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Advance Your Career Through Networking

Successful people realize that one of the best ways to advance in your career is through networking. Whether it’s getting a promotion at your current job, or finding a new job that gets you to the next level of your career, having a strong network gives you an advantage over those who do not. Building a professional network of colleagues and mentors is not always easy for many people, however there are some steps you can take to get started.

networking

Image via SXC.hu

Maybe one of your concerns is public speaking? You could join a group like Toastmasters and not only learn how to speak in public, but the people you meet there can become the start of your network. Other simple ways to start meeting people for your network is to volunteer. Anything from a Chamber of Commerce to the political party you support would be a good place to start to find like-minded professionals.

A great way to introduce yourself to people at any gathering is to not just simply hand over your business card, have a 10-30 second speech ready to tell them who you are and what your career path is, not simply your job title. Also, make sure you remember their name. If you are sitting at a table as everyone introduces themselves, you could simply write down their name and what they do. Saying their name when talking to them will create a great first impression and a much deeper connection.

Another more recent source of network building is with online social networks. While these can be great if used to build meaningful connections with people, they will not be helpful if your only goal is to get as many “friends” as possible. A great site for building a professional network is LinkedIn, as it allows you to basically post your resume online and connect with those you know and have access to their connections as well.

Finally, keep in mind that your network connections are not just there to help you. Build the relationships within your network by staying in contact and offering to help them when you can. Then if you are looking for a promotion, or perhaps find yourself without a job, you can rely on your network to give you job leads and provide references to help you take the next step in your career.

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8 thoughts on “Advance Your Career Through Networking”

  1. Networking is always the best way to advance your career. Like everyone says, it’s who you know not what you know and the right people can introduce you to the right people and offers that may come.

  2. Great post! Networking is even helpful for someone like me, who works from home. I’ve connected with people and found gigs through Twitter, LinkedIn and even StumbleUpon.

  3. Great article! You’re right on target that public speaking is one of the biggest roadblocks for people looking to network. It’s not always just about public speaking, but if we trace the “fear” to the roots, we often find that public speaking – or the fear of it – is driving a lot of other behavior.

    We’re talking about similar topics over on our blog at Ferrazzi Greenlight. Keith loves this topic. Check it out and let us know what you think. Love the conversation.

  4. I 100% agree with the value of joining Toastmasters to improve your public Speaking. If you are in business and have not been a member of Toastmasters for at least 12 months, why not? Even good speakers get heaps out of Toastmasters.

    In Toastmasters, you will be told things that all your staff and clients are think about your presentations, but don’t have the guts to tell you!

  5. Great article! Networking is interaction, your right about the 10-30 second speech. Problem is, a lot of people are just not likely to speak up but they need to and it sure does not hurt. Aagin, love the article and as stated, social netowrking has move a lot of people and is on the rise for interacting with others and getting the word out.

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