Networking is one of the most common ways to finding a new job. But for many, networking feels overwhelming because you were never really taught how to make authentic connections with your professional colleagues to benefit your career.
A professional network has the potential to help you land a job, earn a promotion, and create more opportunity for you in your career.
Here are some simple ways to build your network and work your way to a new job!
- Follow up
This is one of the easiest tips to network your way to a new job! Simply follow up with someone after you met them and had a conversation. Shoot them an email that is short and to the point. “It was great meeting you at ‘blah blah.’ Let’s meet up in a couple weeks and finish that conversation.”
Follow that up with an actual meeting, and make it easy for the person to know you and help you. Be prepared with knowledge of how this person is and how they can help you. Then maintain the relationship by staying in touch.2.
2. Use online platforms to network your way into a new job
Online platforms are an easy way to make initial contact with people you want to build a networking relationship with.
You don’t need to join every platform in order to be successful with online networking. Make sure you use the platform that most of your target networking relationships use. Then make sure to actively engage with people on a regular basis.
- Purple Squirrel
- Slack Public Groups
- Facebook Groups
3. Build real relationships with people in your virtual networks
Make a point to meet people you know through your virtual networks in person whether it is through conventions or local meetings. Taking time to build real relationships outside of virtual networks will increase the value of your relationship.
4. Deliver your elevator pitch in a unique way
People are never excited to hear other people talk about themselves. So instead of talking about yourself for 90 seconds, use an opening line that is attention grabbing and makes the person want to know more about you. What is unique about what you do? What will make you stand out in the crowd?
5. Be strategic
What is your purpose for building your network? Are you trying to network your way to a new career? Looking for ways to find new clients?
Depending on your purpose, you will target your network building in a different way. When you attend work events, parties, or meetings think about who will be there and who you should make a point to speak with.
Do research about the event to determine how you can use your time strategically to meet your networking goals. Make sure you are in the right organizations and taking part in activities that help you build your network with your career goals in mind.
MOST IMPORTANTLY: Don’t Give Up!
Networking takes practice and time just like any other relationship. Choosing to build your network now before you are trying to make any career moves will benefit you in the long run.