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The more people you know, the better chance you have of
reaching your goals
Even the most outgoing people can find networking intimidating, but
the benefits of building useful relationships make the effort well worthwhile.
There's no getting around the fact that networking can be hard work.
You may or may not grow to love it, but you'll find it useful for
advancing your career.
Good networkers are in the lucky position of almost always being able
to get the help they need – be it a referral, some inside information
on a potential client or even a job offer – by making one phone call.
As the saying goes, it's often who you know. So the more people you
know, the better chance you have of reaching your goals.
Link up via LinkedIn
Sites such as LinkedIn have
made networking easier. Over the last couple of years, LinkedIn has
reached a tipping point and most people are now on it. To get the most
out of LinkedIn, it's best to provide as full a profile as possible
and go for quality rather than quantity when it comes to connections.
Try to connect to people who you have something in common with
professionally rather than with family members and old schoolmates.
Nothing beats face time
As useful as networking sites have become, face-to-face interaction
remains the most effective form of networking. If you find yourself in
a situation that offers the opportunity for networking, summon up the
courage to approach people and strike up a conversation. Take a
genuine interest in what they have to tell you and you'll be surprised
at how willing they are to establish a relationship and help you out
at a future date.
Take the initiative
If you're not finding yourself in networking situations, create them.
Get in touch with someone in your industry you respect and ask if
they'd be willing to meet you for coffee. Start a Facebook page for
people who share your ambitions, check out the group directories
section on LinkedIn and sign up for anything that looks interesting.
Just as you would train for a sporting event for months in advance,
you should be establishing relationships with people who can assist
you long before you're in the position of wanting to ask them for a favour.
You don't have to wait until you're working full-time to start
building connections. People you meet while studying can be extremely
useful contacts for your future. If you're interested in a career
change, or simply looking to expand your skill set, you can visit TAFE NSW and see the wide
variety of courses on offer.