Networking has become extremely popular in terms of finding a job. Meeting new people and sharing ideas and concerns in regards to your field of interest could be very beneficial for your future career.
In fact, we occasionally use our networking skills either to share information, to meet new people, to promote ourselves or to promote the organisation we currently work in. What you might don’t know is the fact that networking can actually increase our reputation, credibility and self-esteem.
Check out these steps that will help you discover the best ways to network with existing and new contacts:
#1 Plan it
Make sure you know what you want to achieve from networking and research the field you are interested in. Identify why are you doing this and learn as much information as possible so that you are aware of what is going on within a particular industry.
Also, keep a log for every person you are meeting and write down their contact details or where are they working for future reference.
#2 Identify your existing contacts
First identify people from your inner circle, those who you know well and are more likely to recommend you to other people including your family, friends, previous or current co-workers and classmates. Then search for people within your peripheral circle, including those who “know of” you but don’t know you well.
#3 Research and categorise your contacts
Getting to know your contacts and how they can help you is extremely important. But since you might know a lot of people it will be helpful to categorise your contacts in accordance to:
- The level of connection with you: Decide whether they are friends, references or acquaintances you have met briefly starting with innermost circle, inner circle, outer circle and prospective contacts.
- The level of connectedness of your contacts: Find out how your contacts are connected to each other, if at all.
- Relevance to your job: Establish how relevant are these people are to the job you are looking for or the industry you are interested in, and categorise your contacts by most, peripheral and least relevant.
#4 Leverage your existing contacts
This step requires that you contact your inner contacts and let them know that you are seeking employment whether this is through LinkedIn or GovLoop. Try to be specific by describing the job title, location or organisation you are interested in. This will help you keep track of your existing connections and figure out how to network with more people who are also connected with the people you already know.
#5 Reach out to new contacts
Start searching for new people to network with, so that you get more information in the field that interests you. Be sure to ask if you can have an informational interview with them.
#6 Feed your contacts
Try to constantly keep in touch with your existing and new contacts. It is important that they remember you for future reference. So, you could wish them Happy Birthday on their birthday or congratulate them on their job anniversary!
#7 Thank them for their help
If you have managed to find a job through effectively networking with your contacts then you could send them a thank you note so that you maintain relationships for the future. Who knows? You might be able to help them back one day.
It is not hard to learn how to network with people you know and meet new people to grow your professional circle. Check out Govloop’s infographic to become familiar with the 7 step-by-step handy guide on how to expand your network using your contacts.
Image Source: youtern