Whether you’re just looking for that starter position or have been working for years and want to advance your career to a new height, networking is essential. There was a time when CVs were typed on to paper and mailed. In those good old days, there were not so many cluttering the desk of hiring agents. However, today with the Internet, the process is a lot easier and there are a lot more CVs crowding computer monitors. It’s easy for even the best candidate to get overlooked. Sometimes, in this competitive world, getting noticed is more and more about who you know. Anyone interested in furthering his career will do well to put some time into networking. Here some ways you can get involved in networking for your career.
Find a Mentor
There are many reasons to find a mentor to help you develop your career. Among those is who he knows. While you are exploring the tricks of the trade with your mentor and becoming the best you can be, you might want to place some focus on getting him to introduce you to the people he knows. Mentors are usually people who have done well in a business and nobody does that alone. He probably knows people who you should know if you want to climb the ladder. While this can sound mercenary, it’s important to remember that your mentor is introducing you to a human being and not simply a contact. Treat such relationships with respect and make sure you don’t embarrass your mentor by simply using someone.
Join any business or civic organisation that you can identify with in even the least way. Cast you nets wide. These are perfect places to share ideas and meet people in your community and chosen industry. Even if your job does not provide you with business cards, invest in some that simply have your identifying information on it. For most it’s still easier, just to hand someone a card. Do not join an organisation just to put it on your CV. While that may be slightly helpful to advancing your career, it is not networking. Become involved if you wish to meet people and to find the connections and advice you need for your career.
Consider having a separate professional page on the popular social media sites. The social pages where you post pictures of your dog and discuss your love life is fine but having a page dedicated to your career will draw in like-minded people. It will show them that you are serious about your career and that you are looking to go further. It can be a great source for connecting with new contacts.
When the time is right, let your contacts know what you are looking for. You career is nothing to be shy about. However, it’s important that you don’t come across as needy or that you’re using the contact. It’s helpful if you already have a fixed relationship, but that is not always possible. Don’t be afraid to ask if they know of any openings or if they introduce you to their employers. Most people cannot read minds, and it helps just to let them know that you’re seeking a position. Be bold but cautious. Make sure that it doesn’t come across like you’re using the person.