A good network is essential for career growth. Once you are out of an institution like a trade school or college, growing your network outside of those you work with directly can be challenging. Read below for a few ways to grow your online and in-person network!
This may be a given but USE SOCIAL MEDIA! The first, and most obvious site, is LinkedIn. Find people in your area with which you have some things in common (e.g., your alma mater, job title, previous work experience). Use these connection points to reach out to the person and ask to have a call or meet up. You can also use social media websites like Facebook and Instagram to find peers and mentors. You can join a group like those outlined here to find people who are also looking to grow their businesses and networks. Look for groups on Facebook/pages on Instagram that focus on your field to connect with other professionals. Don’t be shy—send a personal direct message to people you would like to get to know!
Search for events and classes in your area. You can use websites like this to search your specific field and location. Not only can courses and conferences help you stay up to date on the latest in your field, but they can also help you meet others in your area of work and those adjacent. The people you meet at these events will likely be passionate about the field and looking to network as well; otherwise, they probably wouldn’t be there!
ALWAYS check in with people you have personal relationships with! You never know who your people may have contact with. Ask the people that surround you if they know anyone in your field/the field you want to break into and see if they would be willing to put you in contact with that person. Doing so may allow you to reach different populations of the workforce that may not be present online or at events, i.e., the older people in the field. Your elders may have some precious wisdom to impart and some valuable connections.
Getting jobs and growing in your career is all about who you know. Put in the work, get to know people, and thrive in your industry!