Photos by LA PHOTOGRAPHY
It is the second segment today of my Work Wednesday series and I thought I would talk about networking tips and tricks in the work place. I think this is a very important topic because it can connect you with so many people you might not have ever met before and can give you so many different opportunities. In my first post I talked about cubicle etiquette which I loved talking about. Almost everyone has worked in a cube at some point in their career or still are, so I think understanding what is right and not right is essential to understanding the etiquette that is found in the work place. Networking though will get you so many places and sometimes will decide if you are in a cubicle, office or a different type of work setting depending on your new job. Honestly to me when I think of networking I think it can be intimated and just involves those awkward after work settings that we can sometimes be emailed about. There are so many opportunities for networking and finding your niche around a comfortable setting will set you up to do amazing things in your career. Below are some of my favorite tips for navigating in this sometimes scary world of networking.
- Get Involved With Organizations: This is my number one tip for networking. Organizations are not just for high school or college anymore. I am still actively involved in my alumni group for my sorority and have made lots of connections through working with a diverse group of women that can help one another whether they are on a job hunt or just share common interests. This is also a great way to meet friends and connect if you are new to an area as well. I also am involved with my companies community organizations and my church. Being a part of some organization outside of work is a great way to connect and make those valuable connections.
- Stay Updated On Linked In: I know a lot of people actually forget about their Linked In profile and don’t think that it is that important. This could be far from the truth though. Even if you aren’t looking for a job, making sure your profile is updated and that you are interacting with connections is key to networking. I can’t tell you how many job offers my brother has received from Linked In alone. I think it does a great job as a social platform to really connect and be able to share work information across a different type of platform.
- Go To As Many Events As You Can: This tip can sometimes be hard if you are married or have children, but I think it is extremely important. We have a networking group at work that offers events and happy hours several times throughout the year and I always try to go to them. It is one night where you might have to hang around your office area a little longer but the conversations and getting to know your co-workers is so worth it. You never know what you might have in common or what other groups of people you could meet that you might be interested in their field of work.
- Have a Mentor: I think having a mentor that you can meet with a couple of times a month is key to your professional success. Picking one out that will guide you and give you valuable information along the way is extremely important. Chatting with this individual and discussing ways you can grow in your career will expand your network as well. They know people that you don’t and it is always about shaking those hands and making those connections.
- Be Prepared With An Elevator Pitch: We have always heard of an elevator pitch and I think in networking having that little pitch ready is important. It is not everything of course, but something that is ready and available to give an overview about you quickly. This will most likely lead to networking with other individuals if they know your background or perhaps projects or other teams you have worked with.
- Take The Initiative: I will say this can be the hardest thing about networking and getting out or your bubble, but it is all about taking the initiative. Opportunities sometimes land right in front of you and other times there is a lot more work involved with them. We have always heard the saying its the hands you shake, not the grades you make. I think these are obviously both important but it is indeed the hands you shake and the opportunities that you come across. Making it a priority to get to know upper management and not being afraid of talking to people outside of your normal work environment will lead you opportunities you didn’t know were there.
Networking can sometimes be a scary area of any part of a job. If you think of it in a way of having conversations and mingling with others in a way that can open up your door to new opportunities, then it is a lot more exciting. There are so many networking opportunities that we sometimes do not see or realize they are beneficial, because we don’t want to take the extra work. If anything at all I think this is key to a successful career one day. I hope you liked these tips and please let me know what you would like to see for the next Work Wednesday series 🙂