The networking strategy you need to know!

As an executive coach, the most important piece of advice I share with my clients is to understand the role that networking plays in their career. In fact, networking must be managed as a long-term strategy, a give-and-take, where you are able to grow your career while also helping others to flourish.

Now I often get pushback from my clients when I first suggest that they improve their networking skills. Common objections I hear are that it takes too much time, or doesn’t generate sufficient results. But usually the problem is that these individuals have a misunderstanding of what networking should be. Keep in mind when I say “networking”, I don’t mean that you should just attend in-person or virtual business gatherings and conferences, talk to a couple people you might know, and hope for the best. Instead, effective networking requires you to develop a plan and to have specific goals in mind.

So, how do you start this process? I find it helpful to first segment your network into 3 categories; strategic, operational and developmental. Let’s look at each category individually.

Category 1: Strategic Network 

Your Strategic Network includes professionals who can help you stay on top of the trends of your industry. You might not know these individuals first-hand, however, you might already be connected to them through your current contacts.

 Category 2: Operational Network 

Your Operational Network consists of individuals who can help you to become more effective in your current job. These are often known as the subject matter experts. They have perfected their trade and can provide insights and ideas on how to improve your output.

Category 3: Developmental Network 

Your Developmental Network is a collection of individuals who can help you reach your 3 to 5-year career goals. This might include professionals who have already had the job you are working to obtain.

 It might sound overwhelming to manage and grow all three categories. I can assure you it is not! I have perfected this approach by simply allocating 10 minutes a day and my network has tripled in size in less than a year. With that came more opportunities and business growth. 

Take the first step and write the names of three people in each category and begin interacting with them more often through their LinkedIn or other social media platforms. 

Today, nearly 85% of all jobs are filled through networking. By implementing my networking strategy, you will be more prepared for a promotion or a career move.

If you are looking to become a master at networking please get in touch. I offer 1-on-1 guidance and coaching to help you get to the next level of your career.

Like this article?

Share on facebook
Share on Facebook
Share on twitter
Share on Twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on LinkedIn
Share on pinterest
Share on Pinterest

More From Elizabeth:

The Four Pillars of Effective Leadership

I had the privilege of interviewing some incredible professionals who shared with me how they lead and how they’ve even thrived during this time. Today, I’m excited to pass along the key lessons I learned about how we can define leadership and the core pillars that make it exceptional.

Read More »

Life Lessons in Leadership – Tapping Over a Century of Professional Experience

What if you could travel back in time to get a fresh start to your career? What wisdom would you share with your younger self that could help you overcome your doubts and seize your dreams? Over the past several months, I have had the wonderful opportunity to pose these questions to several leading professionals. The responses they shared were more than I could have hoped for! Wherever you find yourself along your professional journey, I am sure you will find the advice they shared to be valuable, interesting, and maybe even inspirational. I am thrilled to share what they so openly shared with me and hope that their insights can give you a fresh perspective on your professional path.

Read More »

Negotiate with confidence—even in a downturn

In a world full of uncertainty and unknowns, it might seem this is not the time to negotiate for our career growth and compensation. I disagree. The only way to combat fear is by engaging in more negotiation opportunities throughout your career. A good place to start is to empower yourself not only with information but also with confidence.

Read More »

Leave a comment