Have you been searching for a decent job lately? Or a prospective business opportunity? Besides some skills, you also need to have professional networks. Nonetheless, before finding one, it is highly recommended that you know what they are, the different types, and how to use them.
A professional network (also known as professional networking) is a relationship built between you and other workers from the same field of career or other relevant fields. This networking lets you grow a mutually beneficial relationship between you and them.
The main purpose of networking professionally is generally to be able to ask for help from the people within the network and/or do a favor for them back. For example, if you are jobless and need a new job, you can always ask them to recommend yourself well to their employers or companies.
It is also necessary to know that professional networks can be established in many different places—in-person or online. People usually network with others in venues or moments such as conferences, seminars, webinars, networking events, social events, sports teams, online professional platforms, your current job, and so on.
If you make networking a routine, you will gain more acquaintances within the network that may help you when you need something related to professionalism. This can even bring you success in your career and/or business.
After finding out what professional networking is, knowing the types of networks can be the next step, you should take. Below are the two main types based on a Forbes article:
These networks are actually a broad group of contacts who can be both your current and former workmates or clients. They are usually willing to endorse you as a potential talent to others within their professional networks.
An expansive network may also consist of those who have links to job or business opportunities. To be exact, even your friends or family can as well be included in the group and they can help you find the right job for you.
This type is called “street-smart networking” as well since it includes certain people who really know the right path for your career. As the word implies, “nodal” means the center of a network or system where many different paths branch out.
Compared to the expansive networks, these nodal ones have more power or influence over many leaders who make employment decisions. These special people can really talk about your skills, traits, and experience in wonderful ways.
Before deciding to use professional networks, one thing you should know is the key to successful networking: “take and give.” If you know some potential contacts within your network, just be grateful and use them as optimally as possible. SecurityNerd founder Kristen Bolig said that networking should be a reciprocal relationship where you put others before yourself.
After getting to know some potential people in your network and connecting with them, it is time to maintain the relationship. Try updating your online professional profiles on social media to show that you are committed to developing your career/business paths. Do not forget to keep contacting them by sending them messages at least once in a while. Try joining the groups they belong to online and start a positive discussion with them.
In the end, professional networks are basically the reflection of our life as social creatures. We cannot live without others and should help each other to build a solid