Networking is something that doesn’t come easy to everyone. It may look time-consuming, full of effort and may also demand ample motivation.
How and why will a busy leader make time for networking?
“It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” is one that we have all heard and agreed with to some extent. Even while it’s crucial to establish your knowledge and expertise in your field, it never hurts to have a few meaningful connections. Today’s employment market is competitive, so it’s critical to network with people who can help you further your career. It gives you an insight into various industries, their culture, work ethics and job openings. The more familiar you are with the culture and environment of a company, the greater your chances of winning a job interview there.
A leader’s network plays a pivotal role in his or her professional development. Within that, there are three dimensions to it including the one that gets you your next grand job role- which you may rarely find on portals, on Google, in your personal connections or even through your colleagues.
An online Professional Network and Its Dimensions
As a leader, you would find your professional network – which must be infinite if you seek to build it online (LinkedIn) – covering the three dimensions of Operational, Personal and Strategic Advantages.
The Operational Network links you with functional tasks where you find insights, knowledge, advisory etc. on how to become better at work you are already doing. This may mostly include the people whom you have known through other sources, as well. Yet, they consume your content and watch your activities silently, and may influence to some extent.
It is the rapport and mutual trust that you build in an operational network that brings you the true power of your network – towards proving your credibility fast, easily and through authentic sources.
Personal Networking is about your individual development where you inspire, mentor, build professional ties and relationships online by sharing value and solutions. Through personal branding, you mainly have the edge to inspire, share your knowledge with people who look up to insights and opinions that are rare to find – and are confined to senior leaders like you. Their primary motivation to follow you or engage with you is to find value.
This is more about connecting with people who have things in common with you – and they could influence in upholding your proficiency wherever needed.
Strategic Networking is your mainstay – this one gets you new and lucrative opportunities for job roles. Strategic networking proves its significance when you effectively identify your prospective employers, successfully add them to your network and drive them to engagement. Your target to get the eyeballs of your employers should always be straight and clear in your mind.
A professional can help you do the groundwork and create the right influence. You need professional support in expanding your networking strategically and get the real return on the investment of time you are making here.
Understanding Networking a Bit More Before Action
Networking can be a dreadful task, especially if you don’t like to socialize much. Though, you need to trust us when we say that networking is worth spending time and energy on (and it’s easier than it sounds).
Professional networking doesn’t involve approaching “strangers” and unnecessarily attempting to win them over. Even though you are kicking away your comfort zone and entering into the unknown, a channel like LinkedIn takes you to build up a genuine support system where people on the other end are equally motivated to look at what you have to offer and provide as a value.
Network and Authority
Most organizations do not advertise leadership JDs on job portals as they often find their perfect fit through referrals or contacts which is again, sourced through their LinkedIn Networks. Organizations, when looking for leaders, do not just seek an employee; they want a problem-solver who reads through the problems and can come up with innovative solutions that their current team can’t give.
If you have such a skillset, abilities and an excellent professional network, then it is a definite chance that someone from your connections will recommend your name for the role.
Learning to network
- A network doesn’t build up and show results in one day. It is progressive and demands perseverance. Consistency holds the key.
- Explore relevant connections and find what’s common between them and you
- Share resources to learn and let learn
- Ensure to share your opinions on individual posts
- Join Forums that interest you and your current role
- Identify and connect with people from across industries – especially the one you want to switch over to
- Find career leaders and connect with them through engaging posts
- Strengthen your ties with the ones you already know
- Acknowledge intelligent comments and opinions on your content
- Reshare content that is meaningful to you and your current network
Don’t Forget the Prerequisite – Make your Profile Purposeful
Understand that your LinkedIn profile is like a short film about your professional life and demonstrates your professionalism and expertise in your domain.
Ensure that every visitor to your profile, including a potential recruiter, must feel compelled to add you to their network or accept the request to connect if you had initiated it.
Share meaningful and valuable content about your industry, post about your professional life updates through story-telling and share about your achievements- which are hard to find on other resume’.
The worst networking is no networking at all. The bad is to do it irregularly and without strategy and consistency. Jump to not just good but WOW. The metamorphosis is slow and time-consuming. Don’t delay it further. We can help you cover up for the time you’ve already lost, and make your way into the hidden grand job opportunities hiding right behind your network. Why wait?
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