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10 Ways To Expand Your Network In The New Year

10 Ways To Expand Your Network In The New Year

Networking with people in your field is super important for your own career growth, but lots of people, understandably, get nervous about it. People often think that the concept of ‘Networking’ is awkward meetings, weird events, or the idea of ‘selling yourself’.

Even though this might not sound fun to some, networking is key for building relationships and making a name for yourself professionally It’s really just about meeting people, making friends, and helping each other out.  

Why Networking is Important

Using your connections is s great way to get yourself a new job or even switch things up in your current workplace. So why is networking important? Well, it often comes down to one thing: referrals.

Lots of job seekers find job openings through their connections, especially from referrals. Networking can unlock doors to new opportunities that might have seemed impossible otherwise.

Plus, having a solid professional relationship might make someone what to personally pass on your CV to the hiring manager. That can really make you stand out and might even help you achieve your dream job someday.

Some believe networking is only good for job hunting. But really, it’s about way more than just finding your next job opportunity.

How Can I Expand My Network?

  1. Search For Connections Online

Lots of professionals use social media and networking sites to grow their network. If you have been on social media for a while, chances are you have already got some industry connections you can get to know better.

Starting your Network Online means you can meet lots of different people for all over, some you might not meet face to face. Use social media to reconnect with old colleagues or friend who work within your industry.

  1. Explore Your Interest

As you start networking, pause to discover what genuinely excites you, even if it’s unrelated to your current industry.

For instance, if you’re working within Marketing but have a strong interest in Sports, think about joining a network or group linking to sporting industry. This can offer you deeper insights into that industry and might even lead to a job opportunity if you decide to switch careers in the future.

  1. Join Industry Events

Being part of industry events and conferences can significantly boost your professional connections. These events unite professionals, specialist and enthusiast in your line of work. Make the most of networking breaks, workshops and social gatherings at the event to link up with people who share similar interest. Engaging in discussion about mutual passions can pave the way for lasting connections that go beyond the event itself.

  1. Connect With People Who Can Make A Difference

Having a solid professional network isn’t just about how many people you know, but who those people are. Look for individuals who could have a big impact on your career.

It’s valuable to build relationships with others in your industry and find potential mentors. For Instance, if you’re starting out as a Tech Support Engineer, connecting with a seasoned IT Manager could offer valuable insights and guidance.

  1. Pitch In Or Speak UP

Giving your time as a volunteer or offering to speak at industry events and workshops can really grow your network. When you share your knowledge, you establish yourself as an expert and grab the spotlight among the audience. This can spark valuable connections with colleagues, possible clients, employers, and partners whoa re keen on your thoughts and expertise.

  1. Engage with Industry Communities

Lots of industries have special groups, clubs, or associations just for people working in that field. For example, if you’re in the marketing industry, you might join a group like the Chartered Institute of Marketing, where Marketers convene to discuss trends and strategies. Being a part of such organisation not only provides access to valuable resources but also creates opportunities to connect with people and individuals who share your professional interest. Attending meetups, seminars, or online sessions is ideal for networking and sharing industry insights.

  1. Team Up on Projects

Gettig involved in joint projects, whether they involve freelancing, research efforts, or starting new ventures, introduces you to professionals from diverse fields. Collaborating naturally opens doors for networking while you collaborate towards a common objective. Forming relationships through teamwork can result in lasting professional connections.

  1. Build Your Online Presence

Establish a presence on professional networking platforms. Maintaining an updated profile showcasing your experience, interest, education and qualifications to draw in similar minded individuals and capture the interest of recruiters.

Creating an online network can be as advantageous as forming connections in person and might pave the way for fresh career prospects and progression.

  1. Informal Interviews

Engaging in casual discussions know as informal interviews with professionals working in fields or roles that intrigue you. Connect with individuals you admire or who occupy positions you aspire to achieve. Express your curiosity in understanding their career journeys and insights. These talks not only offer valuable perspectives but also assist in establishing connections with professionals often willing to support others.

  1. Prioritising Valuable Connections

Building strong, long-term relationships with colleague doesn’t happen overnight. When you click with a colleague and really connect, that relationship tends to stick around and help both of you out. Don’t forget to spend time nurturing your work connections while you are looking for new ones.

In all your networking efforts, keep it real, be respectful and focus on forming a genuine bond. Networking is all about making connections that work for everyone and being a positive part of the work community.