Career Development

Strategic networking for professional life in 7 steps

It is undeniable that strategic networking has the potential to open several doors in your professional life. Meeting experienced people provides learning and can generate referrals in the future.

With the arrival of social networks, the task of connecting with other professionals has become even easier. Specific corporate-oriented platforms, such as LinkedIn, can be great allies for those who want to create a list of contacts that will add to their career.

What is strategic networking?

Strategic networking involves developing professional relationships, based on creating connections with individuals who can help advance your career, obtain new clients, find business opportunities, etc.

In this case, it is essential to build authentic and genuine relationships with people. This involves listening carefully, offering help when possible, and staying in touch regularly.

Also understand that once you have built your network, it is important to maintain it. This means staying in regular contact with your contacts, sharing relevant information, and continuing to offer support when possible.

How to put strategic networking into practice

Strategic networking can be done with the help of different methods — each of them aimed at a specific need, so it is up to the professional to understand what type of audience they want to reach.

1 – Have an active participation on LinkedIn

We are in the age of technology and, as we already mentioned, social networks can help you with this premise. Create a LinkedIn profile, create and share content and establish connections with different professionals in your field.

Don’t let your LinkedIn become “abandoned”: keep your account always updated, interact with professionals and make the social network in question a showcase of your work. This way, colleagues who visit your profile come to understand what you do.

Through LinkedIn, you can meet people who have the same professional ambitions as you and the same interests in a certain area. Conversations provide new ideas and help to understand what the market is like today, what the trends and difficulties are.

2 – Define the intention of your networking

Networking extends to different types of contacts: partners, customers, suppliers, professional colleagues. Analyze your current professional situation to understand what you are looking for, so you can adapt your experience to make the right contacts.

3 – Participate in fairs, workshops and events

A suitable place to make new professional contacts is at a corporate event. It could be a fair, a workshop, a lecture. This type of initiative always brings in experienced people, who have knowledge capable of adding to its development.

Take advantage of these occasions to get in touch with other people and be open to learning from them. We often believe that we don’t need other people, and that answering questions or asking for help is inconvenient. But it’s exactly the opposite: it’s the behavior of someone who is engaged and wants to learn new things, so there’s no reason to be embarrassed.

4 – Have a business card

To facilitate your strategic networking, one idea is to make a business card. You can have both a digital and a physical one (with a QR code for your portfolio, for example). Therefore, in events that promote interaction with potential partners or customers, it is a means of facilitating access to your contact.

5 – Use networking to find out about vacancies

The advantage of networking is that you can find out about vacancies that are open at certain companies — or, better yet, vacancies that are yet to open.

Carefully so as not to be inconvenient, ask your contacts if there is any vacancy in the company where they work. You can also ask professional colleagues to let you know when a vacancy for a particular position opens.

6 – One hand washes the other: indicate other people

However, if you cultivate a network of contacts, it is important that you are willing to help. In the same way that a colleague can recommend you to the company where you work, you can also communicate with your network about possible vacancies. There is a benefit to this practice, which is being able to choose precisely who will work alongside you, on the team. This ensures that you will have someone you trust.

7 – Allow yourself to meet fellow students

Studying is also a way to feed your strategic networking, as classes bring together diverse people with a common interest. So, on an MBA course , for example, you can meet other professionals with ideas similar to yours, which can greatly contribute to your development.

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