Hello SOTGC community,
If you read the last post in The Art of Networking saga, you might be wondering what “active networking” is. As I said in the last post, there are many ways to network. Why did I choose to share “passive networking” before “active networking?” Because I wanted to get you warmed up in a more authentic feeling environment (which is what passive networking is) so you could then tackle this more intentional way of networking.
Active Networking: you start out with a purpose, you have a strategy to connect with those with whom you wish to network, and an intended outcome for that (or those) interaction(s).
You’re looking for a job: (let me preface this by saying that you want to be VERY intentional on the audience you’re reaching out to)
- Reach out to every business professional that you know, no matter what industry they’re in (remember, you never know who they will know and can introduce you to)
- Explain what kind of job you’re looking for, why your skill sets would be a good fit for that job, and see if they’ll review your resume for you (only do this if the person has been promoted or is someone who has hired people)
- Get on LinkedIn and find recruiters in your industry to reach out to as well as human resources (HR) or talent specialists for the companies in the industry you want to work for
- I HIGHLY suggest having a couple of high-level business friends review your resume before you send it out in mass quantity. As a wise woman once told me, “Two is better than one.”
You’re trying to get promoted:
- Begin with your manager, ask for a one-on-one with him/her to discuss your future and any areas of improvement that you need to work on in order to advance in the company
- Then reach out to the HR personnel and talent specialists in your company and ask for a meeting to discuss your future in that company and potential ways you could grow past your current level
- Reach out to people in positions of leadership in your company and ask if they have time for a coffee or informal meeting so you could get their advice on advancing and potential upcoming opportunities
- Reach out to your current and previous mentors to get an idea of professional developmental areas that you could/should work on to be an ideal candidate when the role or position that you want opens up
The lateral move: You’re looking to stay within your company (for larger companies) but want to see what the other business units offer:
- Have a talk with your managers about your potential for growth, and if there isn’t any in your business unit, see if they would be willing to support you in reaching out to other departments in the company to see what is available so you could still be part of that company, but continue to grow. (Use your discretion here, and if you think it will jeopardize your current job, maybe take a different approach)
- Reach out to people you know from other business units. Request a call or informal meeting to learn about their current initiatives and see if there are any collaborative opportunities coming up that you could get your business unit involved with. This will show you’re a team player and help with getting your name and talents out there (I suggest talking with your manager about this before you do it)
- Get involved with any and all networking groups (that you qualify for) that are set up within the organization so you can meet more people and learn what other areas of opportunity exist
I hope this helped clarify “active” versus “passive” networking.
Stay tuned for the next post on The Art of Networking…