Advertising
Advertising

It Always Seemed Impossible At First But These Will Build You A Wide And Professional Network

It Always Seemed Impossible At First But These Will Build You A Wide And Professional Network

Most people think that a professional network is only needed when job-hunting. Maintaining a professional network throughout your career is a necessary and important task that need not be difficult. A strong, professional network builds confidence and could prove to be a valuable safety net should you get laid off or fired. A recent article in Forbes Magazine reported that most of us search for jobs every eight years. That is a big incentive to growing a professional network.

Learn how to manage and boost your professional network with the following tips.

1. Maintain Visibility

People have to know who you are in order to recommend you and your available products and services. The key here is to stay visible, without becoming a nuisance. Develop an eye-catching business card and get to know the people around you, especially the people you work for and with.

Advertising

1-girl

    2. Build Relationships

    It is essential to get to know the people in your network. Get in touch every five weeks or so for a coffee or light lunch. If you have the opportunity to boost their career, by all means do it. They are sure to return to favor for you at a later time. Be willing to be a professional reference.

    1-girl

      3. Use LinkedIn

      This is a no brainer. LinkedIn is free to join, and there are hundreds of groups available to boost your professional networking. Get to know people. When you and they are comfortable enough, exchange recommendations. This network builds your credibility in a number of ways and is well worth the time and effort.

      Advertising

      1-girl

        4. Join Professional Organizations

        Get to know colleagues in your profession. These are the best people to keep you informed on what is changing in your profession and how to adapt. Joining may not be free, however a professional organization is one of the easiest ways to stay and get connected professionally.

        1girl

          5. Go Beyond Your Industry

          Cultivate professional networks outside of your industry. This is a great way to boost your network and meet new people. Networking with those outside of your industry can give you a fresh perspective on your professional development.

          Advertising

          1-girl

            6. Find Connections

            Seek out people who have been in your industry for longer than you have. Consider their advice and learn from their experience. It absolutely matters who you know. Surround yourself with people who support your career as you support them in theirs.

            1-girl

              7. Build, Build, Build

              Building relationships is integral to maintaining and boosting your professional network. Be personable and share your experiences with the people in your professional network. Be the person that others first think of for a solution, a bit of advice, or a warm welcome.

              Advertising

              1-party

                8. Host An Event

                The event you choose to host need not be large or elaborate. In fact, you may want to consider hosting a series of two or three smaller events, so as to include everyone. Host a dessert party, a wine tasting, or simply serve simple appetizers. In any case, everyone will be relaxed and have the opportunity to get to know you.

                1-girl

                  9. Volunteer

                  Giving to others is a fantastic way to stay visible while building your professional network. The effort need not be elaborate or time-consuming. Consider an hour a week or a month to give back to the very community in which you are building your career and your reputation.

                  1-girl

                    10. Follow-Up

                    Always stay connected to your professional network through staying in touch. Strengthen attachments thorough listening to others in your network. Don’t ask for a series of favors, rather ask how you can be of help to the other person. In this way relationships are indelibly strengthened and maintained.

                    More by this author

                    20 Awesome DIY Office Organization Ideas That Boost Efficiency 25 Simple And Creative Ways To Cheer Someone Up 25 Bathroom Hacks You’ll Want to Share With Everyone The Best Answers to the 7 Worst Interview Questions 10 Benefits of Bitter Melon That Makes It Even More Worth Eating

                    Trending in Communication

                    110 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Enjoy Taking Risks 2When You Start to Enjoy Being Single, These 12 Things Will Happen 321 Best Tips On Making A Long Distance Relationship Work 4The Skill That Most People Don’t Have: Active Listening 518 Signs You’ve Found Your Soulmate

                    Read Next

                    Advertising
                    Advertising

                    Last Updated on August 16, 2018

                    10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Enjoy Taking Risks

                    10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Enjoy Taking Risks

                    The ability to take risks by stepping outside your comfort zone is the primary way by which we grow. But we are often afraid to take that first step.

                    In truth, comfort zones are not really about comfort, they are about fear. Break the chains of fear to get outside. Once you do, you will learn to enjoy the process of taking risks and growing in the process.

                    Here are 10 ways to help you step out of your comfort zone and get closer to success:

                    1. Become aware of what’s outside of your comfort zone

                    What are the things that you believe are worth doing but are afraid of doing yourself because of the potential for disappointment or failure?

                    Draw a circle and write those things down outside the circle. This process will not only allow you to clearly identify your discomforts, but your comforts. Write identified comforts inside the circle.

                    2. Become clear about what you are aiming to overcome

                    Take the list of discomforts and go deeper. Remember, the primary emotion you are trying to overcome is fear.

                    Advertising

                    How does this fear apply uniquely to each situation? Be very specific.

                    Are you afraid of walking up to people and introducing yourself in social situations? Why? Is it because you are insecure about the sound of your voice? Are you insecure about your looks?

                    Or, are you afraid of being ignored?

                    3. Get comfortable with discomfort

                    One way to get outside of your comfort zone is to literally expand it. Make it a goal to avoid running away from discomfort.

                    Let’s stay with the theme of meeting people in social settings. If you start feeling a little panicked when talking to someone you’ve just met, try to stay with it a little longer than you normally would before retreating to comfort. If you stay long enough and practice often enough, it will start to become less uncomfortable.

                    4. See failure as a teacher

                    Many of us are so afraid of failure that we would rather do nothing than take a shot at our dreams.

                    Advertising

                    Begin to treat failure as a teacher. What did you learn from the experience? How can you take that lesson to your next adventure to increase your chance of success?

                    Many highly successful people failed plenty of times before they succeeded. Here’re some examples:

                    10 Famous Failures to Success Stories That Will Inspire You to Carry On

                    5. Take baby steps

                    Don’t try to jump outside your comfort zone, you will likely become overwhelmed and jump right back in.

                    Take small steps toward the fear you are trying to overcome. If you want to do public speaking, start by taking every opportunity to speak to small groups of people. You can even practice with family and friends.

                    Take a look at this article on how you can start taking baby steps:

                    Advertising

                    The Number One Secret to Life Success: Baby Steps

                    6. Hang out with risk takers

                    There is no substitute for this step. If you want to become better at something, you must start hanging out with the people who are doing what you want to do and start emulating them. (Here’re 8 Reasons Why Risk Takers Are More Likely To Be Successful).

                    Almost inevitably, their influence will start have an effect on your behavior.

                    7. Be honest with yourself when you are trying to make excuses

                    Don’t say “Oh, I just don’t have the time for this right now.” Instead, be honest and say “I am afraid to do this.”

                    Don’t make excuses, just be honest. You will be in a better place to confront what is truly bothering you and increase your chance of moving forward.

                    8. Identify how stepping out will benefit you

                    What will the ability to engage in public speaking do for your personal and professional growth? Keep these potential benefits in mind as motivations to push through fear.

                    Advertising

                    9. Don’t take yourself too seriously

                    Learn to laugh at yourself when you make mistakes. Risk taking will inevitably involve failure and setbacks that will sometimes make you look foolish to others. Be happy to roll with the punches when others poke fun.

                    If you aren’t convinced yet, check out these 6 Reasons Not to Take Life So Seriously.

                    10. Focus on the fun

                    Enjoy the process of stepping outside your safe boundaries. Enjoy the fun of discovering things about yourself that you may not have been aware of previously.

                    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                    Read Next