Your professional network says a lot about you. Who you know is often a good indicator of what you do. This alone is a good reason to intentionally expand your professional network. Although your network will grow organically over time, making a focused effort to grow it will yield dividends down the road. Here are 3 quick tips to improve your professional network.
1. Social media. This is the fastest, easiest, and most efficient means to establishing connections. This can help you grow your professional network instantly, and reach very specific areas and markets. LinkedIn, Spiceworks, and Twitter allow users the ability to find like-minded or strategically involved professionals, and begin building relationships.
2. Conferences. This is the best method to establishing relationships with those in a closely-related field as well as less-related fields. Having a versatile network with a wide variety of players is crucial to being effective. Attend as many seminars and conferences as you can, and don’t be shy about meeting new people. Bring a stack of business cards to hand out, and seek out others who have a different profession from yours.
3. Broaden your niche. If you’re a programmer and 99% of your life is spent staring at Java, it’s easy to categorize yourself as a Java programmer. However, broaden your scope and rebrand yourself as a software developer. Learn other languages and developer skills; learn about Hadoop or DevOps, or anything new to sharpen your talents. Being a Java expert is great. Being a software developer with an emphasis on Java is even better.
Your professional network should be varied, and the more people involved, the more diverse it becomes. Consider beyond the realm of just IT, and network with project managers, operations managers, program managers, etc. Don’t scoff at the entry and mid-levels either; be willing to help younger workers obtain their goals. They are the leaders of the future.
Finally, one of the main people you want to have in your network is a tenured recruiter. At CERS, we have an experienced staff with great business relationships and can help you find the career opportunity you’ve been looking for. We have a wide, diverse network with a number of different professions, and can help place you in a position to ensure success. Contact us today to see how we can help you!