When you’re actively expanding your professional network, look to the resources you already have. Do you make full use of your alumni directory? It is a perfect networking tool, so don’t allow it to gather dust!
When you are in a job search and researching a new position, team, or organization, use your alumni directory to make a connection with a hiring influencer. Chances are, someone from your business school or eMBA program is already successfully in place within the organization you’d like to join. Take advantage of your common experience and make that connection!
Have you moved to a new area or a new country entirely? It can be tough to start networking “cold” in a new area without an acquaintance or a familiar face. Check your alumni directory to find an alum or two close by. You’d be surprised how willing people are to extend friendship and access to their social and professional networks to a newly arrived fellow alumnus. Even a single contact in a new place can help you settle in faster and more successfully.
Never forget, when you make those network connections through your alumni directory or otherwise, to keep an ear out for what you can offer the people you meet. It’s important to give and not just focus on what you hope to receive from your new contacts: Be quick to offer a solution to a common industry issue, your experience, your own connections, or simply an interested ear. Generosity is remembered and appreciated long after that initial connection is made. It helps you stand out in a great way.
Successful networking is all about saying “yes” to the opportunities that come your way and making good use of the resources you already have!