Did you know, that a lot of people end up being hired by a company they have a pre-existing connection with?
Networking is an amazing way to expand your network, but it is also a great tool for your career journey. When you find yourself looking for a new role or to step into a new career, networking can become of great importance for your options. Whether it be moving along the career ladder or side-stepping into a role with a better working environment or company culture, you never know when the connections you’ve made will come in handy!
The right circles
You should try to attend networking events that include people who could aid your next career move. If you are interested in the engineering sector there would be little point in attending a marketing event. Pick wisely, correct circles could include ex-colleagues, friends, groups with similar interests, your university alumni, or even neighbours.
Work your network
Don’t be a backseat networker, be actively engaged in whatever circles you enter. Even if it is just a keep-in-touch email once every so often, or posting in an online group. People are much more inclined to help people they are closer to, it’s a case of the more you put in the more you get out when it comes to working your group.
Give and take
Networking works both ways, a “you scratch my back” type encounter. If you come across useful information such as a blog, or a job to fit a fellow job seeker make them aware of it. The idea of a career network can be a personal activity but don’t forget to reciprocate where possible.
Social media can help build networks, ease regular communication efforts, and open new doors within other networks. LinkedIn is a great tool for this, you can join groups of interest, connect with people freely, and share relevant topics straight onto their feeds. There are many different online platforms created with networking in mind, more popping up every year so find the platform that suits you best.
68% of entry-level professionals value face-to-face networking more than online. With people usually favouring the latest tech this is a surprising statistic, it shows the value behind putting faces to names and building personal professional relationships.
If you, or your current company, belong to any professional bodies, try to attend the meetups they put on, you will find they are more likely to have the same goals and are happy to exchange business cards or other contact information.
Over 80% of job seekers say that their network has helped with their job search. So however you choose to network for your career make sure you follow these steps to ensure it's successful and you get the most from it.