You have undoubtedly heard the saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”, right? The right connections can open doors with some new opportunities and therefore your professional network should be something you are always working on.
Here are seven simple strategies that new interns can use to expand their professional network:
1. Use LinkedIn
Social media is powerful tool for professional networking when used carefully. LinkedIn lets you construct your own professional profile, join industry-specific groups, connect with like-minded people, and share content. In order to expand your network you need to be genuinely proactive and not just create a profile and never return.
2. Attend Events
Every event gives you the opportunity to network. Also, don’t forget about the plenty of network opportunities you have online. Twitter chats for example allow a big group of people to participate regardless of the location.
3. Be a good listener
When networking, don’t always try to dominate the conversation. Listen to other people and show that you are genuinely interested in what other people have to say. This strategy will help you to build a connection.
4. Join Facebook Groups
Search for some Facebook Groups that closely align with your industry and engage with other group member.
5. Always think about long-term relationships
Exchanging a business card may be a foot in the door but it’s the long-term relationships that are beneficial to your network and therefore make an effort to establish that relationship.
6. Look Outside Your Niche
Don’t be too selective with who you connect as you might find someone who can introduce you to a contact who does work in your industry.
7. Never be afraid to ask
If you want something, you have to ask and the easiest way is to ask through the contacts you already have. No matter if you want an introduction, a meeting or an advice or feedback, ask for it.
Who Should You Extend Your Network to?
The sky's the limit - but keep in mind who you want to become professionally. Your network can help you to move forward in your professional career so think about who you want to have in your professional team. Have a variety of people in your team to have different perspectives on ways to approach your career. Most often, these perspectives will vary by age, field, demographic and company.
Published on by Daniele L.