At its core, networking is connecting with someone who you can turn to for advice or who can help provide access and information to elevate your knowledge and advance your career. It’s also a partnership which opens opportunities to create real connections that add value to both you and the people you’re networking with.
Before we delve into 6 core ways to network effectively, here are more undeniable benefits of networking!
When you increase your network, you’re exposing yourself to new ideas. People you network with will have experiences you’ve never come across, and in speaking with this person, you’ll open yourself up to new ways of thinking.
What networking does is bring you closer to new opportunities. Once you’re able to show others your value, they’re more likely to start tapping their network and open doors you didn’t even know existed.
You’re at the very beginning of your career. You have years and years of work ahead of you and it’s important that you continue to grow throughout your career. Networking is one way to ensure that your growth never stops and that you’re always improving yourself professionally, so you’re prepared for the next opportunity.
This is one of the jewels of networking. Not everyone you network with will be a mentor, but the ones who are will become an invaluable part of your personal and professional growth and advancement. Keep your eye open for those in your network with whom you have a particular connection. Then you can take the steps in asking them to be your mentor.
When you’re networking, you shouldn’t just do it to land a job. If you network well, what you’re actually doing is forming real, lasting relationships. These relationships will serve you in your personal life just as they will your professional career. Keep your network close and you’ll see how fulfilling a relationship can really be.
Now, without further ado…here are our top six ways to network this year!
Networking doesn’t just happen, it takes planning and consistent effort on your part. Decide how much time and energy you are willing to set aside for networking. The more effort you put into it, the greater your chances of success. Here are our top six ways to network this year!
1. Network to learn, grow, and adapt
Let’s flip your mindset right now. Instead of approaching networking as another thing on your to-do list for getting a job, think of it as a way for you to learn. You understand the value of education. When you network, all you’re doing is gaining more insight and information that is relevant to your career. You’re learning, growing, and preparing yourself for opportunities that your network will hopefully provide.
2. Think about your value
As we mentioned before, there’s a value exchange that happens when you’re networking. You’re not just entering the relationship to take what the individual has to offer. You have skills and talents too, and those skills are valuable. When considering who to network with, think about what you bring to the table and how you can be a useful resource to your network.
3. Identify common interests with your networker
It’s a lot easier and more comfortable to speak with someone you have something in common with. When networking professionally, you should keep that same mindset. Do research on the networkers you’re reaching out to. Find things that they’re interested in outside of the job. When you begin making that connection, ease into the conversation by referring to those personal elements that also reflect your passions or interests. This makes your connection far more authentic. If you meet someone for a coffee chat, have a list of questions ready to keep the conversation flowing. Contacting someone you don’t know can feel daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. If you’re contacting a new connection through LinkedIn, be sure to customize your message so it’s compelling.
4. Know what you want.
Before reaching out to others identify your long and short-term objectives. Without clear objectives, you’ll be wasting yours and others valuable time. Networking intentions should be synchronized with your goals. When this is clear you’ll know who to approach and what questions to ask
5. Know who’s out there.
Review your contacts and keep your list up-to-date. Your network should include diverse people representing various roles and areas of expertise.
6. Know how others can help.
Network contacts can advise, sponsor, inform, teach, nurture and connect. It’s important for you to know who in your network can offer what before you begin reaching out.
Remember, all serious networking is reciprocal. At Wood Recruitment, we already have an extensive networking database of employers and individuals seeking an employment partnership. For more information on how we can assist you, visit our website for more information and get in touch with our specialist team on (08) 9221 email@example.com.
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