Networking is an important part of climbing the professional ladder. It’s one of the only ways to successfully advance in your career. Whether it’s within the company you’re working for now or in your specific field overall, networking can put you in the right place at the right time. Knowing the right people is key.
If you’ve never networked, it’s time to start. Many may be overwhelmed with how to start. That’s why we are here. Below, you’ll find several tips that can help you as you begin.
Existing Network – Whether you know it or not, you do have an existing group of people you could rely on when it comes to moving up in your career. Use Facebook friends, co-workers, colleagues, previous co-workers and more. Think about anyone and everyone that might know someone. Talk with those people first. See how far you get with building a new network of people.
Organizations – In order to learn more about those working in your field, join various organizations that pertain to your industry. Learn from these people and volunteer to help when it’s needed. Also look for other things like company softball teams and more.
Professional Events – Making yourself known is a key part of networking. The best way to do that is by attending professional events. Arrive on time, ask questions that are simple and direct, smile, share your ideas and passion, be courteous and remember to follow up with those you’ve met via email when the event is over. You’ll be surprised at how far you’ll get with these type of meetings.
Social Media – As we mentioned above, you can use Facebook friends to network. Before doing so, be sure your accounts are up-to-date and professionally based. Don’t use your personal profiles that contain vacation or party photos and inappropriate comments or messages from friends and family. Take time to get Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn ready to use professionally and then use it to your advantage. You can even use Instagram, as well.
Networking Now – Many think that making the effort to meet new professionals can wait until they’re out of work. This isn’t true. Networking now is the best idea. That way, you’ll already have connections when a new career is needed. Don’t wait! Make networking a priority, even if you’re happy with the job you’re in now. Otherwise, you might never get the promotion you’re hoping for.
If you are an extreme introvert and networking seems impossible, check out this guide.
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