Tips for Networking: 5 Ways to Expand Your Professional Network

Tips for Networking

What is Networking?

Any professional, no matter what industry they’re in, must interact with and develop relationships with other professionals in their industry. This is called networking, and it allows you to find new opportunities and advance your career. Proper networking also keeps you up to date with all of the latest trends and information in your industry, so it’s important to develop, keep up with, and expand your professional network. Consider one or more of these five ways to build your network.

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#1: Join a Professional Organization

Just about every profession has some sort of professional organization that people can join, where members help each other in their careers. Professional organizations can be directly related to your field, or even just a general group. An example would be a fraternity or sorority, which has thousands of members employed in various industries. No matter which type of organization you join, you have the opportunity to make new connections and advance your knowledge in your field.

It can also be helpful to join organizations that are outside of your industry. If you have a hobby that deeply interests you, you can connect with others who share this same passion. You may even meet someone who knows how to monetize your hobby so that you can create your own website and earn a second income!

#2: Use Alumni Networks

Many people join a professional organization while they’re in college or soon after. Several colleges and universities host alumni events from time to time, and this is a great way to expand your network. Odds are, you didn’t meet everyone in your graduating college class, so you may be able to find someone in your field (or someone with the same interests as you) to add to your professional network. You never know who knows of job opportunities or who’s starting up a business and is looking for team members or investors.

#3: Engage in Volunteer Work

Volunteering is a way for you to come in contact with like-minded individuals, as well as people vastly different from yourself. You’re able to build a network and develop lasting relationships with people of all kinds of backgrounds, which helps to diversify your network.

A diversified network opens you up to many more opportunities than sticking with the same group of people. When volunteering, pursue something that you’re passionate about so it won’t feel like work or a chore, and so you’ll be able to build relationships organically by bonding over similar interests. You can also volunteer to get work experience, which helps you get hired faster.

#4: Attend Networking Events

Colleges and universities aren’t the only institutions that host networking events. It’s very likely that some company or organization in your field hosts networking events regularly. A simple search will help you find upcoming networking events near you.

At these events, you’ll meet up with other professionals in your industry, some even coming from another city or state. Once you’ve attended several events and have expanded your network, you can even host your own networking event to connect with even more people.

#5: Create and Keep Up With Your LinkedIn Page

LinkedIn is one of the best job search sites because it allows you to not only search for job opportunities but also to connect with other people from your industry, school, greek organization, etc. As you build your network on LinkedIn, you can also have your connections “endorse” certain skills of yours, making you a more marketable candidate for hire. You can also head over to Quantum Marketer to know further.

LinkedIn can also be a helpful tool when starting up a business, which is important when trying to attract both customers/clients and employees. Fortunately, there are companies that can help you give your LinkedIn profile the boost it needs: for more information on how to get help with your LinkedIn profile, feel free to browse here.

Expanding your professional network can open up so many new opportunities for your professional career. When you add more connections to your network, you gain access to their professional network as well.