An opportunist is always looking for opportunities, but what if there are none around? Sounds like a bummer, doesn’t it?
Networking offers a lot of potential for helping you broaden your reach and obtain knowledge. You establish connections with individuals from related and even unrelated sectors through networking. It aids in your professional development and could even assist you to get employment or even when you are performing well at work in your current job.
You could feel confused about where to start when looking for a job. You can run into a major hurdle because you don’t know where to look or where to apply. Over time, this becomes frustrating because nobody wants to idle away at home. Social relationships that are of a high caliber are formed through networking as well, and these partnerships open doors to new opportunities since they make it clear that you are there and that you have what it takes to succeed.
If you have the correct contacts, navigating your career journey is easier. While searching for employment, learning more about your field and that of others, and even while wanting to advance to the next level, career networking benefits you personally and professionally. It just seems most practical to maintain a vibrant social network because you never know when you might need your business network.
The majority of hiring managers also appear to favour candidates who have connections, and most job searchers have also obtained employment through the network they have established as the majority of openings are not even posted online. These relationships open up access to those untapped labour markets that are not clearly apparent to the broader public. Networking is one of the most effective strategies to access these opportunities.
Now that we know of the value of networking, let’s look at a few tactics you could adopt to try to create your own network.
1. Prep yourself up to start networking
To create a quality web network, you must initially be prepared to impress the person in front of you. You need to give them something to hold onto so they can remember you. A good place to start is by outlining your identity and aspirations in an elevator pitch. Talk about who you are and what you aspire to be. This makes it easier to navigate through the conversation the next time you bump into someone you want to professionally connect with. You can also let people know what you do by making business cards for yourself, or even digital cards.
It is possible to generate a digital card with apps like JollyHires which is also a job search app that allows one to create one’s smart card and also share via various social media platforms. This digital card also comprises of your social media profile links, so that the people looking you up, don’t leave your page disappointed.
2. Begin with your personal references and develop relationships from there
You may think you don’t have a network but you already do. Your friends and family are already a sizable part of your network. Once you figure out what you are looking for, ask them for support and any recommendations they believe would be helpful. Concentrate on developing your contacts from there, and once you do this frequently, you’ll have a large network to draw from sooner than you realize.
3. Build quality relationships
Be careful not to sound egotistical as you expand your network. Instead of simply mingling for the sake of mingling, attempt to develop meaningful connections with individuals who will want to assist you when you need it. Ask for recommendations and guidance rather than employment or opportunities. Try to provide them with your references and advice where possible and make it a two-way street by giving and receiving.
The easiest way to stay connected to others in a meaningful way is by maintaining an online calendar of Birthdays and anniversaries that would remind you to send a quick wish or a call to your contacts on their special days. Not only will your contacts feel this to be a sweet gesture but will appreciate and value your seldom messages compared to other people who for the sake of being connected are used to sending the usual forwards that keep floating around on various social media platforms.
4. Keep up with your network
Comparatively speaking, creating your network is simpler than keeping it up. Stay in touch with your community at all times. Be involved all the time rather than only when you need something. Set up meetings with the people and maintain daily contact. Community gatherings are the best way to get in touch with more reliable people as they already could be a second or third-degree connection. A lot can happen over community gatherings that would involve food and drinks as it sets up the stage for people to strike up conversations and share a few laughs. These gatherings will undoubtedly offer some new perspectives and insights.
5. Participate in professional gatherings and activities
Without dismissing the value of any, networking in person has a lot more advantages than networking online. As all of the people you might need have already gathered at one location and time for the event, attending these gatherings can make expanding your network much easier. All you got to do is to interact. Simply attending these events and showing up has a tremendous impact on developing your web of connections.
6. Determine whom you should network with
If you are a student, make friends with your instructors, fellow students, and other faculty members. Participate in college or university events as a volunteer to meet others who have common interests. Discover the alumni of your colleges and strike up a conversation with them. Discover your placement committee and officer, then work your way up. Attend conferences and workshops for professionals if you’re looking for work. Keep in touch with former co-workers and employers because they are crucial to developing contacts as well. Your network can also be aided by your personal contacts from the gym, society, and your neighbours too!
Use these pointers to connect right away and aid your job search!