You have your daily routine set. Wake up. Maybe exercise. Maybe think about it. Get dressed and start your day. Answer calls, respond to emails and tackle that “to do” list. But don’t forget to exercise your networking muscles as part of your daily routine. In my posting from last week I discussed starting a career development routine. I stressed the importance of networking on my list of suggestions.
Not sure where to start? Here are 5 suggestions for exercising those networking muscles this week.
- Tap into social media. This is the easy one that you can do from the comfort of your own desk or home. Example: Log into Linkedin, check out some recommended connections to “friend” and send 2 – 3 messages to people from your network that you haven’t spoken to in awhile.
- Utilize your company. Larger organizations normally have a host of development events, professional networking groups and other opportunities that fosters networking with fellow colleagues. Check out what your company currently has to offer and find time in your schedule to take advantage of it.
- Network in person. Schedule a lunch break, coffee chat or catch-up with a colleague or friend close to your office. Dedicating 20 minutes once a week for these face-to-face interactions can provide you insight and potentially open doors to different opportunities.
- Connect with alumni networks. Colleges and even high schools have networking opportunities just waiting for you to take advantage of. If you already graduated from school, see if your school’s career service center has an employee dedicated to alumni networking and development. If you are a current student, visit the office and tell them about the industry or companies you are interested in. They will be able to provide you with names of people to contact. If you aren’t already a member of your school’s alumni network on Linkedin, Twitter or Facebook, join it now! Those groups have discussions, articles and loads of contacts ready for networking.
- Join a virtual networking event. Aside from #1, this is the second easiest way to network. You again join an event from the comfort of your own computer or desk. No dresscode attire to worry about. Does your hair look good? Who cares! You can join virtual career fairs, conferences, women’s events, diversity events, industry specific conferences, etc. The options are endless.
Try one or try them all. The importance is to try. Happy networking!
#careeradvice #careeruniv #networking