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Networking skills

Strong networking abilities can spell business success because you could:

  • access jobs before that never get advertised
  • secure new business
  • find the latest industry manoeuvres
  • learn about the best events
  • talk to top-level thinkers.

Wading in

  • Reach out. Contact colleagues (old and new), former managers and school friends
  • Make the most of IET networks such as Local and Technical and Professional Networks
  • Attend networking events
  • Join relevant clubs and associations

A few tips

  • Stay in touch fairly regularly. Email or phone are both good mediums but take care not to be intrusive. Make sure you have a specific reason before getting in touch.
  • Create a database with people you meet and write notes on each person about what you learned and how they could be useful.
  • Pass leads to top people and they’ll reciprocate. Your relationship must be two-sided.
  • Keep an open mind. Someone you don’t have much in common with could be a great networker and surprise
  • you with how helpful they can be.
  • Never be negative. Networking is built on good personal relationships, becoming negative about others could work against you.
  • Be a good listener and not a loud talker, you’ll learn a lot more.
  • Networking might not feel natural a first, and not every person you meet will be valuable, but it gets easier the more you throw yourself into it.