How to make use of networking in professional career?


The best way to enhance the career is to put in more effort for networking. In our busy day to day life we often tend to give little importance to professional networking. This could prove to be a big mistake. Careless professional networking could lead one to a position where he or she loses a professional growth opportunity. One has to concentrate in developing long lasting relationships, according to Gaurav Mishre, director, digital and social media, MSLGROUP Asia, a public relations firm. The fact is, it is easier said than done.

Rise of professional networking online

In the recent times, the opportunity for professional networking has increased with the emergence of blogs, chats, and social media sites such as LinkedIn and Twitter. This has enhanced our capabilities to connect with people across the world and business. But experts are of the opinion that such online networking cannot be substituted for face to face networking, which is necessary for strengthening the connections. In practice, we can use both these for networking and blend them whenever an opportunity arises.

Network at the right time

There are many factors to be considered for creating a good networking plan. Timing is the first one. To have a successful networking experience one should do it at the right time. It is often observed that people start networking only when they are in search of a job, which is totally a bad idea. At the 23rd hour the opportunity for landing on a better opportunity is very low.

According to Anuja Sinha, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager at Aravind Mills Ltd, the process of professional networking is a slow process and so it is not advisable to leave it for the last minute. It is better to maintain networking with others even if one is not on the hunt for a job.

Ms Sinha has firsthand experience in this. In early 2011, Ms Sinha was interested in looking for another job, and for that she contacted managers of various companies she was looking forward to work with. Among them was the head of corporate social responsibility at Aravind Mills. She connected with him on LinkedIn, stating that she was in CSR. She even emailed him regularly for several weeks on the topics related to the subject. After three months, when the head was visiting Ahmedabad, she managed to meet him and ultimately joined her present job. She always makes sure that she stays in contact with other managers and she says that it gives a personal touch.

Make it a priority as it will bring good

Most of us may be of the opinion that we do not have time for non specific networking. Prem Velayudam, Head, Human Resources, Cisco Systems India Pvt says that it is all about priority. One has to set an objective like an hour every week to be in touch with those in the network. Networking can be done while travelling and during weekends too. Once we start to experience the returns in networking, we will automatically find time for it.

Be active in professional networking to get noticed

It is not a tough task to start an account in any of the professional networking sites such as LinkedIn or Brijj or another of the sort. But it is important not to forget about these accounts after creating them.  We have to be active with periodic updates and by expanding the network by adding people we know. Another way to be active is by participating in group discussions that are relevant. While adding someone by sending a request, one needs to make sure that the interest and the reason for getting connected are explained.

Make a strong tie before asking for favor

The point to be kept in mind is not to ask for any favor from a newly added contact. Experts say that it is better to build good ties first and then ask for favor. In order to develop a closer connection with some one, it is better to subscribe to the blog or tweet feed, which will show that you are, interested in a professional relationship with him or her. Commenting sensibly on the messages posted by the person will help you in getting noticed.

Share your views

You can also go for starting a blog of your own or twitter account to share your views on the industry and other recent events. While doing this, one has to be careful not to include any radical views or personal information as it could land you in trouble in future.

Networking through face to face meeting

Networking can be accomplished with the help of face to face meeting with a fixed agenda or with meetings at conferences. If the meeting is planned in advance then make sure that you collect reasonable information about the person and do not beat around the bush. There are chances that we do not mind the time and miss out an important point to be discussed.

Online networking and face to face networking complement each other

Networking via online and face to face is not isolated. They are closely related and one should complement other. So if you have established a contact with someone at a meeting, make it a habit to send an email the next day or add him or her to the online professional network. This will help in strengthening the connection that was started at the meeting. But if you wait till the next meeting, the person might have forgotten you by that time.

The follow up emails should be something general. It would be good if emails with comments on their blogs are sent to them occasionally. In case of new connections that are made online, you should put your effort and find time to meet the person, as it is always good to put a face to the name.

This way, one can establish a strong professional network which will help in your professional development with valuable inputs from experts occasionally and even at times of job hunt.



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One Response to “How to make use of networking in professional career?”

  1. 1

    shall i will get any Netwotking jobs for my am working as Networking Engineer in 3i infotech