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How to Expand Your Professional Network

Most of you have been advised to network as part of your job search. You may be wondering: why are networks so important and how can I expand my professional network?

Networking is an invaluable tool for career advancement. It involves establishing and maintaining relationships with a variety of professionals, both within and outside of your industry, who can help you advance your career. This can be done through attending networking events, connecting with people online, and building relationships with those in your field.

Professional networking gives you access to key people and resources that can open doors and help you find job opportunities.  It also allows you to develop relationships with people who can provide valuable advice and assistance. According to one article, 80% of professionals find networking essential to their career success and 85% of jobseekers find their jobs through networking. 

Networking events are a great place to start - these events provide an opportunity to meet people from various industries and learn about the latest trends and opportunities in the job market. You can also use these events to make contacts, build relationships, and exchange ideas.

Nowadays, online job networking is becoming increasingly popular. You can use social media sites such as LinkedIn and Twitter to connect with professionals in your field and build relationships. You can also join online forums and groups to discuss industry topics and connect with others in your field.

Benefits of Expanding your Career Network

We all now know the importance of a strong network in the job market. Having a strong network of contacts can open up career opportunities and provide invaluable advice when it comes to choosing the right job. But what about expanding your job network? Is there any benefit to connecting with more people in your field?

The answer is yes! Expanding your job network can have a number of benefits, from increased chances of finding a job to improving your skills and knowledge. Here are just a few of the benefits of expanding your job network.

Expanding your job network can be a great way to further your career and increase your chances of success. By connecting with more people in your field, you can access more job opportunities, gain valuable knowledge, and make valuable connections. So, if you’re looking to advance your career, consider expanding your job network.

Ways to Expand your Job Network

Here are some tips on how to help you increase the numbers of people in your network.

  1. Develop a strategy. What are your interests? In what areas do you need to build new connections? Consider your short and long-term career goals and work back from there. Your plan may require you to step outside your comfort zone to build relationships with those who can really influence your career. Establishing clear actions and timelines will keep you focused and accountable.
  2. Ask for referrals. Who in your network already knows the people you want to connect with? Ask them for help in making an introduction.
  3. Utilize LinkedIn and other social media. Social media is a great tool for networking, especially in the job market. Use LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social media networks to connect with potential employers, recruiters, and industry professionals.
  4. Get involved in your community. Volunteer with industry associations and career-relevant not-for-profits. Build relationships outside of the organization you work for. Not only will you be giving back to the community, you’ll also become visible to potential future employers and stay on top of industry trends.
  5. Attend professional networking events. Professional events such as workshops, seminars, and conferences are great places to meet and mingle with industry professionals. Make sure to take the time to introduce yourself and build relationships with the people you meet.
  6. Join professional organizations. Professional organizations are great for networking and can provide you with valuable contacts. Attend meetings and make sure to introduce yourself to the members.
  7. Include the right people. Your career network should include anyone who can assist you with a job search or career move. It can include past and present co-workers, bosses, friends with similar interests, colleagues from business associations, alumni from your university, or acquaintances you have met via online networking services. Your network can also include family, neighbors, and anyone who might have a connection that will help.

Finally, it’s important to maintain your job networking relationships. Make sure to stay in contact with the people you meet and to keep up with the latest trends and opportunities in your field. This will help you stay connected and be prepared for new job opportunities. Overall, job networking is an essential tool for career advancement. It allows you to build relationships, gain knowledge and skills, and find new job opportunities. By taking the time to connect with professionals in your field, you can open doors to new opportunities and advance your career.

If you want to read more, here is a link to another blog post about the Importance of Networking in the Job Search.