Aplin Group Blog

Networking is the key to success in any industry. I cannot overstate how important networking for professional purposes is, and the benefits of building an extensive network far outweigh the awkwardness of reaching out to strangers.
 
Building a network is good for your professional development and has an overall positive impact on society. As we have seen with job market volatility over the past 18 months, and as you search or develop skills within any industry, one must be connected to stay updated on technology and career developments within your industry. This includes whether you are looking at your own career advancement goals or supporting someone who wants more from their life than just working all day at someplace where they aren't happy anymore.
 
Networks provide opportunities for people to make introductions (and sometimes referrals), resulting in finding new opportunities, especially those in the hidden job market.

Tips for building your network
Focus on your industry: By networking with those in your industry, you start to identify the thought leaders with expansive networks and may provide career recommendations. They also post job opportunities regularly so that they can share what it takes for success within their respective fields and tap into new markets by being introduced via referrals or introductions made through these individuals--which is how some jobs get posted at all!

Network in-person: Networking with people in person is finally returning after COVID-19 gathering restrictions for the last 18 months. It's the best way to build your professional network and develop strong friendships. Take advantage of these mixers, after-work cocktail hours or fundraising events as an opportunity to network with individuals that you might not otherwise get an opportunity to meet. Local chambers of commerce, Meetup and Eventbrite groups are the perfect source to find upcoming local business networking events.
 
Network online: The best way to build your network is through LinkedIn, but don't forget other platforms and other communities. LinkedIn is an excellent place to build and establish your personal brand. Depending on your industry, Twitter, TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube can efficiently serve as a gateway to building industry connections. Other online communities include Slack, Discord, Notion, Polywork, Reddit, Tribe, GitHub and a hundred others serving niche online global communities.

Diversify: Seek out people with differing opinions and backgrounds. Not everyone takes the same path through their career, and that's what makes it so interesting! Working alongside someone who is going about things differently can help you tailor your approach for success, too- after all, no two careers are alike.

Volunteer: Volunteering is a great way to give back to your community and collaborate with like-minded professionals. It's not too hard to find a local chapter of global professional organizations such as Project Management Institute (PMI) and International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA). Local non-profit and professional associations may also provide opportunities to connect with like-minded professionals who also volunteer for many of the same reasons.
 
Aim to give, not take: Networking is no longer just about meeting people and handing out business cards, it's about providing value to those you meet so that they are more likely to return the favour in future interactions. This doesn't mean that all of what goes into networking efforts have changed. After all these days, it takes some know-how for even a seasoned professional like yourself to conclude a casual conversation! But now, there's an added layer: returning good vibes onto networks through identifying ways others might need help.
 
Get started networking today
I've been networking for over 25 years and love it, and the best advice I can give you is to have fun. Networking should be about meeting new people, getting to know them better, finding common interests or goals that are important to you, and then building relationships that help lead to professional success. You don't need special tricks - show up with an open mind and a smile. Happy Networking!
 

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Connect with Ron on LinkedIn. David Aplin Group works with companies across Canada to help them find the best software developers, project managers and other tech professionals for their organizations.

 


David Aplin Group is a private family and employee-owned Canadian staffing agency founded in Alberta in 1975, recognized as one of Canada's most trusted recruiting firms. Our mission is to create value at every opportunity. Ron Cantiveros is an Information Technology Recruiter and Senior Technology Consultant with David Aplin Group based in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Photo by HIVAN ARVIZU @soyhivan on Unsplash