If you want to make the connections or you want to advance your career and expand your circle of influence, networking is one aspect of career building you don’t want to skip. Despite its importance, many clients we work with don’t give the process the attention it deserves.
Networking doesn’t have to take up a lot of your time and the following three strategies will help you make networking a priority by working it into your regular, everyday routine.
Adopt a networking mindset and create value
Instead of thinking of networking as something that you only do when you aren’t “busy” doing something else, keep it top of mind as you go through your day. Reflect on the things that you have learned, and ask yourself if it’s something that could help someone else? Who can you share this information with that will truly benefit? Give a colleague a call and share it with them or create an article and post it in a professional group if it’s a tip or newsworthy item others would find interesting.
Write a short note or email and share your experience and insight with a colleague, or simply stop by their office to say “hi” and strengthen and cultivate your connection. Take the time to refer connections to open positions you become aware of to help them and increase the value you offer your network.
Reach out to people and organisations you admire
Take a good look at the top business owners, executives and thought leaders in your field and industry. Do you share their values and interests? Why not reach out to some of them through LinkedIn or another online platform and seek to connect, especially if you share some existing connections? Ask someone who knows both of you to make an introduction. This may increase the chance they’ll accept your invitation. You could also try reaching out to your peers in their organisations and seek to connect with them to learn more about their organisation and its leaders. You may gain an introduction to them in this way.
Networking isn’t just about events
Any event can be a networking opportunity, even your scroll through the social media posts you check each day. When you spot a way to help someone, do it. Think about what specialised skills and information you have to offer, and what others can learn from you. What a great way to be remembered.
While you won’t necessarily see immediate results from your networking efforts, it’s important to take a long-term approach to building your circle. Consistency is the key to growing your network and putting it to work for your benefit and the benefit of others.
How healthy is your network? Is networking a cornerstone of your career development strategy or an afterthought?
We’d love you to share your experiences and advice about networking. Please go ahead and leave us a comment.
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