Networking is a powerful tool and one that will serve you well throughout your career. The ability to grow your’s will lead to a multitude of opportunities. It’s important to remember networks are a two-way street and you should be putting as much into it as you’re getting out of it. They’re helpful when it comes time to move on to a new position, finding a mentor, excelling in your current position, and so much more. For those of you who did the workplace challenge, the first week was centered around building one. Here are 5 ways to grow your network.
Keep in Touch
When you do leave a position make sure you keep in touch with your former colleagues. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of a new position but it’s important to maintain these professional relationships that you’ve already established. You don’t want to be that person who reaches out after two years of no contact because you need something.
This often overlooked social platform has over 500 million members with 40% of monthly active users logging in daily. To reiterate the point above, this is an easy way to implement the first tip. It’s also an easy way to open up yourself to new opportunities by keeping your profile up to date.
Attend a Conference
You will never know everything there is to know. It’s always a good idea to continue to keep up with industry trends and changes. What better way to connect with people in your industry than a conference? You can pull double duty by networking and expanding your knowledge base.
What’s your alma mater? Reach out to their alumni network. Lots of schools have resources in place to connect alumni with each other. Your school isn’t the only place to do this either. To my point above, LinkedIn is a great resource here as well. It allows you to to easily connect with fellow alumni and see where your connections are.
So you’ve met someone new and you’ve exchanged business cards. Follow up! Contact information serves no purpose if you don’t use it. If this is a weak spot for you, set time aside in your calendar to reach out to the new contacts you’ve collected. Send out an email or make some calls. Nurturing these new relationships is an important step to growing your network. On this note, don’t forget about your existing relationships. Be sure to check in with them as well.
What is your go-to networking strategy?