Networking is all about meeting new people and making connections within a business or social setting. When you are employed, that can be challenging as you’re a little restricted in networking opportunities. While you might not be interested in looking for new opportunities, it’s important to keep making connections with coworkers, with managers and with clients. The big question is, what can you do at your current job to increase your networking chances with this understanding? Here are four key tips to open up new doors with networking at your current job.
1. Develop a strong relationship with your manager
Your manager might be the best connection you make at your current job. Building a strong relationship with them is good for your current position, but it’s also good for your longer-term career goals. Previous managers are great at providing access to information about opportunities since they sit so close to the action themselves. Building a strong relationship with your manager will also improve your chances of being happy on the job, and also setting yourself up for success in the long term. They are an excellent place to start when building out your network at your current job.
2. Help your co-workers as much as you can
Helping your co-workers is a great way to make them a cornerstone of your professional network. It’s a strong strategy to be helpful and build those strong connections with the people you work with. They make great recommendations when the time comes for you to leave your job. But they also can help introduce you to people within their network who will help you down the line. Even if they don’t seem to appreciate your efforts, make sure you are helpful to them and leave them with a good impression of you and your work.
3. Learn about other departments
Your networking won’t even get off the ground if you are focused on only your own department. You must take strides to learn about other departments, even if you don’t see the immediate relevance. Your goal should be to learn about other areas of expertise and make some friends in the broader context of your business. Expanding your sphere of influence can be a very powerful way to build your network, without even leaving the building.
4. Don’t just think about how people can help you… Focus on helping other people
Your networking strategy should be built on a foundation of showing your value to others. That is done by being helpful in the best possible ways. Don’t even attempt to expand your network by sitting back and wishing the people you connect with will help you on your way. You are valuable to them because you can provide solutions that they can’t accomplish on their own. The more you are focused on solving other people’s problem and helping them, the wider your networking net becomes.
Networking, if rightfully and expertly done can yield tremendous benefits, from job referrals to promotions. It is high time you started taking networking seriously, so keep at it even just in your current job.
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