Porter Gale said, “your network is your net worth.” This statement has proven itself to be true over and over again. Those you surround yourself with will determine your value, and as a career woman striving to keep going up the ladder in your chosen profession, you have to surround yourself with the right set of people that can help you achieve this. To grow your connections and increase your scope of influence, you have to take note of the following:
The first thing to note about networking is marketing. The question now is, “what/who am I marketing?” Yourself! To grow your connections, you have to be ready to sell yourself at every opportunity you get. What is your one-minute elevator pitch? If you were to sell yourself to you, would you be convinced?
For professionals, LinkedIn is a good marketplace to sell yourself, meet new people in and outside your field, which will ultimately lead to you growing your connections. Do you have a LinkedIn account? If you do, when last did you visit your account?
Keith Ferrazzi said, “the currency of real networking is not greed but generosity.” If you intend to grow your connections, you should have “the value addition” mindset. Be willing to help and proffer solutions to people’s needs. Don’t be too quick to refuse opportunities to showcase your abilities. Be ready to always help out.
American Business Women’s Association, Business and Professional Women International, Association of Women in Science, Financial Women’s Association are some examples of professional communities you can join. Find out the professional communities associated with your career and decide on which to join.
Professional Seminars and Fairs
Attending seminars and fairs is a good way to network with people in your career path from different states and countries. Be on the lookout for seminars, fairs, webinars in your profession, and make a note to attend them.
Herminia Ibarra said, “Networking is a lot like nutrition and fitness: we know what to do; the hard part is making it a priority.” Now you know what to do to grow your connections, make it a priority!