We have all heard the phrase that says your network is your net worth. Creating a network is a process that can be quite challenging to many. We easily make friends however we become frustrated on how to form a professional network.
A professional network is very important to anyone's career, it's a skill that once mastered will forever bear fruits at different levels in a career. Let us get into strategies we can use to network.
LinkedIn. This is among the best professional social media applications we should all have and invest our time heavily in. Create a profile that describes which stage of your career you are in and find individuals who are doing the same or are at a higher level than you in that field and connect with them. You can go through their profiles and learn what they are doing or have done to get to the level they are in. If you have any doubt on something on their profile i.e you don't fully understand the role it played in their career go ahead and drop a dm and enquire about it. For example, " Hello [insert name], I am aspiring to be a cybersecurity analyst, a field that from your profile you have really thrived in. I was going through your profile to learn which steps I can take as well and I noticed a certification in networking. Please share with me how this helped you in your journey ". Such efforts can lead to finding great mentors as well as making your name known to individuals who are in the same field and it also allows them to monitor your progress which can help you receive recommendations later on.
Attending Events. This is a great way to network. These can be events in the field you are currently in or you have an interest in as well as those you are not quite sure what they are about. Individuals in the tech space should try and attend events in the different fields, this can expose them to create solutions in that field or be the solution.
Brand yourself. Create business cards or a website with all your information. Package it as something that you can share quickly as you meet with different personalities in the events. This is something that can propel you in your career since if someone wants to find you after a certain period of time has passed, they can quickly do so through what you provided.
Participate as a volunteer. Volunteering is a great way you can network. It can put you in rooms you might not be in without a previous network. Volunteer with the understanding that what you are doing can lead you to a career you never knew you would do and help you network in that field. It's also important to volunteer in platforms that do not necessarily benefit you at the moment or do not match your need at that moment. It forms a solid relationship and trust.
Enroll in networking classes. Networking is hardly taught in traditional school curriculums yet it's vital. Some classes are free and can teach you how to write emails, how to follow up, how to grow a relationship, how to engage e.t.c
These are just some of the ways you can network when you have no network. Let's master how to network effectively and grow in our careers.