A strong network can prove critical to your professional career. It’s often who you know; who you make career connections with, that introduces new business opportunities.
But, what happens when you are new to your field or are relocating? Building a solid network may prove challenging. But this is when making the right connections is invaluable to your professional success.
But, it may take some extra work and creativity on your part to ensure the connections you make will prove helpful in the future.
Specifically Align to Your Goals
When asking for referrals, provide people with guidance. Consider that others do not know your goals as well as you do, so, for them, helping you is a complete guessing game. But, if you specifically tell people what kind of connection you’re looking for, your contacts can set up the right introductions.
Be Ready to Help Others
You may be thinking: What can I possibly offer these people? Well, you’d be surprised. Take the time to inquire what a particular contact may need. You may find yourself in a position to help, and that may be the jumping point for your connection to put you in communication with people who can open up new opportunities to you. Don’t underestimate the power of a helping hand before you ask your network for help.
Look Beyond the Initial Contact
Often it requires work on your part to get in contact with the right people. Your contacts may not know people you want to make connections with; however, they may know people who know other people. It may be six or seven connections before you make contact with the one person you believe can genuinely help you, but those prior connections are critical components to meeting the right people. You must be willing to put in the hard work to grow your network.
Put Yourself Out There
Part of making new connections in a new field or location, is to engage your network. Therefore, it is essential to develop the right content to get your name out there. People will not magically know who you are, your aspirations, or your values unless you tell them. Get your content out there. Be active—and interactive—on LinkedIn. Make it easy for people to understand your values and the value your expertise would bring to an organization.