Grow Your Networking Sphere and Improve Your Career

Your social network is comprised of many different groups of individuals − from friends and family to coworkers and clients. As your network sphere grows, so does your ability to influence a larger group of people, which ultimately helps your career. Effective networking plays a vital role in your personal success, and it’s important to consider ways to grow as you build a social network and improve your contact base.

Here are three strategies to consider:

When it comes to building a social network, identify a short- and/or long-term objective. Having a goal will help you be more effective in making the correct contacts. For example, as an Accounting & Finance recruiter, I attend networking business events on a routine basis. To effectively manage my time and calendar of industry events, I develop a specific, yearly networking mission statement that helps me to reach my objectives and make smart use of my time.

Once you establish a goal or purpose statement, develop and employ your networking strategy. Consider joining a club or organization, such as a Chamber of Commerce. Attend meetings, sit on boards and stay connected to these contacts through regular communication. Submit written pieces such as letters to the editor, editorial articles and blog posts to industry publications and websites. Sharing your message with multiple groups and audiences will open doors of opportunity for networking and allow you to meet people with whom you may not have otherwise come in contact.

Engage social media to grow your network. Share information, connect with other professionals and follow influencers, relevant hashtags and conversations to “meet” like-minded professionals to add to your network. A well-written and active online profile can uniquely influence how others perceive you in the business community. Keep in mind that each social media platform has its own unique culture, so make sure you’ve modified your approach to conform to the “rules of engagement” for each site.

As is the case with many marketing and branding efforts, initially it may be difficult to measure a return on your time and efforts, but feel confident that your networking pursuits are making a positive impact on your career.

Do you have other suggestions for growing your network and sphere of influence? I welcome your contributions and ideas.