You’ve probably heard it said before…

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And to some extent that’s true. 

If you're thinking “Yes, I get it. But who should I network with?” you’re in the right place.

STEP 1: Define Your Goals

Networking is more effective when you have defined goals - both career and networking goals. 

What are your career goals?

What interests you in terms of: 

  • jobs

  • type of work

  • industries

Defined career goals help the people you network with provide you with more value. 

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What are your networking goals?

Why do you want to build a network?

Think about:

  • Questions you have about specific lines of work

  • People aligned to your goals

  • Insider information related to your goals or job search

What do you want to get from it?

Think about:

  • Job leads, job search tips/strategies

  • Career advice, new connections

  • Specific information about jobs, industries, trends

Clear networking goals help you be more strategic in identifying people to network with.

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STEP 2: Identify People You Know

Why? They’re closest to you and they know you. 

Think:

  • Extended family members

  • Peers, family friends

  • Sports coaches, teachers, camp counsellors

Ask: Who in this group can best help me achieve my specific career and networking goals? 

Do: Add those people to your list.

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Simple and easy.

Your network is started.

Quiz

JJ wants guidance on creating a resume and cover letter for an accounting role. Who is the best person to network with?

STEP 3: Identify People You Have Something In Common With

Why? They’re not as close to you, but they know of you or have a connection of some kind with you.

Think: 

  • Friends’ parents, siblings 

  • Alumni of your school/college/university- not peers, alumni!

  • Other people you know through sports, cultural programs, volunteering, workshops/conferences

Ask: Who in this group can best help me achieve my specific career and networking goals? 

Do: Add those people to your list.

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Your network is gaining momentum.

Quiz

JJ wants to learn what it's like to work for an accounting firm vs an accounting department. Who is the best person to network with?

STEP 4: Identify People You Admire But Haven't Met!

Think: 

  • Host, guest of a podcast you follow

  • Author of a book/article you read, presenter of a webinar/seminar you attended

  • Well-known professionals working in an industry or role you’re interested in

Ask: Who in this group can best help me achieve my specific career and networking goals? 

Do: Add those people to your list.

Might feel a bit scary, but lots of value here.

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Quiz

Why network with people you've never met?

Take Action

Create your list:

Armed with goals and a list of names, you’re ready to take the next step > Connect with the people you want to network with.

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This Byte has been authored by

DD

Daina Dunlop

https://www.linkedin.com/in/dainadunlop/