Whether you’re looking to find a new job, enhance your skill set, or simply cross paths with other like-minded individuals to gain new insights and build meaningful connections, networking is an incredible tool to utilize.
With the world having gone primarily virtual over the last year and a half, making true connections has been especially challenging with the lack of in-person, face-to-face engagement. And while video calls have been useful in the meantime, nothing can compare to truly meeting people — shaking their hand, reading their facial expressions and body language, hearing their tone of voice, and sharing time over a mutually-interesting event or cup of coffee.
Now that the restrictions are starting to ease, there is no better time than now to take advantage of these tips for effective networking in order to help build meaningful connections that can not only help you get a leg up in your career, but also foster meaningful relationships that could potentially last a lifetime.
Don’t Be Afraid to Put Yourself Out There
The most powerful way to network and build connections with other people is to get face-to-face. While this has been a bit more tricky to accomplish with the current COVID-19 pandemic, restrictions are beginning to ease and more and more people are beginning to meet in-person. The same goes for in-person events.
Sign up for local conferences or events — these are typically packed with valuable information and people who are looking to make connections with people just like you. Local meetups are also a great way to socialize with other professionals in your industry in an environment that is typically more laid-back.
Make the Most Out of Your Social Media Platforms
There’s a reason it’s called social media — to be social!
There are hundreds of thousands of groups on LinkedIn and Facebook that are industry-specific, including ones that are local to your area. These groups are perfect for asking questions, organizing meetups, and making new connections.
If you are unable to find a group that meets your specific needs, share informative articles with trending hashtags and compelling questions to your LinkedIn profile. Doing so will help to reflect your expertise and also allow your followers to get to know you on a more personal level.
Always Follow Up
Once you’ve met some individuals that you would like to keep in touch with, whether it be at an event or through LinkedIn, be sure to follow up with them via phone call, handwritten card, or email to show that. Networking events and connections on social media are mere starting points for developing professional relationships. This extra step is crucial in order to feel out whether or not the relationship will be successful into the future.
Take Care of Your Relationships
The most important step to building solid connections and maintaining meaningful relationships is to nurture them. In fact, 23% of more than 2,200 CFOs agreed that failing to stay in touch or only reaching out to a connection when you need something is the greatest networking mistake that executives can make, according to Forbes. While it can feel natural to not feel the need to network when things are going well, this is a very shortsighted view that can leave you in a tough spot when times do get hard.
You may have heard the quote “It’s not about what you know, but who you know,” and this rings true in just about every facet of life — in friendships, romantic relationships, and professional relationships. Having the right connections with people can either help you foster a life you have always dreamed of or keep you in a spot with little to no growth.
At Q Consulting in Minneapolis, our connections mean everything — our consultants, our clients, our employees, family members, and friends — we simply would not be where we are today without them. We are also so glad that we have the opportunity to connect IT consultants with projects that suit their background, needs, and goals as well as our clients with top talent in the Minneapolis area.
Our team loves meeting new people and would be more than happy to connect, so don’t hesitate to reach out to us today with any questions, to find your next job opportunity, or to simply chat about all things IT! We would love to hear from you.