3 Ways Professionals Can Expand their Network Outside of Work

3 Ways Professionals Can Expand their Network Outside of Work

Posted on Apr 27, 2018

Having coworkers you know and trust is great, but when it comes to furthering your career? They’re not always the best resources.

For one, their experience is likely very similar to yours. They might not have much to pull from in terms of guidance or advice.

Second, they’re also employees of your company. Telling them you’re thinking of moving on or moving up could be seen as 1) competition (what if they want that promotion, too?) and 2) a threat to the organization (should they tell their boss you’re looking to leave?).

That’s why building up a network of peers and mentors outside your company is key. Not only can these people provide you guidance on your career trajectory and next steps, but they may even have a line on new opportunities in other companies or industries.

So how do you build up those out-of-work connections? What’s the best way to improve your network and career resources? Here are three highly effective methods even the busiest of professionals can manage:

Have a plan
You first need to have an idea of exactly what sort of connections you’re looking to build. Do you want someone who can help you reach your goals and move up in your job? Then you’ll likely want an executive or higher-up who has a position similar to the one you’re dreaming of. Are you looking for opportunities for new positions? Then you may want people in outside industries or sectors you’re unfamiliar with. Need work-life balance advice? Someone older and with a similar family or upbringing may be the best fit. Sit down and hammer out exactly what you need in your professional connections, and this will help guide you toward the right path for finding them.

Leverage people you already know
This doesn’t necessarily mean asking your coworkers and colleagues. Instead, reach out to alumni of your college, ask your neighbors, family and friends, and use your LinkedIn and other social accounts to seek out potential connections who you’re your needs. Now that you know exactly what you need in a mentor or career advisor, spotting them should be extra easy. Have a cousin in finance, like you? See if he can connect you with an executive on his team. Know your neighbor does a job similar to yours at an engineering firm? See if he has recommendations for someone within his company. Ask questions, be specific and don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Try iConnectX
The iConnectX platform is designed to connect eager professionals with mentors who can help them achieve their goals. All you do is search for an iConnectX mentor with the skill sets and experience you’re looking for, pay a nominal fee, and your mentoring sessions can begin as soon as possible. A major bonus? Your fees go straight toward the charity of your mentor’s choice. So not only are you furthering your career, but you’re improving the community around you as well.

If you’re looking to expand your professional network beyond your coworkers and colleagues, consider signing up for iConnectX today. It’s a simple, seamless way to make a difference in your career and the causes you care about.

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