Are you looking to advance your career but feel a little unsure about how to go about it in the current working-from-home arena? If you are, then read on, as I’ve put together my top 7 tips for using networking to secure your next role, and what’s more, it can all be done from the comfort of your home office!
1. Increase and foster your LinkedIn relationships
Every connection you make on LinkedIn has the potential to unlock new opportunities and boost your career. LinkedIn has seen a considerable increase in conversations among contacts recently as people have focussed on engaging and reconnecting with people during the pandemic. To increase and foster your professional relationships, ensure you’re connected to your friends, family and co-workers. These are the people who know you best and can sing your praises the loudest! Don’t forget to visit the ‘My Network’ section and browse the people you may know to find connections from your university, profession or those who work in a similar field.
It’s not just about the number of contacts you have though. It’s also important to consider how you’re using LinkedIn. Try to post regularly and remember to use relevant hashtags to increase your reach beyond your immediate connections. Have you tried resharing relevant content with your takeaway thoughts or attempted to kickstart conversations by posting about your experiences and asking for tips and advice?
If you want to find out more about ‘How to use LinkedIn to find a job’, please read my recent blog.
2. Attend online events
Online meeting platforms, such as Zoom and Teams, literally place the world at your fingertips! With a little bit of research, you’ll be able to find a range of online events and webinars relevant to your skills, profession and career goals. These events can be great for increasing your knowledge, and with functions such as the ‘breakout’ room, they can also help you connect with a new face.
To maximise your experience, I advise you research each event and be selective. There’s no point attending everything! Choose the ones with the most potential to advance your career, then find out more about the hosts, be clear on your networking goals, prepare your introduction and engage in the conversation.
3. Follow up after events
Online events and webinars will introduce you to lots of new people. Remember to make a note of attendees you’d like to follow up with, and don’t forget to connect with them on LinkedIn or other social media platforms. Another helpful tip to show others you’re interested in their topic and keen to learn more is to follow up with questions after the event.
4. Explore Instagram
While we all think of LinkedIn as the best social media channel for professional networking, don’t forget your regular social media channels. Instagram, in particular, is where a lot of professionals are using their accounts to showcase their products, creativity or professional services. If you’re not already on there, it might be worth signing up and doing some research on the major players in your field!
5. Join professional Facebook groups
Have you ever noticed that Facebook seems to have a group for everything?! This is another social media platform that you may not immediately think of when it comes to professional networking. Still, hundreds, if not thousands of groups are out there, just waiting for you to find them.
6. Run your own webinar
I mentioned attending worthwhile online events and webinars earlier, and if you can host your own, well, even better! It’s such a great way to show off your skills and experience to a group of people from the comfort of your own home. It also gives you a chance to increase your professional network.
If an opportunity doesn’t land at your feet, create one! What about running a webinar at your current company or for your professional organisation? It’s a fantastic way to introduce yourself and ensure that key people are aware of who you are. It’s also helpful for personal development, for example, practising your presentation skills. Win, win!
7. Use the networks you already have
Sometimes it’s worth going back to basics. Have you thought about catching up with friends and family (online or for a socially distanced walk!) and chatting to them about their professional lives and your career aspirations? Do they know of any vacancies, practical training courses or networking events that may be beneficial to you? It’s worth checking in with those closest to you and it’s this most comfortable of networks that we often overlook.
Would you like to find out more about using networking to secure your next role?
I hope you’ve found this blog helpful and that you’ve learnt about some new networking opportunities to explore. To find out more about how I can support you with using networking to secure your next role or your job search in general, contact me to book a free, no-obligation 30-minute consultation.