Gone are the days when an employee would join an office and then stay in the same organization for years. Today, everyone wants to move up the professional ladder fast. After gaining work experience in an organization for a couple of years, a professional would want to join a better paying one.
And sometimes, after working in the industry for a few years, a professional might want to turn into an entrepreneur! Whether it is to find a good job for oneself or the initial clients for business, an individual, besides his passion for work, skills and qualifications, has to rely on his "contacts".
Having a network of people in place, who would help you at various points in your career, is very essential. Through the contacts that you build, your awareness of the new developments in the industry that you are working in, increases. This further helps in your professional growth.
Before you set out on your "contact hunt", prepare and practice how you will approach people.
Stand in front of the mirror and rehearse the whole thing. Do this a couple of times, till you have it by heart. At the same time, make sure that you do not introduce yourself mechanically. Add a few emotions and pauses in your introductory speech as well!
Now, no one in his right mind would like to speak with a person he finds detestable. So if you want to make some good contacts, be likable.
This will give you an opportunity to know more about that person, plus, as mostly people talk when they meet someone, when you do the opposite, you will come across as someone different. This will help you in making new contacts.
Join Trade Associations
Joining trade associations is a great way of social networking for career opportunities. At these associations, you will come in contact with professionals working at all levels in your field of work. So you can make some really good contacts in there.
Be Internet Savvy
Nowadays, Internet has become a major tool for career networking. Social networking sites such as Facebook, provide a platform for alumni of the same college or employees of an organization, both past as well as present, to form groups and connect.
Then, there are websites like LinkedIn, where you can upload your resume and make contacts with professionals in your field and possible employers. So along with offline networking, be creative and make full use of online networking opportunities too.
Career networking is a never ending process. You have to be at it, till you retire from your professional life. It is like an added qualification that you must possess in order to be a successful professional at your career. So the sooner you learn and start applying these tips, the better it will be for your career development!