Currently, my strategy for developing my professional network online and in person is to really get involved and stay current. To me, that means joining committees at work, such as the Social Committee, Joint Health and Safety Committee, and offering to help and assist with all events such as fundraisers, social events, corporate meetings, etc. I always make sure that I try to volunteer and help out whenever I can. This gives me the opportunity to network and meet new people that work at OLG, and in turn I can make great connections that could help me out in the future. It has always been important for me to get involved and get my name out there, you never know who can help you down the road and who might remember you for volunteering or assisting with a special project. Volunteering for various fundraising agencies such as the Canadian Cancer Foundation have also helped me to grow my professional network as I have met so many people while volunteering and helping for a great cause, plus it looks great on a resume to show that you have donated your time for the betterment of others!
LinkedIn and Facebook are also very important to me in developing my professional network. I try to ensure my LinkedIn and Facebook profiles are always updated, look professional, and that I am connecting and getting in touch with people who have similar career interests as mine. I do visit LinkedIn at least twice a day – I like to keep up with what is trending on there and ensure that I am following and connecting with new people each and every day. LinkedIn can be very helpful as it acts like an online resume, and job prospects may even seek you out via LinkedIn!
Having a professional look on social media is also a priority to me, as many of my colleagues and prospective employers can search my name online and all of my social media accounts will come up. I think it is important to maintain a professional image even though these accounts are for my personal use.
Taking this social media course, and other courses similar to this one, also will help me develop my professional network. Learning a new skill set while meeting and learning with new people at the same time can only help your network grow, and it’s something else to add to your resume. A win-win situation!
What are other ways you can grow your professional network?