“I don’t have time to network!”
That’s probably true.
Our lives today are brim-full of duties and responsibilities: work, family, community, health, and study, to mention a few.
Consider this: If you want to build a strong and healthy mind and body, you need to make the time to prepare and eat healthy food and exercise regularly.
Likewise, if you want to build a committed community of professionals to support, mentor, advise and assist you to propel your career in the right direction, then you need to make the time to network.
Networking is a priority in effective career management.
Effective networking increases the surface area of opportunity by building your credibility, offering recommendations to strategic connections, accessing future job opportunities, and developing your reputation within your field.
Other people hold the key to the success of your career.
At the beginning of your career you’re at a standing start with no momentum. So what are the most efficient ways to carve out the time to create a solid foundation of like-minded professionals?
3 keys to time-effective networking
- Be efficient
Find out where like-minded people are and identify a target audience where your efforts will have the greatest impact. Social networks are great platforms with advanced search tools to help you to identify where to focus your energy.
Make wise use of your time by doing your research during your commute to work (if you are on public transport) or while you are on the bicycle at the gym. If you are waiting to “have the time” to do this, you will be waiting your whole life. No, you need to steal back time from non-essential activities in order to create this network.
- Have a plan
To attract relevant people to your story and build the right community, you will need to consider people outside of your peer group. Look for people who exist above your current skill set with expertise that exceeds yours; people that can enhance your knowledge and skill set, and force you to challenge your thinking.
Identify people who occupy roles that you aspire to. Consider how you can add value to these individuals and make them want to form part of your journey. Many of these people may already form part of your extended group in a social, church, community or parent circle. Make an effort to reach out to these people in these situations – effectively killing two birds and making the best use of your precious time.
- Be genuine
The best way to receive is to give. Be ready to add value to others by offering solutions, advising and assisting where you can. Be quick to offer pertinent advice, especially if it is well thought out and relevant.
On social platforms and forums, jump into the conversation where you have expertise. Feel free to share your voice, ask questions and add meaningful content to the dialog.
Expressing genuine interest in people is always well received, and can be achieved by doubling up on your essential down time. For example, consider a lunch meeting or a breakfast catch-up with someone who you’d like to include in your network. This time can be used wisely with necessary face-to-face interaction to build on your relationship.
If you are one of many who would appreciate some assistance in the fast-paced world of networking, then you will want to look at The Outperformer’s Collaborate Tool.
This online forum for accounting and finance professionals offers quick access to like-minded people. Our forums make it easy to obtain advice, generate solutions for your career and share your experience globally.
Networking is an investment in your career, and we’re here to help you to achieve your career goals.