Career networking has become a key tool in finding and advancing in one’s career. So, what is a career network and how to do you create one? A career, or professional” network involves using personal, professional, academic or familial contacts to assist with a job search, achieve career goals, learn more about your field, or a new field of interest.
As you may have heard some say, it’s not what you know but who you know. Many, many people find their next job or advance in their current job through developing strong relationships within their network. On the flip side, creating bad relations within your network can do much to hurt to your personal brand and the relationships within your network. More to come on that!
When should you start creating your network?
Now! It’s never to early to start creating your network. There are many people that have obtained jobs from their childhood friends, teachers, family members, and current and former co-workers.
How do you create a strong network?
Above all, be your authentic self. Also, take some time to identify the relationships in your life and make sure that they are all built from a strong foundation of trust, integrity, and that show your work ethic – whether that’s your academic success or career success. In short, you want to ensure that you’ve built and then also maintain a strong personal brand or reputation. If you find you have some relationships that have perhaps suffered a few setbacks or could be stronger, focus on building them back up. Lastly, keep in touch with your network. Whether it’s check-in calls or meet-ups, take advantage of these moments to update your network on your successes, interests, and goals. That way when opportunities arise, you are top of mind!
Lastly, there are many tools out there to build your career network.
While social media is prevalent everywhere, a word of caution: whatever you put out there is there for the world to see. Keep that in mind as you post or tweet, even if it’s to your personal pages. When it comes to your career, I suggest sticking to tools such as LinkedIn. It’s an excellent way to build your network and by keeping your profile current you easily can keep people apprised of your academic and career advancements and successes.
It’s also a great way to also see what your network is up to – perhaps they are working at a place you just applied to. That creates a great opportunity to tap into your network to learn more about the organization and gain a step-up in the interview process.
A strong network has made a good career elevate to amazing new levels. The power of a strong career/professional network cannot be understated. Build it, maintain it, leverage it!
It’s not all work; building a network can be fun! And while you are at it, enjoy some of these great discounts just for you, which can be found here!