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Networking - Just Do It.

 

You’ve almost certainly heard people talking about networking. You may have these or other reactions: 

  • I’ve heard of it but I don’t really know what it means
  • I’m terrified of it / it feels totally alien to me / it feels uncomfortable
  • I already do it, love it and find it useful and fun

 Wherever you are now, you need to know that networking plays a huge part in the job market, careers and business. If you’re not doing it then you’re missing out on a lot of opportunity, and a lot of interesting and enjoyable interactions.

Why is it so useful? It can help you perform better in your current role; it can help you to line up your next career step; it can help you to raise your profile and build reputation; it can help you research job or career moves and refine your CV; it can connect you with hiring managers; …and much more.

Biggest objection

A lot of people I work with have the same reaction I had when I first came across networking: “why would anyone want to talk to me? Anyway, I don’t want to put people out”.

Then I turn it round and ask them “if someone you knew asked you for help, or asked you to help someone they knew, would you help”. Most of them say they’d be delighted. So please, don’t limit your possibilities. Ask your network for help – you might just make their day.

Who is your network?

Basically, it’s everyone you know – online and offline.

Online, LinkedIn is the main place to be professionally. You can highlight the key benefits you bring, put a bit about your career history, and get other people to recommend you (publicly say how good you are). You can start conversations, join groups and make connections that will help you in your role and in lining up your next role.

Offline, there is obviously your professional network, the people you know who you work and have worked with. But remember, everyone you know either works or knows people who work. Think about who all those people work for and how they could help you.

So, your action now is to think about how your network can help you, and how you can contribute to your network.

This little video that I did on LinkedIn sums up the key points.

Have fun!

Dave

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