“Pulling a good network together takes effort, sincerity and time.” ~Alan Collins, Author of “Unwritten HR Rules”
There are a variety of ways that you can network for your next career promotion, industry contact, or new professional resource. You can attend an online networking event, a lunch chat, or an after hours networking event. You can also host your own networking event at your home, a local venue, or a restaurant. Invite respected professional peers, mentors, and industry influencers you would like to reconnect and connect with.
Get creative with planning your networking event. Your event should display a festive and upbeat theme with coordinating decor and edible treats that represents excellence. Develop an event schedule that is time sensitive and easy to administer with a smile. Take time to identify intriguing conversation starters and industry relevant current events and trends to candidly discuss. After your networking event, skip the email and send a handwritten thank you note. A hand written thank you can leave a notable lasting impression that can connect you to the career shift that you are seeking.
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Taking the time to attend networking events during the week is beneficial to your career search. Networking events can be a fun way to develop your people skills, connect with industry professionals, and become actively involved in your local community. You can potentially locate networking event details through various professional associations and Chamber of Commerce offices. Leave your resume at home and take your business cards, optimistic attitude, strong handshake and cheerful smile with you to the event. Mingle well and add value to conversations you participate in. Aim to connect with at least three new professional connections before leaving the event.
For career changers, that may not be able to attend a networking event on a weekly basis due to their current work schedule. A similar networking strategy can apply to your LinkedIn engagement. Today accept the challenge to increase your interaction with current and potential connections to be noticed and considered for your desired employment opportunity. Review, implement, and execute the steps below on a daily basis. Leave a comment below and share your outcomes from this LinkedIn Engagement Challenge.
- Make sure all of your professional experience is well noted and listed on your LinkedIn profile.
- Upload a quality and clear photo of yourself solely. The background of your picture and your attire should be professional.
- Under the Interests tab start following five Influencers and post a comment. Commenting on posts by Influencers is a strategic way to be seen and potentially have your profiled viewed.
- Under the Jobs tab register to have email alerts sent to you daily or weekly.
- Review your connections listing. Comment or like any of their recent accomplishments, anniversaries, or posts that they have made. Giving recommendations is always a great way to give thanks or pay it forward when networking on LinkedIn.
- Search companies to identify employment opportunities through an advanced search by the categories of Relationship, Location, Industry, or Company Size. Send an InMail of interest or apply immediately for a position that interests you. LinkedIn gives you the option to make your career search activity private. Visit Settings for more details.
- Remember consistency is the key with all career search tactics.
Your daily routines and habits can lead you to experiencing your career goals and aspirations. Becoming impeccable with your words and dressing for the position you desire is imperative to your success.
Take time daily to frame the words you speak about your career search that you will express to others when networking. It is to your advantage to express gratefulness for your professional experiences and acquired knowledge during your conversations. Be prepared to share your lessons learned in a constructive and positive manner that will prompt one to connect with you and share their wisdom with you. Genuine professional connections that can be mutually insightful and informative should be the goal when networking.
In many professional environments how you dress is noticed and matters. Take your time to make sure the basics are covered daily. The way you take care of your clothes, hair, and overall appearance are noticeable basic details. Invest in quality and tasteful clothes and shoes that will represent you well for your industry that can transcend from a boardroom meeting to an after hours professional event if required.
Impeccable Action Activities of the Day
- In front of a mirror practice explaining your career outcomes to date in a positive manner. Pay attention to your facial expressions during the explanation. Emulate confidence versus frustration. Aim to avoid sounding like a victim of circumstances. Demonstrate accountability and share your career search plan summary in less than two minutes with a smile.
- Research current professional wardrobe must-haves and trends, and audit your closet. Identify which garments should be removed and donated. List what garments you need to add to your wardrobe that represent the position you desire. Set a deadline and a wardrobe budget for when the wardrobe updates will be complete.