Networking is an essential part of business life. The proactive process of using your relationships and contacts to identify new opportunities is a key element of career development and job searching. It can make you aware of roles and opportunities you may not have otherwise found.
Networking can be useful at any stage of your career, no matter what industry or sector you work in.
It’s important that you’re constantly looking to expand your network. Don’t limit it to just the people that you’re currently working with. Think about including people in the groups below:
Friends and family: Ask friends and family for their contacts, for example, extended family, their former employers, or colleagues. The more people you speak to, the more likely you are to find relevant contacts.
Clients, customers or suppliers: Connect with anyone you dealt with externally in previous roles.
Professional contacts: You may know an accountant, bank manager, solicitor or other professional contacts.
Professional societies: Events run by CABA and ICAEW provide regular networking opportunities. Take a look at what’s coming up.
LinkedIn: See who you can find to connect with in your wider network.
Now you’ve identified who you want to network with, you need to prioritise who you’re going to approach first and plan what you want to say with an elevator pitch. This should be 20-30 seconds long and should describe you and the value you can add, succinctly and confidently.
Networking takes time and commitment. It’s essential to network with your contacts on an ongoing basis to strengthen and maintain your relationships.
This article was written by the career coaching experts at Renovo.
Practicing with a career coach can improve your confidence when it comes to networking and help you make the most of every opportunity.
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