Whether you want to start a brand new career, find a new job, or progress in the current job, one of the most crucial things you’ll need to do is expand your career network. The more people you know, the more opportunities you’ll be able to discover, helping you move forward along whichever path is the right one for you.
The problem is that expanding your career network is often easier said than done, or at least it feels that way. The good news is there are actually a number of ways you can network and expand your career opportunities, and many of them could be things you’re already doing. If not, adding more networking into your day is not difficult. Read on to find out how.
Ask For Referrals
Sometimes if you just ask for something, you’ll receive it. It can be hard to make the initial inquiry because no one wants to hear rejection, but the fact is that if you don’t get anywhere with asking, you’ll be no worse off. Plus, you will likely get somewhere, and unless you ask for these referrals, you’ll never know.
Start with friends and family, if that’s easier. Ask them if they know anyone who can help with your ambitions. It could be that someone you already know is friends with someone who can help you move along your career path, but you would never have that knowledge unless you ask. Once you have more confidence, you can ask colleagues at work or people you’ve connected with online.
Volunteering might not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of ways to expand your career network, but it can be highly useful. Not only are you benefitting others, but you’re learning important skills that could be important in your career.
However, the most important thing is that you will be meeting lots of new people, and that could be where you find the ideal networking opportunities. Make sure you choose an area to volunteer in that lines up with your career goals so you’ll meet people in the same area and with the same ambitions. If you want to be a locum pharmacist, for example, choose a medical-based volunteering option.
Join Professional Organizations
Not all industries offer this opportunity, but if yours does, it is a good idea to join any trade organizations there might be. What better way could there be to meet people in your profession? Who better to help you in your career than those who already understand what it is you want to do? Here you can find plenty of advice, opportunities, and perhaps even mentors to help you on your way.
At the very least, in a specialist professional trade organization, you will be able to learn a lot about your career and potentially gain new skills. This will help you in your ambitions even if you do not take any other opportunities you might come across.