Building a network is one of the most important things you can do to advance your career. Your network can share insights and best demonstrated practices with you as well as introduce you to new contacts and help you find that next opportunity.
I first realized how important my network was when I was laid off from a marketing job in a financial institution. I had worked there for eighteen years. Everything I knew, I had learned on the job. My network at the time included people I had met at work and old school friends. I didn’t have a strategy for maintaining it. Since then I have learned the importance of having a professional network and keeping it alive by meeting up with them regularly (in person or online).
Since then, I have updated my LinkedIn profile and ensure that it is always up to date with my most recent work experience. I also highlight the most important skills that I want to promote. LinkedIn is after all, the most important professional networking tool available! When I make a new professional acquaintance I always ask if I can connect with them on LinkedIn.
My networking has paid off in so many ways! First by all of the information I have learned through my contacts and secondly in advancing my career. I recently was promoted to a new role in the federal government thanks to a tip from someone in my network!
I am going to continue developing my network by looking for people with similar work interests on Facebook and Twitter. I’m also going to try and find different professional events and meetups that are occurring in my neighborhood and online that are of interest to me. These will be a great opportunity for me to build my network and expand my knowledge.
Any extra tips? I’d love to learn about them!