Five networking tips to advance your career
August 12, 2009, 9:11am PDT | Length: 00:05:05
Once you get to a certain level in your career, most of your new job opportunities come from your personal network of contacts and not your resume. This episode of CIO Sanity Savers shares five networking tips that have worked for many IT and business professionals.
Jason Hiner: Once you get to a certain level in your career, most of your new job opportunities come from your personal network of contacts and not your resume, because hiring managers always prefer to reach out to people they trust for recommendations on hires, especially for leadership positions.
Unfortunately, a lot of people in the IT industry don't know how to network very effectively and that can limit their job opportunities. Focusing on technical skills will only get you so far.
I'm Jason Hiner, and today on CIO Sanity Savers, I'll share a five networking tips that have worked for many IT and business professionals.
Number 1: Know your recruiters
Even if a recruiter didn't help you land your current gig, you should develop a relationship with a recruiter, or even a couple recruiters. They can be a valuable source of information about current hiring trends and practices because they talk to so many different types of companies.
If you don't currently have hires to make, that's okay -- taking the time to talk with recruiters is a great way to build a relationship that could be mutually beneficial in multiple ways in the future.
Number 2: Get involved locally
Find a local technology group or advisory council and start volunteering. If you're currently unemployed, volunteering to do work (and of course, performing the work well) will demonstrate your value to your local peers. You can help them, and many of them will go out of their way to help you. The opposite is also true. If you got to where you are because of someone else, return the favor.
Number 3: Check out something new
If you're already involved with local tech groups, try something different, like Toastmasters, Rotary, or a social media meet-up. Use it as an opportunity to make new contacts and learn from the real-world stories and experiences of the people you meet. Just make sure you work the room and mingle. Show a genuine interest in learning about other people, who they are, and what they do. Naturally, some of the people you meet may be good resources if you're ever looking for a job, and vice versa.
Number 4: Be gracious with those who help you
If people in your network help you find a job, take them and their spouses out to a nice dinner and thank them profusely. When they, in turn, call for help, don't turn them away. When they ask for advice, give it. These relationships always pay off, and not just in terms of your career or financial success, but also in terms of surrounding yourself with really great people.
Number 5: Ask for introductions
Use your existing relationships to make introductions and meet new people. Meeting for lunch with a friend and his friends to discuss interesting ideas or technologies gives you another opportunity to learn someone new -- from people whom your friends respect and trust. Remember that these people you're meeting ALSO trust your friends, so don't do anything to jeopardize that trust.
People in the IT industry aren't typically known for their professional networking. But it's imperative if you want to advance your career. The bottom line in networking is this: Find every opportunity to learn about new people, find ways to demonstrate your value, and always pay it forward.
For more details, read the original article from Jay Rollins that this episode was based on.
I'm Jason Hiner and this has been an episode of CIO Sanity Savers. For more, go to sanity.techrepublic.com. And if you have questions or your own sanity savings tips, e-mail them to us at email@example.com. For those of you on Twitter, you can find me at twitter.com/jasonhiner. Thanks for watching. See you next time.