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Building a professional network
Professional networking helps you learn and stay current. Creating trusted interpersonal connections helps you gain self-knowledge and confidence, which simulates a feeling of being valued. You also have an opportunity of building your own brand. Here are some useful tips:
Start in your immediate circle
Develop your professional network within your organisation, in addition to outside it. Build bridges with your co-workers and leaders. Volunteer for office activities and projects, and maybe join an in house hobby group.
Leverage professional social networking platforms
Connect with industry colleagues, grow and share your knowledge. You will also find groups of industry professionals on social media, as well as on instant messaging platforms, which are a good source of information exchange. But once you join an organisation, acquaint yourself with any restrictions they may have, when it comes to information sharing.
Make the most of industry events
Events and conferences are very good for building strong professional networks and one should capitalise on them. The refreshment breaks at such sessions are a great opportunity to network and socialise with people. Another effective way to engage with participants is by identifying common topics of interest. You should use every professional and social opportunity to meet and connect with new people. It also works to find a connector in the conferences, who can help you reach out to influential people.
Maintain the connect
Networking doesn’t end with exchanging coordinates. It is equally important to maintain the professional relationship. A useful way is to write to those you may have exchanged cards with, it is a good placeholder for the next time you connect, beacuse you don’t have to introduce yourself all over again.