Tips to Improve Your Professional Network

Managing your career is a must if you want to be successful and happy in your position. You will likely spend 40 or more hours a week at your work, so it is important that you feel happy and fulfilled in what you do. Managing your network is one way to develop your career and open up new opportunities.

Get Your Degree

Getting your degree can be beneficial in many ways, and not just in helping you round out your resume. Attending classes, whether in person or online, can also be a great networking opportunity. You will be able to connect with like-minded individuals who are also interested in furthering their careers. You might consider taking out a private student loan to help pay for your educational expenses. While it can be expensive now, the higher salary you may earn from a better position can make it worthwhile.

Meet Many Individuals

Creating a community is all about connecting with others, and being an extrovert can certainly help here. However, you don’t have to be a social person to successfully network. By getting to know more people, you make it more likely that you will be able to connect with someone who knows of a good position for you to apply for.

Search out chances to broaden your horizons and network. Perhaps you chat with someone on the elevator, meet someone you see around all the time, or get to know people at industry events. Even if the conversation doesn’t go anywhere, it can be good practice to get into the habit of connecting with everyone.

While you can attend specific networking events, you don’t have to attend one to get to know other professionals. Think of it as forming a connection, rather than just networking. You might be able to talk about your work with other parents when the kids have a play date, meet people at church, attend parties, or even going to a cultural event. By learning what others do for a living, you can determine if anyone is in an industry related to your own or one you want to switch to.

Try Connecting Online

There are many social media sites out there, and some are designed for the working professional who wants to grow their network. You can also search for networking events and programs. Don’t be afraid to connect with others you have met online, either. Make a point of connecting with someone online shortly after you meet them. This can help them remember you better, and seeing your online profile can be more memorable than a simple email or business card.

Make Friends at Work

You may not be at your job forever, but neither will the people you work with. Building strong relationships with your coworkers can help you broaden your network. You might just find you have more in common than you thought you did. Having friendships at work can make your working hours much nicer, and they may lead to other opportunities in future years. Try to make an effort to remember birthdays and go to lunches and other events.

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