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Networking:  The Journey of Adventure and Exploration

Statistics about networking for a job search are everywhere.  But one theme always runs true:  networking is essential in today’s job market.  Last month the clients of Career Momentum were invited to attend a professional networking event presented by Senior Career Consultant, Laura Ingalls.  “Networking:  The Journey of Adventure and Exploration” gave attendees a fresh perspective, how-to takeaways and strategies to implement.  The presentation was too good to keep to our small group so we had to share the highlights!

 

Articulate Yourself

“Do you know where you are going?” is a famous phrase from Alice in Wonderland that suggests you won’t get where you want to be if you don’t know where you are going.  When approaching your new adventure in networking, develop a clear 20-30 second statement about yourself that includes recent work experience, skills, qualifications and characteristics plus a defined employment option that you are seeking. 

 

 

Making Connections

Starting the networking journey can be scary and overwhelming.  But once you have your statement in place you’ll have a great foundation to begin.  Networking can be done anywhere and contacts can be found everywhere you go.  It’s blue sky where nothing but opportunity awaits.  But don’t let that fool you.  The best way to approach networking is to develop a strategy with planning and organization.

  • Create your contact list – who do you know? Turn to social networks for an at-your-fingertips resource.
  • Create a list of target companies – do you have anyone in your network employed at these companies?
  • Set up the networking meetings – by telephone, text or e-mail.

If you start with those you already know it will be a great start to branch out into meeting new professional contacts.  With every added “branch” your networking “tree” will grow.  Start with an attainable goal of reaching out to 3-5 individuals.  Then add another 3-5.  And another!

 

Be In The Know

Preparation for networking is essential and will be the best way to have a successful meeting.

  • Decide your objectives for the networking meetings in advance and create an informal agenda to stay on track. Research your contact and the company.  Write out the questions you plan to ask so you can make sure you cover all of your objectives for the meeting.
  • Conduct your meetings and strive to develop rapport. Try to be of service in your interactions. Long-term relationships pay off. With this reciprocity you build ongoing, mutually beneficial professional relationships. 
  • Express genuine gratitude to the individual you met with a follow up email.

 Tackle networking with a serious and structured approach.

Developing a networking strategy and staying on track can be tough.  But putting the work in will pay off in the long run.  If you need some focus, implement these tips and watch your network grow! 

 

Our coaches are in high demand for resume, social media, interviewing and career solution consultations.  Contact our office at (608) 274-2430 or carrie@careermomentum.com for specific availability and pricing.