If you want to advance your career by landing a promotion or a better job with a new company, you need to learn to network. In an ideal world, people would get jobs based solely on their qualifications and experience but, in reality, it doesn’t work that way.
You stand a much better chance of getting the best positions if you already know somebody that works with the company, especially if they have a hand in the hiring decision. Often, you can find positions that are not even advertised by networking with influential people in the business.
The problem is, networking doesn’t come naturally to everybody, and that leaves certain people at a disadvantage. If you are one of those people, here are some great tips on how to start building a strong network to advance your career.
Start With Friends And Family
If you’re looking for a new job, start by asking people close to you. Obviously, it depends on whether you know anybody that works in your chosen industry, but it never hurts to ask around.
Friends and family might know people they can introduce you to, and this is a less daunting way to start building a network. You probably won’t land your dream job just by asking a few friends, but it’s a great place to begin.
Attend Networking Events
Networking events are filled with influential people that can help you get your foot in the door. Attending as many of these events as possible is the key to building a strong network and moving up the ladder.
So, check out any local events and don’t be afraid to travel to attend the biggest events too. While there, make sure that you talk to as many people as possible, and always hand out business cards, so people can contact you.
Follow up with people that you talk to in the days after the event, so you can build meaningful relationships. Without the follow-up, you’re wasting your time.
If you work in a fairly niche industry, and you find that there aren’t any networking events in your area, you have a golden opportunity to start your own. This means you can invite all the people that you want to connect with.
Start by finding a suitable place to host the event, like the Hartford Society Room corporate event venue. Then put together a list of the big industry players that you want to invite to the event. Consider what your career goals are and who you need to get in with, and prioritize them.
If you can make it a success and start hosting a regular event, you will build a very strong network.
Don’t Forget Online Networking
Online networking platforms like LinkedIn are ideal for connecting with people from around the globe. If you are not already using it, you should make an account right away. Whenever you connect with somebody new, send them a simple message introducing yourself.
Don’t be too pushy and start asking for jobs right away, just focus on building relationships first.
Mastering the art of networking is one of the most effective ways to climb the ladder and push your career forward, so get started today!