How To Expand Your Professional Network

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Networking is vital to professional success and can open you to a world of possibilities. A recent UK study highlights many benefits of networking, including gaining new ideas, building self-confidence, establishing a reputation, and accessing the right support and guidance, making it an essential skill to master. Do you need help finding new and exciting networking opportunities, or are you looking to create new connections to further your career? Below are four terrific ways to expand your professional network.

Join a professional association

Regardless of your field, there are multiple professional groups you may join. These professional bodies usually boast of individuals with many years of experience, expertise and connections who play a pivotal role in their industry. They can help you expand your professional network and career due to their resourcefulness, so feel free to consider this. Aside from allowing you to make new contacts, being part of a professional group can also allow you to advance your expertise in your field. 

Request introductions to meet new professional connections

For many, asking somebody in your professional circle to refer you to people they know is difficult. However, don’t hesitate to ask for an introduction since most individuals are willing to assist you in making contacts or mentor you to strengthen your professional ties. You can also seek assistance from a networking “wingman.” It might be difficult to brag about oneself to a stranger, but a friend can praise your accomplishments and successes – and you can return the favour. This individual can even help you build confidence and expose you to the right programs, like a proposal training course to master proposal pitching and bid-making to enjoy a wide range of professional opportunities and build your network.

Look for volunteer opportunities

Volunteering is an excellent networking opportunity underestimated by many. Working with an advocacy group or charity you are enthusiastic about is terrific for creating professional networks that many people overlook. Professional networking meetings can be confined to short talks, which can be difficult for those hoping to develop deeper relationships with those who share their interests. Volunteer work, on the other hand, frequently leads to more substantive talks and more possibilities to create better and deeper connections. Furthermore, developing ties with people from other backgrounds can help you form a more diverse network than one restricted to your professional interests, so keep this in mind.

Use social media to grow your profile

In its unique modern way, social media offers several untapped opportunities for ambitious professionals yearning to extend their reach and connect with like-minded peers in their given industry. From the famous LinkedIn to Twitter, the socialising powerhouse, and the glamorous world of Instagram, many platforms exist that you can harness to approach potential connections, tout their craft and display their expertise. LinkedIn, in particular, has altered the landscape of professional networking. You can rely on these networks for recommendations, introductions, evaluations, and references – all useful when looking for a job or recruiting new team members.

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