Networking is necessary for career advancement and success but it is also something that you can easily let slide. Lives are generally busy both inside and outside work, and the idea of devoting a few hours at a networking event may not fill you with joy. That said, when you need your network to find you a new job or to open the door to exciting possibilities, you may well find yourself wishing you had networked more. If you have let networking slide, these tips help you get back on the networking horse.
Cultivate the Right Networking Mindset
The art of good networking is to cultivate the right mindset. Networking is not so much about how you can use someone to springboard to a better place, but more about getting to know a person, their job role, and industry.
When attending networking events try and meet as many people you can. Keep the dialogue open as best you can and be interested in what the other person is saying. If you exchange business cards at the end of the conversation you should see this as a win.
It could well transpire that you arrange to do lunch or provide information. It is important to keep your promises in that regard and could be the difference between receiving an exciting opportunity or being overlooked.
Reconnect to your Existing Network
Reaching out to your existing network should be done as a matter of course. Again, keep it conversational and drop in your personal circumstances. If you have something you can offer, even if it is something like a link to an article you have read you may feel will interest your contact, offer it to them. It is a nice gesture.
Reconnecting to your existing network often opens possibilities and this should be done both inside and outside of LinkedIn.
LinkedIn profiles need to be sharp and written to give both an idea of your value proposition and work experience. The language should be simple, and your skills and competencies should be listed at the bottom of your profile description section.
Your aim is that when a person reads your profile they can quickly grasp what you are about and want to connect.
Leverage LinkedIn groups and utilise the search and filter functions to find contacts that could potentially help you achieve your aims.
Try and join in discussions via LinkedIn groups and network updates. Choose topics that interest you and ones where you can make a valuable contribution. This will show others what you know.
Most executives have personal brands now and writing about your networking experiences as it evolves will make for great reading among your peers. Do it right and you will inspire! Write about setbacks stating how you overcame them as well as your successes. You can share your experiences across your social media networks.
Do not be put off if your early attempts at networking do not go as planned. Like all things, it is just a question of practice.
Networking alone will not make your career ignite. You have to bring authority to every aspect of your networking and have some kind of provable successful track record in your job role. Once you have this, however, networking will unlock the doors to success.