They say that it’s not what you know but who you know if you want to advance your career. And it seems that most people agree with this adage. Up to 71 percent of employees rate job networking as important or even essential to their career prospects.
What’s more, similar studies show that professional connections also lead to greater job satisfaction and better job prospects for those looking for new challenges.
But how exactly do you go about making connections for career advancement? Let’s take a look!
Reconnect With Your Existing Network
Whether you realize it or not, you already know plenty of people who have the potential to help you advance your career.
Co-workers, former colleagues, family, and friends are obvious sources of potential job networking opportunities. But be sure not to overlook people you know through social situations such as the gym, church, or your kid’s school, as well as neighbors, your dry cleaner, or even your doctor. Mentioning your line of work and current situation could be all it takes for an unexpected opportunity to arise!
Strengthen Your Job Networking Prospects
Above all your network should reflect where you want to go rather than where you’ve been. This means that as well as building connections with your existing contacts, you’ll need to add people to your network who represent your desired career path. Here, you’ll need to look for ways to cultivate industry-specific connections by attending conferences, job tracking, seeking out webinars, and making online connections with those already operating in your field.
Focus on Building Relationships
Many people are hesitant about job networking as it can feel forced or desperate. But if you focus on building relationships above all, the process becomes both easier and more rewarding.
Authenticity is key, as is a good deal of mutual respect and consideration for the connections you’re making and the time you share with each other. Treat them as an ally in your career advancement and offer help and advice as well as asking for it. Finding ways to reciprocate only ever leads to stronger connections.
Be Specific About Your Objectives
Whether you’re reconnecting with old ties, building new relationships, or strengthening your online presence, you’ll need to be specific about what you want to achieve through these different networking activities.
Are you looking for a reference? A referral? An introduction? Or an insider’s take on how to get ahead in your chosen field? Your actions, resume, and the connections you build should all refer back to this objective. This way, everyone will be on the same page and your efforts will be more likely to pay off.
Top Tips to Advance Your Career
While making connections to advance your career is often worthwhile, it’s often difficult to know where to start.
But, with these tips to guide you, you’ll be job networking your way to the top in no time!
Looking for more great advice like this? Be sure to check out our other blog posts for all the latest on everything from buying an electric guitar to increasing website visibility!
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