Connecting (Networking) for Good Career Karma
Does the idea of networking conjure up thoughts of weird interactions and sweaty handshakes? There’s more to networking than being pushy or feeling uncomfortable. Networking – when reassessed as creating career karma – can be a way to create mutually beneficial relationships to build community and improve resources.
When developing our careers, most of us have relied on the kindness of others, referrals and connections, questions that prompted better focus, or a sounding board when things didn’t go as expected. Reshaping your view of networking into relationship development will help make the process far more pleasant and rewarding.
Creating new connections can feel more manageable when you change your goal from an ‘ask’ to a ‘give.’ In the long-term, your efforts may turn into a new role or promotion, but your focus should be on creating career karma with some of these ideas:
We all like “likes”: Supporting your network with likes and comments on LinkedIn helps both you and the person receiving the engagement. They’ll feel great and the algorithm will drive up search scores.
Repost Information: Promote others’ posts about events or offers. Sharing the information helps them and reinforces your support of your network.
Referrals: Be that person - the one that provides support to people searching for work. You can refer them to people you know with a written introduction for the role they’re looking for or connect them with people at target organizations. They won’t forget who helped them secure that great new job.
Recommendations: Act as a reference to a company for someone’s new role. LinkedIn also provides a place to write recommendations on peoples’ profile pages. Once you write one for a peer, ask them to do the same for you.
Constructive Criticism: Guidance that ensures our work, LinkedIn musings, and articles are on track is critically important to our success. You can provide suggestions to others or reach out to have them review your content. If your review comments lean negative but could be helpful nonetheless, send them as a private message rather than a public remark.
Attend Events: If someone in your network invites you to an event, make a point of attending. You’ll meet more like-minded people, and you might have a good time if you’re not feeling pressured to leave with fifty business cards.
7Connect Connections: Networks are about mutual benefit. Match up your connections for their betterment, and they’ll do the same for you.
Create Forums: Create ways for your networks to discuss new work concepts, processes, or approaches. Use a video chat or coffee meet-up to dissect a particular topic of interest to all.
Celebrate Successes: Take every opportunity to honor the achievements of your peers. Reviewing their new degree or certificate program may allow you to identify new avenues for growth and development.
Offer Thanks: When a connection helps you, reach out to them and offer a heartfelt thank you. If they made a connection for you, be sure to provide a status update.
Review Skills: A broad network provides reflections of your career development and those of your connections. Identify your needed competencies and the methods others use to address career growth.
Information Sharing: Learn from and share information that may be useful to your connections. When you find helpful articles or posts relevant to someone in your network, send them a clip. It will make their day, and you may receive relevant news from them in the future.
Promote Open Positions: Your network can help you fill your open positions with qualified candidates. If you’re actively posting opportunities, others will see that it’s something they should do as well, and you may find a new role.
Recognize Milestones: LinkedIn notifications make it easy to recognize your contact’s anniversaries, new roles, and birthdays. With a quick click, you can take the connection from cold to rekindled.
Repost Trending News: It takes seconds to repost articles that are relevant to your network. Be sure to add a short intro to contextualize the article. Add relevant hashtags to increase reach.
Post Open Needs: Let your connections know you need contractors and consultants for a specific project so that you can find trusted vendors.
What career doesn’t benefit from mutually valuable relationships? Take a few minutes every day to support others, build community, and create resources to reap the benefits of good career karma.
As a certified career coach, Hillary guides extraordinary people and their personal brands. She’s a career solutionista that helps clients discover their unique worth to find new employment, pivot industries, or move toward cause-oriented work. When Hillary’s not busy coaching amazing people, she rides bikes, learns about wine, cooks for friends, and travels globally with her family. Find out more and sign up for her “True North” monthly newsletter at www.careersolutionista.com.