Ways to Build Your Professional Network
You have a LinkedIn profile and you are engaging on the platform striving to offer value with every comment or post. You belong to at least one industry-specific LinkedIn group. And have dozens and dozens if not hundreds of connections. There is no doubt a professional network can be a career advantage. So, is there anything else you can do?
Here are some suggestions:
· Join your industry’s professional association. Take it a step further find out if your industry association can offer you opportunities to get involved as a volunteer. Most likely they are offering some ways to do this virtually right now. In exchange for helping, you will meet others at every level of the profession. (You can join the association of the career sector you want to transition too as well.)
· At work: If your company sponsors community service projects, find one that appeals to you and get involved. Your network will expand effortlessly as you do good alongside others in different areas of your company.
· Volunteer your professional skills: Broaden your outlook as well as your network by learning how you can apply your skillset beyond your current job. Check out volunteer job boards like volunteermatch.com for lots of virtual opportunities. You might be surprised at type of skills that non-profit organizations want to put to good use.
· Start your own peer mastermind group: You can do what Matt Millen, former T-Mobile VP and guest on the Executalks podcast did early in his career. He recounts what he was looking for that prompted him to start his own group with two other young sales professionals: “People with like mindsets; relatively young in our careers, all looking to get to the next level.”
Millen wanted some way to make up for the lack of training and support he felt was missing from the job he held at the time. He tells Ash it was a relief to know find others that were experiencing similar challenges and how they supported each other. He said they would share ideas and the results of trying different things. (You can listen to Ash’s conversation with Matt Millen here.)
If you think having a greater professional network could help you rise in your career, what can you do about it today? Would you try one of these methods? Which one?
If you have listened to the Executalks podcast before, you know that our host, Ash, is always interested in supporting and connecting listeners. Reach out to him at Ash@executalks.com or DM him (and follow!) on Instagram or Twitter. Executalks wants to hear from you!