Building a professional network is imperative to career success. Having some good professional contacts can give you access to industry expertise, open doors, and even help you land your dream job in your field.
Professional networks for executive assistants and administrative professionals can comprise of personal and professional contacts. This may include friends, alumni, professors, advisors, supervisors, industry leaders, current and former colleagues. However, developing meaningful long-term relationships requires a concerted effort.
What are some of the best, current approaches to networking?
This could be an event just for networking or an industry expert speaking on a particular topic. You should always make a point of attending relevant industry events. In these events, you will meet like-minded administrative professionals with whom you can have in-depth discussions relevant to your discipline. These face-to-face interactions will broaden your network and help you create a more meaningful impression. You can keep abreast with such events by being a member of professional groups or by signing up for their newsletters.
Today’s world is digital, and it’s likely that your industry connections will look you up online to know more about your professional background and interests. Just as you would in person, put your best foot forward when networking online. You can use professional sites such as LinkedIn. Always have a personal summary, professional photo, and an overview of your skills to give your potential connections an accurate picture of personality, goals, and abilities. Remember to keep your profile up-to-date and accurate, and look into ways to optimize your profile.
You can keep in touch with your professional connections by sharing relevant and timely content that you think will be useful to them. This could be a provocative industry publication, informative blog post, or inspiring talk. You can add a note telling them how it provides value to them. It’s also smart to share industry news and content of interest with your broader communities online via your favorite social media outlets.
As you continue growing your network, it’s critical that you maintain the communication. You don’t have to connect on a schedule, but ensure that you touch base a couple of times a year. It’s also easy to fall out of touch with your contacts. If this happens, acknowledge the lapse in communication and let them know that you would like to reconnect.
Networking with like-minded professionals doesn’t have to be difficult. You just have to keep it authentic and focused.