Your personal network can be a game-changer when looking to get a new job or grow your career. In networking, introducing yourself and exchanging business cards is the easy part. Building and maintaining an authentic network is the real challenge.
So, how can you grow a personal network that can genuinely help your professional life? With a growth mindset, you can fine-tune your networking skills.
Use these five tips to intentionally cultivate your personal network.
1. Attend smaller networking events.
Be picky about the networking events you attend. A large group of people swapping business cards isn’t an ideal way to form a meaningful relationship. You want to build deep and personal connections. So, seek out smaller networking events. Find events at intimate venues and invite-only opportunities. Create genuine connections with people who can motivate and inspire you. For every industry there is generally a network or industry body you can seek out. Some great examples are:
2. Think beyond traditional networking events.
Online communities can be a perfect place to start a business relationship. Be on the lookout for professional connections in digital settings. Once you have found a network connection, see if you can arrange a ‘real world’ meeting. Already having a common industry background or knowing people within the same network can kickstart the relationship.
3. Be intentional about the type of person you add to your personal network.
You want the people in your network to inspire you or provide guidance on challenges. Otherwise, you want them to connect you with others who can. These three types of people you need in your network are visionaries, realists, and connectors. Make sure your network connections contain these drivers for success.
4. Be creative about making a new connection stick.
Think beyond the traditional pitch of ‘Let me buy you coffee and pick your brain’. This line has been used many times before. Send a small gift or note to a potential collaborator. The goal is to show you’re thoughtful, not materialistic. Thoughtfulness is an important part of collaboration. Another idea is to ask how you can help. It’s a mistake to only think of yourself when making new connections. Relationships are two-sided and you to want to develop healthy reciprocal respect. If you offer help now, you are more likely to receive support in the future.
5. Keep the connection alive and authentic, even during the holidays.
Always follow up. Sending a hand-written note or quick video confirms your commitment. This paves the way for future conversations. You’ll make an impact by rising above the email clutter. Plus, a video communicates your tone and passion far better than the written word. Consider how much quicker it is to grab your phone and create a short video.
A strong personal network will help you in all aspects of your career. So, what’s the key takeaway? Nurture your business relationships and those key connections. That is what we are all about at Majer Recruitment because you never know where your career path will take you and what the journey will be. For more advice on personal networking and how to become more employable, connect with Majer.