How to Successfully Navigate Networking in Business

We always hear that in business “it’s all about who you know”, and although it might not be everything, it plays a major role. Having a solid and diverse network of professionals can open doors throughout your career, so it’s important to continuously build and maintain those professional relationships.

Networking events can be intimidating, but they are a great starting place to build your connections. Here are some ways to successfully navigate networking and greater your chance of creating lasting business relationships.

Attend a Variety of Events

Ensure you are attending a wide range of events including your alumni and other job fairs, association events (ex. BCLMA, CPA, CPHR, Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters), and business related or other volunteering opportunities. The more exposure you have across a wide variety of events, the more you will cultivate a diverse network.

Show Up Prepared

When going to a networking event, it’s important to prepare so you feel calm and confident. This could include bringing a friend, if you feel more comfortable in a group, creating a goals checklist to keep you on track during the event, dressing the part and presenting yourself in a professional manner, and bringing business cards or resumes to hand out.

One of the most important steps that can set you apart is sending a follow-up message after, whether it is via email or LinkedIn, to the people you had conversations with or exchanged contact information with. The message could be as simple as thanking them for their time or following up about a discussed opportunity.

Leverage Social Media 

Social media is recognized as a highly effective business tool, one that you should be leveraging to connect with other business professionals, decision makers and Hiring Managers. LinkedIn is the leading business social media platform, so you’ll want to ensure that your profile is polished and up to date for the best chance at finding /being considered for opportunities.

You will also want to keep an eye on Indeed for additional opportunities (especially in Manufacturing & Operations). Like LinkedIn, your Indeed profile should be polished and up to date for a better chance at getting your foot in the door.

Whether you are currently looking for new opportunities or just setting yourself up for success, networking is all about taking initiative and advocating for yourself, in order to build a professional community and open doors. Be sure to follow STRIVE on LinkedIn and check out our open jobs page so you don’t miss out.