We’ve all heard that networking is a key ingredient to professional success, but when we imagine times we’ve done it our memories merely recall strong handshakes at business events, or coffee chats with a friend of a friend. But unbeknownst to many of us, we’re missing out on crucial networking opportunities, some of which have been staring us right in the face on trips to work or in our inbox. So to help you up your game, here are the five best networking strategies guaranteed to excel your career.
Create An Online Presence
Forging a professional space to showcase your expertise online has become more valuable than ever. From keeping up to date with industry pioneers on Instagram to sharing news, stories and visuals on Pinterest, social media provides a unique platform to keep up to date with your industry and get your name out there. Interacting online with industry peers is networking in itself, but a much easier and more casual means of making connections than traditional approaches.
Send Casual Emails To Make Connections
If you’ve emailed someone that you’re eager to get in touch but haven’t heard back, it’s likely their inbox is swamped and you shouldn’t take it personally. However, even if your email goes without a response, following up some time later with a ‘no obligation’ message can go a long way and keep your name in their subconscious thoughts, whether it’s to congratulate a promotion or award or sending through an article you think they would like. This is an easy way to keep connected and open to contact.
Met someone who, despite many emails back and forth, has not been able to nail down a time for you to meet up and chat over coffee? Instead of pushing for a meeting when there’s clearly no symbiosis in scheduling, express other ways of connecting that are largely hassle free – a ten-minute conversation on the phone, or through video chat, or messaging on social media. Time is valuable so whomever you’re reaching out to will appreciate you going the extra mile to accommodate an interaction with them.
Don’t Be A Networking Snob
Though you may think that a meeting with the CEO of a business will carve out your best path to success, think outside of the box when it comes to networking, since there could be connections worth making in the most unlikely of places. That means being friendly and open to chat with interns, colleagues, superiors and those in different departments.
Look Outside Of Your Industry
Don’t limit yourself to what you know. If you’re part of a regular running group, or you go to yoga or dance classes at the weekend, or you’re involved in community projects or volunteering, utilize your connections there. Your hobbies could be fresh gateways to new professional spheres, with people with skills and experience that could enhance your own.
Do you have any fool proof networking tips you’d like to share? Give us a shout on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. If you’re on the hunt for a new job and not sure where to look, have a peruse of our current vacancies or contact us on 0141 212 5130.