Wondering what sets successful people apart? In many cases, it’s their networks. If you’ve been looking for the secret to building a professional network, the reality is there is no secret! Meaningful relationship building requires a long-term strategy for developing relationships with individuals in your industry and beyond. The more adept you become at connecting with others both online and in person, the easier it will be for you to create a network that enhances your career and helps you grow professionally.
Here are some tips for creating a professional network:
Get involved in your industry.
Making a name for yourself in your field of work requires more than simply excelling in your job. To truly accelerate your career and your personal brand, you must network with top industry leaders at events, seminars and conferences. In almost every city, there are industry groups that offer monthly networking opportunities for their members. Attending or participating in things like panel discussions or lunch-and-learns will give you a prime opportunity to learn from other professionals and expose yourself to new employers.
Be proactive about outreach.
In the world of networking – especially if you’re in the early stages of your career – you can’t expect new contacts to just come your way without being proactive. The expression “get comfortable with being uncomfortable” strongly applies to this concept. Being proactive involves researching individuals whom you’d like to develop relationships with and taking time to personally reach out to them. While it can be scary contacting somebody whom you’ve never met, it’s essential you not let fear of the unknown hold you back. If you’re super new to networking, you may want to consider asking family and friends for some introductions to professionals in their networks. This will help you expand your reach while using personal connections as resources throughout the process.
Express gratitude and appreciation.
You can’t afford to be rude or dismissive of others if your goal is to build high-quality relationships. Expressing gratitude and thanking others for their time is key to getting a new connection off the ground. For example, if you meet someone at an event who offers to introduce you to someone else, you should always follow up with a thank-you note. As simple as it may sound, showing your appreciation and being kind to others will get you far in the networking game.
There’s no denying that making new contacts is easier said than done. By being vigilant with your efforts, you’ll grow your database of contacts and create a powerful network throughout the course of your career.
Are you seeking new employment opportunities?
Get in touch with The Liberty Group, with locations in major cities throughout the United States – including offices in New York, New Jersey, Georgia, Ohio and the Carolinas.