Building a Professional Network
Who should listen: Anyone who wants to know how they can strategically begin to build a professional network of contacts that will support their career goals now and in the future.
Key idea: To build a strong network of professional contacts requires that all parties benefit from the relationship. Find ways to help others first and to add value where you can.
In our interview with Ron Williams (Ep. 359: Building Better Client Relationships), we lamented the absence of any formal education provided to young people about how to build a professional network of business contacts (some college classes being a possible exception).
We consider being able to build a network an essential life skill right up there with learning how to boil water and unclog a toilet. So in this week’s Silver Dollar episode, we’re taking it upon ourselves to fill the gap.
We’re not only talking about the importance of networking and how it can help bolster your career and development in ways you may not have thought about, but we’re also sharing seven tips that will help you to build a network strategically and effectively.
You’ll need to listen to the episode for all the nitty-gritty details, but below is an overview of these seven tips:
- Look for people who will make a difference in your career.
- Make friends, not connections.
- Begin with people you already know.
- Join your local alumni association.
- Find a way to help others first.
- Get active on social media.
- Follow up.
While anyone can benefit from these tips, we want to especially encourage you to share this episode with a young person: your child, a niece or nephew, a high school student, a soon-to-be college graduate, a young employee, or a mentee. Together we can ensure that this real life skill is taught to those who need it most.
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