April 14, 2024

Building Advanced Operations

Crafting Success, Building Futures

Adding People to Your Business Network: Things to Consider

In the era of remote and hybrid work, any tech professional who wants to make connections will need to adopt a new approach to professional networking. No matter what your situation, building a robust professional network is essential to your career growth.

If you’re totally new to tech, you may have heard of a ‘professional network’ with only the vaguest idea of what the term actually means. In simplest terms, it’s a network of people who can offer mutual support, guidance, and even job opportunities. It can include:

  • Colleagues: Past and present co-workers, team members, mentors, and supervisors.
  • Industry Experts: Thought leaders, consultants, subject matter specialists, and speakers.
  • Clients and Partners: Businesses, professionals, and organizations you’ve collaborated with.
  • Fellow Job Seekers: Individuals in your field at similar career stages.

Building a strong professional network composed of those folks can help you with:

  • Job Opportunities: Access hidden positions, referrals, and insider knowledge through word-of-mouth.
  • Career Development: Get guidance, mentorship, and skills feedback from experienced professionals.
  • Business Growth: Foster collaborations, partnerships, and client leads for freelancers and entrepreneurs.
  • Industry Visibility: Increase your personal brand and establish yourself as a thought leader.
  • Staying Current: Keep abreast of industry trends, innovations, and job markets.

With all that in mind, here are some tips as you build connections with people throughout the tech industry:

  • Be Proactive: Don’t wait for serendipity. Actively seek connections at conferences, online forums, and social media groups.
  • Offer Value: Be a giver, not just a taker. Share your expertise, provide insights, and contribute meaningfully to discussions.
  • Authenticity is Key: Show genuine interest in people and their work. Build trust and genuine connections beyond mere transactions.
  • Leverage Technology: Social media platforms like LinkedIn and X (formerly known as Twitter) are invaluable tools for connecting with professionals globally. Join industry groups, participate in discussions, and share relevant content.

Growing Your Professional Network

What’s the best way to grow your professional network? Fortunately, you have a very wide range of options when it comes to meeting people and forming bonds, including (but certainly not limited to):

  • Attend Virtual Events: Webinars, online conferences, and industry summits offer networking opportunities without geographical barriers.
  • Engage in Online Communities: Participate in relevant forums, discussion boards, and social media groups dedicated to your tech niche.
  • Volunteer Your Time: Offer your skills to non-profit organizations, professional associations, or mentorship programs.
  • Join Local Networking Groups: Industry meetups and even co-working spaces can foster local connections.
  • Take Advantage of Company Resources: Internal mentorship programs, professional development workshops, and networking events within your organization can be goldmines.

Remember, building a strong network can take significant time, so don’t be discouraged if you follow a variety of strategies but only gain a few solid connections at first. Even if you work remotely full-time, you can still make progress. Any investments you make today can pay off later on.