How to Build Your Professional Network

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Business and careers revolve around people. Even if you’re not in a direct customer-facing role or industry, you still need to connect with others in order to build your brand and achieve your professional goals.

Ask any successful person how they got where they are today, and virtually every one will tell you that their progression has been driven not only by having the right skills and credentials, but also through successful networking.

How do you get started – or step up your networking game if it needs a boost? Here are some tips:

Focus on the right people.

The key to networking with people is quality versus quantity. As you get out and meet people, concentrate on those who will be able to help you make a difference in your career. Introduce yourself or arrange an introduction, and learn their names.

  • A great place to begin is at a networking event. Try joining and becoming active in a professional organization. When you attend workshops, conferences or social functions, bring business cards. But remember, it’s not about how many you can distribute. It’s about establishing and strengthening the right relationships.

It’s a two-way street.

As you connect with the right people, also focus on adding value to your relationship with them. Both of you should gain something from your mutual interests and connections. Give and receive. It’s okay to ask for help; in fact, that’s kind of the point, right? But also be prepared to offer support and assistance of your own.

  • Become a connector. If you can meet and likewise introduce people who can benefit from each other, networking will be meaningful and effective. You can build a stronger rapport with more people, and you never know where it may lead.

Put social media to work for you.

Most people are familiar with LinkedIn for networking purposes, and it continues to be the go-to platform for this purpose. But it’s just the beginning. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and others. The key is to go where your contacts are, or where you can make more.

  • Be an active participant. Join groups, take part in conversations, and add helpful links, images and other content. This is how people come to know you – and will be more likely to think of you when appropriate job opportunities occur.

Stay in touch.

Stay in touch with people in your network, both online and in person. Take time for follow-ups and quick check-ins. Networking is not a one-and-done deal. It’s important to reengage.

Helping you build your professional network is part of what the career development experts at PrideStaff Fresno do best. Simply by connecting with us, you’ve made a smart first move. And we’ll help you take it from there, including support and guidance through every aspect of your job search and ongoing career growth. Reach out to us today to learn more.