Author: Chantal Haynes- Curley
Networking is key to establishing and promoting your personal brand— it helps you not only build your reputation, but potentially advance your career, too.
Did you know that it is estimated that up to eighty five percent of open positions are filled through networking? Thats because networks support personal branding through word of mouth, endorsements, promotion and the exchange of industry knowledge. If you are looking to secure a role, put your time into building your professional network.
The more contacts you make—the higher chance your personal brand will be noticed by the people who can suppport the advancement of your career. Link in with professionals who can support your development and endorse your skills - co-workers, friends, professors, advisors, industry thought-leaders and peers.
Simply adding people on LinkedIn isn’t enough, to truly build a solid and valuable network you will need to invest time, effort, and be persistent. Utilise your interpersonal and communication skills through online engagement and regular attendance at networking and industry related events . This requires you to put your self out there, get chatting, share contact details, suggest following up conversations over a coffee or lunch or follow up chat via email or zoom.
Its important that networks exist for mutual benefit, therefore be ready to offer your skills whether it be through advice or direct support, this will help you maintain strong relationships through communal exchange .
As your network grows commit to doing what your schedule will allow , don’t overstretch but be careful in turning down requests that could offer you valuable networking opportunities.