Networking: An Easier & Less Intimidating Alternative to Staying in Touch

For many people even the slightest thought of going out somewhere to meet and make connections with people they do not know can be daunting.  Whether it's due to time, resources, availability of meet-n-greet type opportunities, or your individual level of introversion, networking in order to meet other professionals in your journey to building your career can be very unappealing ~ rather than supportive of your long term career focus.

A few tips that are simple, quick and easy to do from the comfort of your office, on the train ride home, or from the comfort of your home, that can be as effective as in person networking as well as serving as a great follow up after meeting new people include:

  1. Email: reach out periodically to engage with current collegauges. Emails don't have to be lengthy, just a quick hello or note of support will work;
  2. Use the various social media platforms to congratulate someone on a promotion, new job, anniversary, birthday or to comment on something they have shared. Join and comment in groups and follow employers,  just make sure to keep all comments and posts professional as they never really disappear!  With written posts translating tone can be very difficult and could lead to a misunderstanding of the intent of your message.  
  3. In using LinkedIN/ Facebook, Instagram, Twittercreate a profile with a professional photo and reach out to build your network ( on LinkedIN make sure to use a custom created introduction stating why you want to be part of their network: hint: not to help get a job!), then review your feeds regularly and when someone posts something, make sure to leave a  comment to keep your name/skill set top of mind.

I do stress though as with any networking endeavor, success does not come overnight and without effort.  It takes time to build trust and to show that you are engaging for the right reasons, for a long term professional relationship rather than merely using them in order to gain your next job.

Be sincere and work towards building relationships.  When you least expect needing a contact is when you will see the results of the time and effort put in months /years earlier.

 

 

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