Start Growing Your Professional Network Today
Growing your professional network means connecting with like-minded professionals, making new connections, and strengthening your existing relationships with people.
Networking may help you in your current situation and/or set the table for a possible move to a new post. Either way, you’ll thank yourself for taking steps in growing your professional network, when you really need it.
Related: Networking Sites for Job Seekers
So, as you swing into building your professional network, here are some great ways to get started.
LinkedIn is basically the holy grail for growing your professional network. Joining groups on LinkedIn is a surefire way to make new connections with like-minded professionals. Look for groups in your industry, occupation, or geographic location and make sure to engage in group discussion on a regular basis. Joining groups is just one of many effective tactics for making new connections on LinkedIn.
Going out and having fun is a very real strategy for growing your professional network. Gatherings hosted by family and friends may lead to unexpected connections. Strike up a conversation, keep an open mind, and pounce on the chance to connect with new and interesting folks when the opportunity presents itself.
Be a Volunteer
Volunteering is a surefire way to meet new people in a low-pressure, friendly environment. Getting started is really easy. Just run a search for volunteer opportunities in your area or a local food bank (they’re always looking for help). Also, consider joining an organization such as Kiwanis, Rotary, or your local Chamber of Commerce.
Publish and share original content (blog, vlog, and podcast) on social media sites. Demonstrating your thought leadership will attract like-minded professionals to consume your content, and things just snowball from there.
Attend a Conference
Going to events and conferences in your industry, occupation, or geographic location is a highly efficient way to meet tens or even hundreds of like-minded professionals. Most professional associations and organizations host at least one in-person event every calendar year. Also, Eventbrite is a simple way to find local events and conferences.
Networking may be outside of the nuts and bolts of what you do everyday, but that doesn’t make it unimportant.