By Chi Chi Okezie
It is always a good idea to do double duty networking. This term refers to benefiting from networking from more than one avenue. In this particular case, a person can take advantage of opportunities at their job or in their career. This kind of method helps with time management as well as being more efficient in your work.
Listed below are useful tips for optimizing networking in your professional development.
Reach out to co-workers and colleagues to build and foster quality relationships. Do not wait until 15 minutes before a staff meeting or general company event. Instead, be intentional about linking up throughout the work week. Choose to meet in person or digitally. Of course, do not limit yourself by geographical means. Make relations with colleagues in different cities, regions and countries, if applicable. The broader and more diverse your networks, the better.
Another excellent way to improve your networking is to improve your skills. Find out from the director or HR about learning opportunities and ways to engage. Also, be proactive by offering a list of training opportunities such as but not limited to: conferences, certification sessions, online webinars, events and other means of development. This can definitely give insight on topics and trends that are relevant to your industry.
An overlooked and sometimes undervalued form of networking is mentoring. Consider formally or informally being a mentor to one of your coworkers / associates. Share your experiences and offer direction for their growth and development. Also, open your networks to the person you are mentoring and share useful contacts and resources. Be available and accessible in the mentor relationship.
Incorporate these strategies into your networking plan to improve your engagement at work. Enhance your skills, continue to build relations and add significant value.
About the author
Chi Chi Okezie is owner/producer of SIMPLEnetworking, LLC in Atlanta, GA. Learn tips, tactics and techniques from the Champion Networker! Visit the SN Official Website: http://www.snseminars.com to read excerpts of her books, sign up for her newsletter, register for events and classes or visit her blog!