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Alongside using serviced office space to cut down on costs while building up your career, cultivating a strong network of quality connections is essential to professional growth. But how do you build a network that will help you achieve your goals?
In this blog post, we’ll walk you through five of our favorite tips:
1. Dedicate time to networking
Strong professional networks don’t happen overnight. Instead, they develop over the course of weeks, months, and years. It takes quite a bit of dedicated time and effort to build strong relationships with people who can help you achieve your goals.
To begin the process, make networking a priority. Each week, set aside time to attend networking events, connect with people on social media, and follow up on any promising contacts with a request for a coffee or lunch meeting. Also, don’t forget to join professional organizations.
2. Help others advance their careers
Networking is not a one-way street. Continually taking advice and contacts without giving anything in return is a surefire way to alienate people and miss out on opportunities. To avoid that, help your professional peers advance their own careers. This builds your reputation as a helpful and supportive person, making it far more likely that people will want to help you when you ask for something.
Some tried-and-true methods for supporting others include sharing job opportunities that you come across, introducing peers to people in your network, and offering advice and support whenever it’s requested.
3. Focus on quality over quantity
When building a professional network, the quality of your connections is far more important than the quantity. Having 5,000 anonymous friends on Facebook is unlikely to advance your career. However, having five close connections who work in the same industry can.
To focus on quality, look for people who share your interests and goals. Ensure they’re passionate about their work and the goal of helping others. Professional organizations, industry events, and online forums are great ways to find these quality connections. Just be sure to follow up and keep in touch.
4. Connect on social media
It’s no secret that social media is a powerful tool for building networks, both personal and professional. For the latter, LinkedIn is the most popular platform, so it’s a great place to start.
To effectively use social media for network building, create a compelling profile that highlights your skills and experience. Then join groups, share content, and participate in discussions related to your interests. All these activities demonstrate your expertise while building your connections.
5. Join college alumni groups
One particularly useful resource to tap into is your college alumni network. Not only is it full of professionals, but it’s packed with people who share your educational background and career interests. Unsurprisingly, this makes fellow alumni a great source of job opportunities and valuable information.
Most alumni groups can be found on LinkedIn or Facebook. After joining, consider attending any upcoming alumni events in person. If that’s not possible, look for online events. In either case, be sure to reach out to those who work in the same field as you to ask for advice or inquire about opportunities.
Although building a strong professional network takes time, it’s a worthwhile investment. If you help others, focus on quality connections, share value on social media, and join alumni groups, you’ll be on your way to building a network that supports you all throughout your career.
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