How Good Are You at Networking... Really?

Posting date: 13 Jun 2023

In today's challenging job market, especially at the senior level of change and transformation, standing out and making connections has become more crucial than ever. Networking is the key to getting yourself noticed, not just by recruiters but also by those who have worked with you and can vouch for your capabilities. While the thought of reaching out to people for help may seem uncomfortable or cringy, it's all about your mindset. By approaching networking with the right mindset, you can overcome any hesitation and unlock valuable opportunities.

Tips for Effective Networking:

Utilise LinkedIn as a Networking Tool:

LinkedIn is a powerful platform for reconnecting with old colleagues and bosses. However, it's important to move beyond simple messages and engage in more personal conversations. Be bold and suggest meeting up for a coffee or drinks. Taking the initiative to schedule a specific time and place demonstrates your commitment and makes it easier for the other person to say yes. By doing the heavy lifting of organising, you become the helpful one in the relationship.

Seek Advice Instead of Direct Assistance:

When approaching someone for help, consider asking for their advice instead of immediately stating that you're looking for a new job. People generally enjoy sharing their experiences and insights. Ask open-ended questions such as, "How can I break into the field of XXX?" or "What advice would you give when approaching so-and-so?" By framing the conversation around seeking advice, you engage the other person's expertise and make them feel valued.

Show Kindness and Genuine Interest:

In any networking interaction, it's essential to be kind and authentic. Take the time to observe the accomplishments and activities of your connections on LinkedIn. If you notice something noteworthy, such as a recent achievement or milestone, reach out to congratulate or compliment them. By showing genuine interest and making the conversation a two-way street, you foster a stronger and more meaningful connection.

Share Thought Leadership Content:

One effective way to generate inbound traffic and increase your visibility is by creating thought leadership content on LinkedIn. Share your insights, expertise, and experiences through well-written articles or posts. It's astonishing how many people silently follow your progress without reaching out. By providing valuable content, you not only showcase your knowledge but also attract like-minded professionals and potential opportunities.

Network Even When You're Employed:

Don't wait until you're actively searching for a job to start networking. It's easy to overlook the importance of building relationships when things are going well in your current role. However, consistent networking ensures that you have a robust professional network to rely on when the need arises. Actively engage with colleagues, attend industry events, and participate in relevant communities to expand your connections and stay on top of new opportunities.

Networking can be intimidating, but with the right approach and mindset, you can turn it into a powerful tool for career advancement. By leveraging platforms like LinkedIn, seeking advice from others, showing kindness and genuine interest, sharing thought leadership content, and networking consistently, you can position yourself as a sought-after professional in your field. Remember, networking is not just about short-term gains but also about cultivating meaningful relationships that can support your long-term career success.

So, how good are you at networking... really? It's time to put these tips into action and unlock new possibilities in your professional journey.