Your career depends on your skills and experience, but networking is a part that you can’t afford to do without. Having a well connected professional network can help build and further your career.
A network is a supportive connection, with people who have skills, experiences and professional connections that can benefit themselves and others. Forming a connection with other professionals can give you guidance and support as you navigate your professional career.
While having the support of other professionals is beneficial, you must also bring something to offer those you connect with. You have skills and experience, even if you are new to your field. This will make you a valuable part of your network.
Just as important as having a network is how to build those professional relationships. Your networking strategy can include online networking or in-person meetings, as both are equally valuable.
You will find that many professionals have profiles on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. There are also professional groups on Facebook and Linked In. By creating a professional social media profile, you can attract other professionals in your field.
Forums and Discussion Boards
A quick Google search can give you forums or discussion boards for your field, like. LinkedIn is a good example because there are many individuals who connect and discuss their career field. You can ask questions or find information posted by the members by doing a quick search.
Reach Out to Established Connections
You can leverage your current contacts to meet people who are in your field. Chances are your friends and family members know someone who you could connect with. Visiting community establishments that you are already a part of can also lead to meeting potential connections.
Join a Local Organization
If you ask around or search online, you’ll find that there are many professional organizations in your area that offers an opportunity to meet new people. A good start is your alumni association or the career office at your current or former university.
Attend Networking Events in Your Area
Community websites and platforms like Facebook have listings of local events. You can also ask around to learn about upcoming events in your area. Whether it’s a local bar, coffee shop, your church or library, there are events held for professionals to connect.
Your network is the key to new opportunities. As your network grows, you will get to know professionals who know people who are hiring or who can get you in the door to that job you’ve been eyeing.
Kelly Hoggan resides in Washington D.C. and is the founder of H4 Solutions, a business which provides aviation security consulting services. With a career spanning nearly three decades in aviation security, operations, and technology, Kelly has been able to utilize that leadership experience to advise clients in the transportation section focusing on aviation security and aviation operations.