Even if you happen to be a seasoned industry professional with a notable job history, you might have difficulties taking the next step in your career if your contact list is a little sparse. With the new year approaching, it’s important to take a step back and re-evaluate your career goals and what needs to be done to achieve them. Networking is an important part of furthering one’s career, and everyone can benefit from it, no matter if you are new to your profession or an industry veteran. Here are a few ways to pad your contact list and make valuable acquaintances in the industry:
Start small and make a plan.
There’s a likely chance you will leave a networking event dissatisfied if you did not organize yourself beforehand. Before you begin your networking endeavors, make sure to set goals for yourself and organize an elevator speech of what your primary skills and strengths are. That way, you will not be caught off guard by any questions and can answer them with ease.
Find a friend or colleague to attend events with.
Everything is easier with a companion, and networking is no exception. Bringing a trusted and like-minded colleague can help calm your nerves, and having someone there to bounce ideas off of is always a plus. While it is helpful to bring along someone from the same industry, bringing an associate from a different sector is also helpful because they can introduce you to individuals from different networks and industries.
Attend events you are comfortable at.
There is something to be said for challenging yourself and pushing past your level of comfort, but you want to be relaxed and calm at networking events. If you are anxious and uncomfortable, it will show, and it will be harder to make important connections.
Work on networking everywhere by talking to people.
Networking doesn’t have to be confined to organized events, so if you happen to meet someone who you feel is a valuable asset to your network, don’t be afraid to exchange information. Networking opportunities can happen anywhere from a barbeque to the line at the grocery store, so keep an open mind and don’t be afraid to approach people you normally wouldn’t. Everyone wants to expand their network in one way or another, so as long as you are polite and not pushy, you may just find a new contact.
Let Madden Industrial Craftsmen introduce you to the best and most sought-after employers in the Pacific Northwest. Give us a call today, and our team will help you build relationships and fit you with the right employer!