By Lee Higgins, Founder & Co-Managing Director
Having an expansive professional network can provide helpful contacts when it comes to finding jobs, engaging in collaborations, and gaining valuable industry insight. However, many professionals often find themselves stuck with a limited network of fellow workers or acquaintances who have the same experiences and perspectives. Although such a group may be comfortable, it is important to identify and reach out to people outside of your immediate circle in order to broaden your opportunities and gain new insights that will help you advance professionally.
One way to do this is by attending events related to your field. Industry meet-ups are often excellent places to meet new people who have different experiences and backgrounds than those you are used to interacting with. Many professionals also find success through online networking platforms such as LinkedIn, where you can search for potential connections based on specific criteria including job experience, geographic location, and educational background. By utilizing these tools, you can quickly increase the diversity within your professional network without having to leave the comfort of your home office – ideal for those just starting out!
It’s also essential to manage connections that are already in place. Meet up with old colleagues or mentors on a regular basis; schedule coffee dates or informal chats over video conference with more distant contacts; even send emails occasionally as a simple “hello” reminder of past conversations – all of these activities help keep connections alive while also providing additional information about other industries or trends that could potentially benefit you and enrich the overall quality of your network.
Finally, make sure that any interactions remain amicable and professional at all times; remember that networking isn’t simply an exchange of business cards – it’s ultimately about forming relationships that may last long after any individual contact has been made. By diversifying your professional network in this manner, you can open yourself up to wider opportunities while building meaningful relationships along the way!