Determining where exactly to begin when trying to make the right connections for one’s career is a question that pops up a lot among job seekers. The preoccupation is with starting your career right and working towards your vision and passion, and the question then becomes “How do I get there?”
One of the important ways of getting it right in your career is making the right connections as it is essential to build the right connections capable of pushing you further in your respective career. It isn’t about mere networking like some people advise. It is about networking and building connection with a particular aim and purpose in mind. The important thing at this point is to consider how to make this connection and subsequently maintain the connection(s).
There are five important steps that can help you establish the right connections while also building healthy work relationships that can help your career. These include:
1. Determine what value you can offer other people
Some people may think, “But I do not have any value to offer”. Expert coaches have discovered that the thought is a wrong one because everybody has something valuable to offer others. The important thing is finding out what that is, it may be as simple as sending the link to a helpful article to someone, providing them with referrals or even sharing information with them. Once you discover what value you can present to other people, connecting with them will be easier for you and will also bestow you with increased confidence.
2. Have a clear knowledge of your goals
Being sure of your goals makes it easy for you to decide the right set of people that can help you attain them. On the contrary, if you have no idea what you want or if the goals are not expressly defined, it may be very difficult for you to make the right connections. Even if you do make some connections, they may not be the right kind to provide momentum for your career. Having goals helps you know who exactly to ask to help you and the particular help to ask the person for.
In essence, you need to set goals. As a guide, take out time to pen down your three most important goals. Different studies have revealed that writing down one’s goals increases one’s chances of achieving success by 1.4 times. Ensure that you set SMART goals i.e., S for Specific goals, M for Measurable goals, A for Attainable goals, R for Relevant goals and T for goals that are time bound. Doing that will make it easier for you to set important goals that you can easily tell others about.
3. Write a List of those You Want To Establish a Connection With
Before you begin making connection moves, you need to first write out those whom you would like to connect with. The list has to be an extensive one and you should not hold any name back even if those people look like they are out of your reach. The longer the list you make, the less pressure you are likely to feel and also the easier reaching out will be for you.
This is because the more persons you have on that list, the less difficult the act of reaching out becomes. At the end of the day, you may even end up actually connecting with those deemed out of your reach. Writing a list, more importantly, gives you a safe place to begin from.
4. Attend Networking Events
Studies reveal that about 85% of job seekers get jobs via networking. Attending events set up specifically for this purpose is, therefore, an ideal place to begin. Check Google for networking events around you or follow a friend or maybe a coworker at different relevant conferences or seminars. Always try to connect with different people and try to hand out your business cards.
5. Connect with people on LinkedIn
Social media is an ideal platform for purposeful networking. LinkedIn, in particular, is a great platform to reach out to those connections you met at a networking event or met through your friends. Send those people brief message highlighting the specific reason why you are messaging them and how you first met them. Networking isn’t just about creating relationships but is also about maintaining such relationships.
Networking makes some people nervous, but you can always work around that and always remember that it is all about giving.