Networking is more than just a one-time thing. In fact, with career networking, you can build a large network of contacts who can help you find your ideal job.
Career networking can help you now and in the future. In the short term, career networking enables you to build contacts who can help you explore myriad job opportunities. Meanwhile, in the long run, career networking enables you to partner with your network contacts to accomplish your career aspirations.
Of course, how you build your career network is key. With the right approach to career networking, you can get the most value out of your network.
There are several things you can do to foster a successful career network — and use it to find your next job. These include:
1. Network with the Right People
Merely including family members and friends in your career network is insufficient. If you want to land your dream job, you need to network with people who can help you accelerate your career growth.
To determine who to include in your career network, consider people who can help you achieve your career goals. These people may include your coworkers, professors, and mentors. Then, reach out to people you want to include in your network and stay connected to them going forward.
2. Take Advantage of Social Media
Social networks are great tools for career networking. So, you should connect with people you want to include in your career network via LinkedIn and other social media platforms.
It is also important to note that social networks can help you stay up to date about new jobs as they become available. If you engage your network contacts regularly via social media, you could get notified about new jobs that complement your skills.
3. Attend Networking Events
Networking events are held in cities and towns nationwide, and some events are even digital. Any time you attend a networking event, introduce yourself to new people so you can strengthen your career network.
If you meet someone at a networking event that you want to include in your career network, follow up with him or her after the event. Stay in touch with this individual in the weeks and months following the networking event, and he or she can likely keep you informed about any new jobs where you may be a good fit.
4. Provide Support
In order to build a successful career network, you need to support your network contacts in the same way they support you. Thus, you should be ready to offer job tips and recommendations and other help to your network contacts whenever you can.
Ultimately, what goes around comes around, particularly when it comes to career networking. If you dedicate time and energy to support your network contacts, they’ll do the same for you. As a result, you and your network contacts can support one another and simultaneously grow your respective careers.
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