The modern workplace is becoming increasingly global. This has made networking and contact building more important than ever, whether you’re trying to find your first job or getting to that next level in your field.
Networking is a skill that allows us to build contacts, establish relationships and have conversations with people who can help us grow with business. This can seem intimidating if you are not familiar with the process. Thankfully, there are some tips and tactics you can implement to make networking more successful.
1. Start before it’s too late.
Build your network before you need it. Don't wait until you lose your job to start building your professional network. Start now, so you have a network in place when that time comes. Think about who would make good connections for you, and reach out to them. If they don't know who they are yet, think about where they might be — look at LinkedIn and see who is connected to people you already know. When you need a job, you can tap these people for leads and referrals. You may also be able to get a recommendation from a contact at a company if you apply for a job there.
2. What are you looking for?
Set goals for yourself. Do you want to build a network of contacts who can give you advice? Are you looking for a mentor? Are you looking for someone who can introduce you to a professional? Or maybe you're looking for a specific type of job lead? Take some time to identify why you're networking and what kind of network would benefit your career development. Seek out people who share similar interests, whether through volunteering or other activities. For example, if you're interested in environmental causes and someone else shares that interest, reach out and get to know them.
3. No time to waste.
Choose the right events. Don't waste time at events where there won't be useful contacts. Do your research beforehand and make sure that the event will have the kind of people whom you want to connect with. Time is money!
4. Get yourself out there.
Find out who's connected to whom by using social platforms like LinkedIn and any other social apps. Make an initial contact through a friend or colleague. You may have something in common with someone who also knows the same person you'd like to meet. If you see potential for developing a business relationship, ask if he or she would introduce you to them. Making this connection gives you credibility before your first meeting.
In today's ever-changing business world, having a strong network is vital. Those who have the right connections, who can bring people together, are often the ones who succeed no matter what obstacle they encounter. Whether it's landing that much-needed job or helping to spread the word about your passion project, networking is a skill worth developing and one worth perfecting!
Let’s connect on LinkedIn!