It is common knowledge that networking is an essential factor towards career success, but it is also easy to overlook just how often we should be making the effort! If you have been working in your field of experience for a couple of years, you probably already have some sort of established network. You have collected some business cards, exchanged a few friendly emails, and maybe even offered a favour to an acquaintance in need.
However, in order to continue along your professional pathway, you need to make the right connections. These essential contacts will open new doors to amazing opportunities. In fact, according to LinkedIn Talent research, approximately 56% of professional recruiters depend on their network for hiring new talent. If you are keen to know how to expand your professional network, look no further. Here are 5 ways to grow your professional network:
1. Don’t limit yourself to your industry
Networking in your industry is, of course, a good start. But to really grow your professional network, make connections outside of it! Expanding your networking efforts beyond your career field helps you flourish professionally. It can help you to expand your knowledge beyond your profession and learn more about other fields, which could even spark a career change!
2. Attend networking events
Online or in-person networking events help to get you in front of industry leaders and let you meet key players to make a lasting connection. You may very well meet a potential hiring manager—or even find your next ideal job—at one of these events as well.
3. Reach out to current connections
No matter where you are in your professional journey, you should already have a network. Contact people you know who could help you advance in your career. This can be friends, classmates, current or previous co-workers. Cultivate and grow these relationships by reaching out to them directly or connecting on social media.
4. Improve and update your LinkedIn profile
Updating your LinkedIn profile lets you share your career information with your network through notifications. Once they receive an alert, there’s a high possibility that your connections on the professional networking platform will check your profile changes. Most recruiters are always on the lookout for the best candidates. For this reason, they can come across your profile, connect with you, and may even offer potential job opportunities.
5. Keep your social media account active
Social media is an easy and enjoyable way to get to know people, keep in touch, and send private messages to ask how they are doing. Posting informative news and inspirational quotes now and then on the platform generates interest and initiates interactions with others. Moreover, it helps you maintain that connection with your professional network while keeping it casual. Whether you utilise social media to market your business or to share content, you must be engaging but still able to maintain a modest presence.