to attend upcoming events by yourself.
People surround themselves with individuals that are confident and are true to their individuality. Colleagues can notice a new employee that pretends to be the opposite of their true character. If you are an introvert, be comfortable with being a team player and use interpersonal skills to impress the manager. An extrovert can exhibit leadership skills and effectively communicate with introverted team members. The experienced professionals at the organization appreciate working with new hires with a pleasing personality.
Networking does not necessarily mean you always need to agree with other people’s opinions. New employees can bring a fresh perspective to a company because of the experience at other organizations. You can present strategic ideas that were implemented at your last company to help a company succeed. For example, you can express your opinion in meetings on strategies to help the company improve customer service, products or employee engagement initiatives.
Track Your Networks Important Life Events
I recommend that you track important events for people in your network. Some of the things you should remember:
- Work anniversary
- Recent achievements / accomplishments
- If they start a new role, send greetings or well wishes
It is the small details in life that matter the most. Pay attention to the small details and it can result in a significant opportunity to improve your career. By the way, all of this information can be gleamed by monitoring your LinkedIn page as the system notifies you of these events.
Get Involved in Volunteering
Volunteering is a fabulous way to build a unique network. However early on in your career you should focus on volunteering that relates to your career or career goals. For example, most industries have a peak-bodies have committees you can join or consider joining a chamber of commerce as they also have committees looking for volunteer members.
This will boost your profile and your personal brand in your industry and it will connect you to people who have a common purpose therefore making it easier to build professional relationship.
Do you need career networking advice? Do you want to become an effective networker? Well look no further, click on the “Book Now” button and book your 45-minute obligation free Career Strategy Conversation.
You may also be interesting in this networking blog: Networking for Introverts
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