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These professional networking tips can help you on your way to a successful career.

Creating a network of long-lasting professional relationships is pretty critical to having a successful career.

Given that most people have about six career changes during their lifetime, the group of people around us providing support and advice is going to be relatively fluid.

First off, what is professional networking and how can it help with my career?

Professional networking is when you build relationships with other professionals in your field or a related field. It can produce mutually beneficial results especially when looking for new job roles or when looking to boost your credibility in an industry.

So, how do you make sure you make the most of the relationships you develop along the way, and foster long-term, sustainable partnerships that you can continue to rely on?

Build your professional network like an advisory board

Just like a company, we benefit from having a team of people around us that we can regularly consult about our career progression and big life decisions.

Like all good advisory boards – diversity should be the order of the day. Different levels of experience and backgrounds will only add to the quality of advice you can access.

Connect your professional networks with each other

Putting yourself at the centre of connecting people is a great way to add value to other peoples’ careers without having to catch up for 12 coffees a week.

Bring groups of like-minded people together even if there is no immediate, obvious agenda.

It’s valuable for your network to be exposed and introduced to people they might not normally come into contact with, but who share similar interests or professional priorities. You’ll find they will form their own reasons for wanting to connect and they’ll remember that you were the one that brought them together.

Maintain relationships with people you find interesting and helpful in previous roles

It's worth nurturing professional relationships because if done well, they have the potential to last a lifetime.

The business world is a closely connected community. There's often only six degrees (if that) of separation between us. You never know how a professional relationship you establish early on in your career can be beneficial in the future, regardless of whether you change companies, careers or industries.

If you establish a positive, professional circle of influence, this will put you in good stead for any of the professional opportunities you may be seeking throughout your career.

Help others professionally and they will help you

Think back to times in your career when others have taken the time to help you with a project, new role or initiative and how that experience created a memorable perception of them in your mind.

By finding ways to use your resources and connections to help others, you inherently create opportunities for yourself.

Establish common interests and think outside the box

Professional relationships are not all about getting down to business. They are also about building rapport and establishing common interests.

Invite people in your professional networks to join you at various events and social activities. Depending on your common interests, this could include networking events, professional development seminars, film festivals, sporting games, music concerts and theatre shows. The list is endless.

 

A small but thoughtful gesture like this can go a long way in establishing a longstanding professional relationship.

 

CIM Employment by Altius is a Disability Employment Service (DES) and Disability Management Service (DMS). Our team of skilled and experienced allied health professionals and employment consultants work closely with employers, job seekers and workers to achieve long-term sustainable employment outcomes.

To find out how we can help with your career call us on 1800 258 487.