Have you ever wondered how some people seem to effortlessly build strong professional relationships and advance in their careers?

A group of friends laugh during a networking event.

Networking skills are the key to building strong professional relationships in your workplace.

Networking isn't just about exchanging business cards or connecting on LinkedIn. It's about building genuine, long-term relationships that can provide mutual benefits.

Effective networking within your organization can lead to increased collaboration, new opportunities, and career growth.

Do I Need to Network?

Networking usually involves meeting new people who share a profession, industry, or interests. But how do you network, and why is networking so important? 

Building connections with the right people at the right time could be the key to taking your career to the next level.

— Elizabeth Perry, coach and community manager

Networking isn't required within your organization, but it's helpful for career development. It helps with:

  • Visibility: Make sure your work and achievements arevisibleto others. Share your successes and updates through appropriate channels, such as team meetings or company newsletters.

  • Access to information: Through your network, you can gain insights about upcoming projects, internal job openings, and organizational changes. The exchange of ideas and experiences is a cornerstone of effective networking.

  • Mentorship: Establishing connections with experienced colleagues can provide guidance and support for your career growth.

Crissy Conner holds up a clipboard that says,

Effective Networking Skills Strategy #1: Attend Events

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Attending events is a powerful networking strategy for building professional relationships, gaining industry insights, and creating opportunities for career advancement such as:

  • Afterwork meetups

  • Speed networking sessions

  • Webinars

Would you like to build lasting connections but don't know where to start? Seize the opportunity and forge ahead towards your future.

You can find plenty of company networking events. Participate in meetings and social gatherings to establish meaningful connections.

Effective Networking Skills Strategy #2: Be Proactive

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Being proactive in networking means taking initiative, reaching out to others, and creating opportunities rather than waiting for them to come to you.

To do this:

  • Determine what you want to achieve through networking (e.g., career advancement, gaining knowledge, finding a mentor).

  • Take the initiative to introduce yourself to new team members or colleagues from different departments.

  • Identify colleagues, managers, and leaders whose work aligns with your interests or career goals. This includes peers, potential mentors, and influencers within the organization.

An elephant, a panda and a deer typing on their respective computers, showing their proactivity.

By being proactive, you take control of your networking efforts, increase your chances of making meaningful connections, and ultimately achieve your professional goals.

Effective Networking Skills Strategy #3: Offer Help

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Now that the connection has been made, you might feel as if you're constantly asking for help, without ever offering it. How can you contribute to the successes of others in the organization?

  • Reach out to colleagues in roles or departments that interest you. Request brief meetings to learn about their work and career paths. This shows initiative and a willingness to learn.

  • Volunteer to help with projects or tasks outside your immediate responsibilities. Collaboration fosters strong relationships and demonstrates your willingness to contribute.

Offering help is a powerful networking strategy because it builds genuine connections and creates a collaborative environment, and reciprocal relationship. Your efforts can result in meaningful, lasting connections.

Effective Networking Skills Strategy #4: Maintain Your Network

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Imagine now that you've built your connection but there's no follow-up and you don't ask for feedback. Do you think the professional relationship is solid?

Follow Up

Networking doesn't end when the event is over or the connection is made. Regular follow-ups, whether through emails, phone calls, or coffee meetings are essential to nurture and maintain relationships.

David from Schitt's Creek saying,

In other words: consistency is key.

Seek Feedback

  • Ask for input: Request feedback from your network on your ideas, projects, or career decisions to demonstrate trust and respect for their opinions.

  • Act on feedback: Use the insights you gather to improve and refine your strategies for networking and professional development.


You're a new employee at a company. You want to establish a strong professional network within the organization to help you advance in your career and learn more about the company. How should you build your network?

Networking Skills Tips for Introverts

Issa Rae being interview at the Met Gala. She says,

Networking can be particularly challenging for introverts. As an introverted person myself, I've learned some strategies to make it more manageable:

Prepare in Advance

  • Prepare conversation topics ahead of time.

  • Set small, achievable goals for each networking event.

Leverage One-on-One Interactions

  • Focus on building deeper connections through one-on-one meetings.

  • Paraphrase others' points to ensure you understand.

  • Identify shared interests or experiences to build a connection.

Take Breaks

  • Recharge between networking activities.

  • Set boundaries. Learn to politely decline invitations to social events or meetings that drain your energy.

Take Action

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By implementing these networking skills strategies, you can proactively build a strong network within your organization that supports your professional growth and contributes to a collaborative work environment.


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